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Sandforce SSD recovery

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:33 pm
by lcoughey
Anyone have much luck with Sandforce, either with in-house techniques or with the help of a another lab? As of right now, the only Sandforce recoveries which we have received and were recoverable were done by us. All the other cases which the clients accepted other lab's pricing have come back unrecoverable.

We had a couple in the past few weeks, one we recovered in-house ( ... recovered/) and the other we had to send off. The in-house job was recovered, 100%, while the outsourced cases was unrecoverable.

When we contacted the various labs to give us a second opinion, they all had sales reps on the phone suggesting that they have very high success rates and that they can definitely handle mine. So, my questions are, "can they really do more than the rest of us or are they just banking on getting the cases like the ones we can recover in order to hold onto their claims that they can recover Sandforce based SSDs?'

Over the past few months, we have had many SSDs that we deemed unrecoverable and the client chose to send them to another lab for a second opinion. Again, thus far, the clients have all come back to report that the other labs couldn't do it either. I suspect that the reason for this is that we are all using the exact same tools. The only difference between us is that their sales team are trained to make it look like they have an upper hand with custom tools.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a sales rep from a major lab who told me that they only employ trained data recovery engineers. When I pressed them to where they got their training they replied, "we train them in house. And, they are usually engineers from other trades." Basically, that trained data recovery engineer working on your recovery could just be a university grad who graduated with a Forestry Engineering degree and was taught how to run a few data recovery programs.

Perhaps what we should do is make a list of labs we send Sandforce recovery cases to, either on behalf of our client or direct referral, and the keep a tally of success/failures and the costs quoted/paid for the recoveries. The main criteria would be that the SSD has a Sandforce controller and the issue is that the SSD gets stuck at BSY when trying to ID or read sectors. If I were to do this, I probably wouldn't publish it publicly, at least not right away.

Re: Sandforce SSD recovery

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:57 pm
by lcoughey
I just went back through our R&D bin of SandForce SSDs that we were unable to recover in the past and the clients declined the higher rates offered by other labs. Low and behold, we are able to recover 1/2 of them using a new procedure for SandForce SSDs stuck in a BSY state.

Stay tuned!

Re: Sandforce SSD recovery

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:25 pm
by lcoughey
I'm pretty confident that we are now able to recover a significant number of SandForce SSDs that we could not recover before. I've added a SandForce Data Recovery page to the website and am hoping to get some more in to put my theories to further testing.