Generally, using data recovery software can help you recover data from a failed SSD. But if that doesn’t work, you can still try some technical processes like updating, power cycling, and boot menu idling to get your data back.
Hi, I’m Devansh. SSDs are generally super-reliable, but they’re not immune from daily wear and tear. Memory cells, capacitors, and the controller chip could degrade over time. I’ve experienced this situation firsthand.
In this article, I’ll go over steps you can follow to recover your data, preventive measures, and then answer some common questions.
Read on if your SSD has failed and you’re worried about losing your valuable data!
- Troubleshooting a Failed SSD
- Preventive Measures
Troubleshooting a Failed SSD
The steps you take to recover data from a failed SSD depend on the root cause of the issue. There aren’t many effective fixes for hardware damage or degraded memory cells. But if it’s a logical error, you can take steps to recover your data.
First, ensure the computer you are using can detect your SSD. If it’s not, try connecting it to a different computer. Now, try out these solutions.
Use Data Recovery Tools
Using a good data recovery tool can be a lifesaver. Unless the data is overwritten, there’s a solid chance that a data recovery tool will be able to get it back to you.
These programs first scan the system to create a clear image of the file system’s structure and what data is corrupted. Each data recovery tool has a unique algorithm of its own.
The most notable ones are:
All of these are compatible with both Mac and Windows and work with Fat32, NTFS, and many more file systems. Although only PhotoRec is the completely free option, most of them include a free trial. So, definitely give one a try.
If a power surge or outage was the reason behind your SSD’s failure, power cycling might help bring it back. You can do this for both desktop PCs and laptops. Here are the steps for doing it on a desktop PC.
Step 1: Disconnect the SATA data cable connected to the SSD and leave the power cable as is. The power cable is generally the wider one of the two. If you’re working with an external SSD, just unplug its USB connection.
Step 2: Keep the computer running for thirty minutes, then power it down for at least thirty seconds.
Step 3: Turn it on again for another thirty minutes. After switching it off for thirty seconds more after that, plug in the data cable back and turn the computer back on.
It takes an hour, I know. But, it’s an effective way to bring your failed SSD back to life with the data unharmed. You can try a different method if you’re using a laptop or have an NVMe or M.2 SSD. While the computer is switched on during the thirty-minute intervals, just leave it idling in the boot menu.
Check for Firmware Updates
Firmware is a piece of code responsible for operating an SSD. Bad firmware may be causing your SSD to malfunction. So, you can try installing the latest version available.
Many brands bundle a tool with the SSD, which lets you update firmware, such as Kingston SSD Manager, Crucial Storage Executive, Samsung Magician, and ADATA SSD Toolbox. If that isn’t available, check the brand’s website for a downloads page, like WD.
By following these steps, you might be able to recover your data and continue using your SSD as usual. If it’s unsuccessful for you, check out companies that offer expert recovery services, like CyberTech and DriveSavers.
Now, let’s look into some preventive measures to avoid having your SSD fail again in the future.
Use Monitoring Tools
Many free monitoring tools can help you detect errors in your SSD. They let you track the temperature of your SSD, transfer speed, and other performance metrics. Based on your OS, you can check out CrystalDiskInfo (Windows), SMARTReporter (macOS), and Smartmontools (Linux).
Avoid Disconnecting Without Ejecting
Always remember to eject your SSD before disconnecting it. This is Computers 101 advice, yet many people fail to comply with it in daily life. It takes a few extra seconds, but it’s essential to avoid any logical damage and data loss. You’ll thank me for it later.
Keep Firmware Updated
I covered this in the last section, but it’s essential to do it regularly, not just when your SSD is malfunctioning. Using the provided tool, this process usually takes only a few minutes.
Although it’s impossible to eliminate daily wear and tear, taking these simple steps can increase your SSD’s overall lifespan and performance significantly. In addition, always be sure to backup the data in your SSD regularly.
Here are some common questions you might be curious to add to your SSD knowledge.
Do TBWs Indicate SSD Lifespan?
TBW stands for Terabytes Written, and it’s an estimation of how many writes you can expect out of a drive before it starts to degrade. For example, the 250GB variant of the WD Black SN770 comes with a 200 TBW rating, whereas the 2TB variant has a 1200 TBW rating. TBW is one of the many metrics used to estimate SSD lifespan, including age, P/E cycles, and drive writes per day (DWPD).
What is the ‘S.M.A.R.T’ Feature in SSDs?
It stands for ‘Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology.’ It scans the drive at intervals and assesses its health based on points like wear leveling, raw read error rate, and retired data blocks. You need an app that can read SMART data, either a third-party one like CrystalDiskInfo or the support app provided by the manufacturer.
What are Early SSD Failure Warnings You Can Look For?
SSDs don’t make the sounds your old HDD made, like whirring, clicking, and beeping. But here are some tell-tale signs you can keep your eye out for. First of all, reading or transferring files and apps may slow down or result in failure. If you’re using your SSD as the boot drive, it may crash while booting up as well. It may also limit itself to working in read-only mode.
Having your valuable data slipping away from your fingers can be a scary experience. Fortunately, if you’re alert and decisive to follow the above methods—using data recovery software, updating firmware, and power cycling—you can recover it with the SSD intact.
Which of these methods worked for you to recover data from your failed SSD? Please let me know in the comments!