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Water Damaged MSATA SSD – corrupted firmware and chip damage

We had an interesting job this week.

A student came in with a water damaged laptop.  It had previously been taken to the university

IT support centre where someone thought it would be a good idea to turn it on, while it was still wet.

 

Not getting any response, the customer took it to a local computer shop near the university.  They verified the SSD was faulty and needed replacing.  It was most likely damaged due to the fact it was still very wet inside the machine and was turned back on causing a short circuit on or across the SSD.  Water and electricity is not a good mix when it comes to electronic devices.

The customer had many years of course material and dissertation work on the machine and didn’t really care about anything else but the data.  The local computer shop said it was unlikely the data could be rescued but they did recommended us.

 

Typical slim ultrabooks like this don’t use mechanical drives, but use mostly SSD’s memory.  In this case, it was a Samsung MSATA SSD 128GB.

We extracted the MSATA SSD and immediately ran it through our chemical cleaning process which removes any residual moisture.

Using anti corrosion contact cleaner, we flushed out the areas under the memory chips and also all the contacts on the SSD.

We then placed the cleaned disk in our drying room until we felt confident all the moisture was gone.

Our PC 3000 SSD recovery system can access all manner of SSD’s, but we need to connect it using SATA.

In comes our handy converter that allows us to mount the MSATA SSD to SATA.

 

Our first impression of the SSD was that it may not be rescuable.

After a couple of attempts, we managed to enable a Safe Mode within the SSD that allowed us to interrogate the NAND chips on the SSD.  With the PC3000, we were able then to create a Translator which bypassed the built in faulty firmware and allowed us access finally to the Data.

After a few hours of copying sectors, we managed to recover all the data off the SSD that the customer needed.

Job Done!

We couldn’t have done it without the amazing PC3000 system from Ace Labs.  The customer was over the moon, as where we!

If you have a faulty SSD and have been told it wasn’t possible to recover data, please get in touch with us either using our contact form, or on our contact page.