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How to Successfully Recover Data from an SSD: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Successfully Recover Data from an SSD: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a professional in the world of digital data, I’ve encountered my fair share of data loss scenarios. One particular challenging situation to recover data from is that of a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are revered for their speed and reliability, but just like any storage media, they are not immune to data loss. In my experience with these high-speed storage devices, I’ve learned some helpful tricks to recover data from SSDs, and I’m here to share these methodologies that have proven to yield positive results. Whether your SSD has suffered accidental deletion, corruption, or even a mechanical issue, there are ways to attempt recovery. Below are various methods I’ve personally used and recommend for recovering data from an SSD.


Common Scenarios:

Accidental Deletion 🙊

  • Accidental deletion of files is a common scenario that leads to data loss. Whether by inadvertently hitting the delete key or executing a command without proper caution, the files may seem to vanish into thin air.
  • While the process varies depending on the file system, often there’s a chance that the deleted files aren’t immediately overwritten, offering a window to retrieve the data.

SSD Corruption 😞

  • SSD corruption can be the result of software glitches, abrupt power cuts, or even firmware issues. This can lead to corruption of the file system, making the data inaccessible.
  • Fortunately, there are methods and tools that can help in repairing the corrupted file system and recover lost data.

Physical Damage

  • The physical damage scenario is less common with SSDs than traditional hard drives, as SSDs have no moving parts. However, they can still suffer from problems such as burnouts or component failure.
  • Physical damage often requires professional assistance due to the complexity of SSD construction.


Step-by-Step Guide. Recover Data From Ssd:

Method 1: Using Data Recovery Software 💻

  • Download and install a reputable data recovery software. I recommend PhotoRec, which is a powerful file recovery tool.
  • Connect the SSD to your computer, either directly through a SATA connection or using a USB-to-SATA adapter if available.
  • Run the data recovery software and select the SSD from the list of drives. Start the scan and wait for it to complete.
  • Preview and select the files you wish to recover, then save them to a different drive to prevent overwriting.

Note: Never install the recovery software on the SSD you’re attempting to recover from to avoid overwriting data.

Conclusion: This method is effective for logical issues like accidental deletion or formatting.

Method 2: File History or Time Machine 🕒

  • For Windows users, if you had File History set up, go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Update & Security’, and click on ‘Backup’. From there, you can restore files from a previous backup.
  • Mac users can utilize Time Machine. Connect the drive containing the Time Machine backup, and use the ‘Enter Time Machine’ feature to recover the lost files.

Note: This requires you to have set up a backup system before the data loss occurred.

Conclusion: Backup solutions like File History or Time Machine are excellent preemptive measures for data recovery.

Method 3: Disk Management Tools

  • Open ‘Disk Management’ on Windows or ‘Disk Utility’ on macOS to check whether the SSD is recognized by the system.
  • If the drive appears without a letter, assign one by right-clicking and selecting ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’ on Windows or ‘Mount’ on macOS.
  • If the SSD is recognized but has a file system error, use the built-in repair tools: ‘chkdsk’ on Windows or ‘First Aid’ on macoS.

Note: Physical recognition by the OS is a good sign, but file system issues may still prevent data access.

Conclusion: Disk management tools can solve recognition or minor corruption issues.

Method 4: Seek Professional Help

  • If the SSD is not recognized, or the data is critical, seek the help of a professional data recovery service. These experts have the tools and cleanroom environments required for intricate work on SSDs.
  • Research and choose a reputable service with experience in SSD data recovery.

Note: Professional recovery can be costly, but it may be your best shot with physically damaged drives.

Conclusion: Experts have a higher success rate with complex recovery tasks.

Method 5: SSD Manufacturer’s Tools 🔧

  • Many SSD manufacturers offer their own diagnostic and repair tools. Check the website of your SSD’s brand for utilities specific to your model.
  • Download and run the manufacturer’s utility to diagnose and possibly repair the SSD. Some tools also include data recovery options.

Note: Manufacturer tools are designed specifically for the SSDs they produce, giving you a tailored solution.

Conclusion: Utilizing tools provided by your SSD’s manufacturer can offer a pointed solution for recovery and repair.


Youtube video to watch


Precautions and Tips:

Safeguard Your Data 🔒

  • Always maintain a regular backup of important data to minimize the impact of potential loss.
  • Immediately stop using an SSD after encountering data loss issues to avoid overwriting any recoverable data.
  • Enable TRIM on SSDs to help maintain performance and lifespan, but be aware that it may complicate data recovery processes.


Expert Insights

Data recovery from an SSD is a complex process that often hinges on the nature of the data loss. Understanding the technology behind SSDs is crucial for successful recovery. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs use NAND-based flash memory which does not necessarily store data in continuous, predictable patterns due to techniques such as wear-leveling and TRIM commands that optimize drive performance and longevity.

After attempting recovery, it’s also advisable to monitor the health of your SSD using tools like CrystalDiskInfo. This tool can warn you of potential failures before they lead to data loss.

For those interested in learning more about SSD technology and data recovery, the following resources are invaluable: the Storage Networking Industry Association being a leading authority on storage technologies, provides an in-depth technical tutorial on SSD technology, which I have found extraordinarily helpful.


In my experience, data recovery from an SSD is indeed possible, but it requires a methodical approach and sometimes, a bit of luck. Start by using readily available software tools and built-in operating system features. If these don’t bear fruit and the data is of significant value, it may be worth investing in professional recovery services. Regular backups and proactive monitoring of SSD health can go a long way in preventing data loss from becoming a catastrophic event. With patience and the right resources, you can maximize the chances of a successful recovery from an SSD.


Yes, it's possible to recover data from a corrupted SSD using specialized software or services, depending on the level of corruption and SSD condition.

Immediately stop using the SSD to prevent further data loss, and make a complete backup of the drive if possible before attempting any recovery procedures.

Yes, data recovery from a formatted SSD is possible with recovery tools as long as new data hasn't overwritten the lost files.

Free tools like Recuva can recover data from SSDs, but their effectiveness may be limited compared to professional solutions.

Recovery after a TRIM command can be very difficult as it signals the SSD to wipe the data blocks, but sometimes partial recovery is still possible with professional help.

Look for services with good reviews, such as DriveSavers, and ensure they have expertise in SSD recovery.

Yes, SSDs use different technology than HDDs, affecting the data recovery approach due to how data is stored and deleted on these devices.

Regular backups and minimizing use of the SSD immediately after data loss occurs are critical to enhance the chance of successful recovery.

Encryption can complicate the recovery process as data must first be decrypted, requiring the encryption key for success.

While physical damage complicates recovery, specialized services like Ontrack can sometimes retrieve data, but it's not always guaranteed.