Avoiding Costly SSD Data Recovery

Unlike their traditional magnetic counterpart the hard disk drive, solid state drives (SSDs) don’t store their data on a magnetic platter but inside NAND flash memory chips. Essentially, data is stored in these chips in the form of an electrical charge. But recovering data from solid state drives is significantly more difficult.

SSD memory is non-volatile, meaning that it retains the data even without a power supply. Every time a write operation is performed, the cells within the SSD’s NAND chip wear out – but not all memory chips wear out in the same way. Knowing what type of NAND chip your SSD uses will determine its lifespan. There are three main types of NAND chip – Single Level Cell (SLC), Multi Level Cell (MLC) and Triple Level Cell (TLC). The more levels a cell has, the more data can be stored in it. However, adding more bits to a cell reduces the reliability, and results in a higher wear rate. So in terms of avoiding the need for data recovery, Single Level Cell is your best option.

Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND chips are dominating the market for SSD production, in an effort to reduce the cost by sacrificing lifespan and reliability. But how can you determine the health of an SSD? Manufacturers normally provide utilities that allow you to determine the health of your solid state drive. You’ll be able to see how much data has been written to the drive, and whether all the operating parameters are OK. A good tool to keep an eye on your SSD’s health is SSDLife Pro, which will show you your SSD’s estimated lifespan.

Now you know how to tell how healthy your SSD is, how can you prolong its lifespan? Firstly, you should avoid defragmenting your solid state drive. Defragmentation is used on mechanical hard disk drives in order to reduce the movements used by the heads too access fragments of a file. Because SSDs store memory differently and have no moving parts, this is unnecessary and can actually wear out the cells in the drive. Another tip is to not fill the SSD to it’s full capacity. Many manufacturers reserve a small amount of free space to store data temporarily, and filling this space can lead to problems. Perhaps the most important tip to avoid the need for SSD data recovery, however, is to always back up your SSD’s data on a regular basis! 

Data Recovery