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I haven't lost any mission critical data or anything, but I have in my possession a large number of SSD 2.5" drives that were pulled for unreliability or being "dead". I am curious if there's any way to bring them back to life, but purely as an experiment and ignoring things like warranty and sending them to a professional.

This is almost certainly a big waste of time, but I thought I'd ask all the same.

The drives I have fall into two types: I have a stack of Kingston SSDNOW V100 drives that never got the important firmware update that is supposed to prevent data loss. I also have a stack of OCZ Vertex2 SSDs.

In both cases the drives are not recognized at all by the system. Not through an external enclosure, not by connecting the drive as primary SATA, and not by changing the BIOS to AHCI or IDE SATA mode.

That probably means that nothing can be done, but if I open the OCZ drives there is a connector featuring 4 holes labelled GND, TX, RX, and VCC. Is there any chance I can connect a ROM reader or something to this interface and possibly repair or gain more information about the drive?

Has anyone successfully attempted something like a reflow of the NAND chips, which I've seen mentioned online before?

Could there be any other avenue for refreshing these drives to the point where they are recognized somewhere?

I accept they're probably toast and worthless, but before I threw them away I was curious if there's any possible tinkering I could do.

Thanks for your time.

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    I'd probably RMA anything I could, then look at hacking the rest, unless if there's a business reason for not doing so. forum.hddguru.com/data-recovery-ssd-ocz-vertex-80gb-t20843.html this indicates you can connect those connectors to a UART to get some info
    – Journeyman Geek
    Nov 16, 2012 at 5:40
  • RMA isn't an option for various reasons, hacking is all I can do. And thanks for that link, I'll have to track down something that can interface with that connector, I'm not sure what a UART is but I'll look it up!
    – geodave
    Nov 16, 2012 at 5:52
  • @geodave: Universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (Use a serial cable and something like Putty)
    – Hennes
    Nov 16, 2012 at 7:33
  • Just dropping to say that this is a very good question. Things like replacing the mainboard of a HDD are all very well established, but there are no really good guides or questions on fixing them. I think the solid metal box is a little intimidating. Dec 7, 2012 at 21:42

5 Answers 5

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For Crucial SSDs there is a method to get dead looking drives back to normal.
By dead I mean: Not recognized by any OS/Controller and no physical damage

I already had this particular case and to my surprise the following procedure is working:

  1. Only connect the SATA power connection and not the data cable. A USB enclosure with an external power source will also work.

  2. Once you have the drive connected, simply power on the computer and wait. The computer will need to stay powered on for 20 min and it is recommended that you don't use the computer during this process.

  3. Power the computer down and disconnect the drive for 30 seconds.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.

  5. Reconnect the drive normally, and boot the computer to your operating system.

  6. Update your firmware, if you are not already at the latest on your drive. Please visit the following link for our firmware updates

Source: Crucial employee

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  • From the same source: This gives the drive time to initialize and will resolve most booting issues. When we say power down we mean press the power button down to turn the system off at this point we would recommend disconnecting the power cable from the SSD for 30 seconds and repeating the process.
    – Stelian
    Mar 13, 2015 at 20:28
3

I haven't tried this solution myself, but quite a few articles on the web are referring to over-heating the SSD (in the oven!) to somehow rejuvenate them.

http://www.futurelooks.com/cooking-your-solid-state-drive-in-an-oven-might-make-them-last-longer/

http://ales.io/2014/03/09/how-to-bake-a-mac.html

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-2659865/possibly-bricked-ssd-fix.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20579077

John Gude references this BBC piece in the comments of another article (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/data-recovered-failed-ssd/) as the inspiration for his solution to a failed SSD which he baked at 250 fahrenheit.

There are a lot more examples of this and people have used SSD-baking to fix drives not being recognised by the host PC, read/write errors and more.

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    Here's another article which offers a hands-on guide for how to do this, not just the abstract idea from some paper.
    – GDP2
    Nov 23, 2018 at 22:42
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The only way to recover data from SSD is to send it to data recovery laboratory. You should always make backups if you don't have at least RAID 1/5/6/10 etc.

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    OP isn't asking how to recover data, but how to get drives working again. Dec 7, 2012 at 21:40
  • It's a dead NAND. Nothing can be done.
    – Spacedust
    Dec 9, 2012 at 13:27
  • 9
    But you don't know that it's a dead NAND, only that the drives don't work. Dec 9, 2012 at 21:47
-1

I bougth the Kingspec 1T M2 2242 hard drive.

i didnt really wanna buy it as the brand is not big but that is the only physical choice in the market.

from day 1 i have used, it is always a bit hot. about 6 months i used. It died suddently, Montherboard cannot detect, nor SSD usb convert can detect.

i saw the answer above, which say use oven the bake it for minute. i was thinking what a BS. As i have no other choice to fix it and it is dead anyway.

i put in oven for 250oC for 8 mins on a silicon tray, so that it is not conductive, let it cool down.

guess what, it works again. i am so happy.

saying that i will not rely on it anymore.

but this Oven Bake SSD is not a BS

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Many issues with SSDs are soft issues which can be fixed by formatting the drive.

For example, when you are facing read or write errors, you can perform following procedure (using Linux operating system):

  1. Read the full disk image with ddrescue, it will retry bad blocks and sometimes it will read all of them
  2. Zero the harddrive, with cat /dev/zero >/dev/sdX or you can format the whole drive which also issues full disk trim with mkfs.btrfs /dev/sdX
  3. Copy back the image with dd in=sdX.image of=/dev/sdX

You can also use windows machine to upgrade the SSD firmware, so that the same soft issue won't happen again.

Most read and write issues with SSDs and also USB Drives can be resolved this way.

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