Solid State – Controller Failure

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The most common failure involves failure of an internal component called the ‘controller chip’. It is usually impossible to source exact parts to replace these, and so the remedy involves de-soldering the actual memory microchip(s) from the circuit, obtaining a raw dump of the data from the microchip(s), and then translating the dump to obtain the original data structure and files.

The raw data dump could be thought of as all of the pages on an encyclopaedia torn out and laid randomly on the floor with page numbers deleted. The challenge is to re-order the pages correctly so that the information makes sense. For every 1MB of flash memory, there are typically 250,000 ‘pages’ of data to re-order.

Since there are so many thousands of variations of devices in the market, and so many combinations of controller and memory chips with customised configurations, each new job is usually different than the last.