The two main areas of an SSD are the User Area and the System Area. The former stores the actual data while the System Area contains firmware code essential for the operation of the disk. The System Area is one of the busiest areas of the disk because some of firmware code is stored here. (Additional firmware code is stored on the controller chip itself) Every time the disk is intialised, the SA needs to be read. Everytime a Bad Block Management operation is executed, the SA is read. Even when the disk is shutting down, the SA is accessed or written to again as error logs are updated.
The Achilles Heal of SSDs
It’s no surprise then that this area of the disk wears out the quickest. Moreover, the SA area is not protected by ECC (error correction management) which means small bit errors which develop in this area are not corrected.
As a result, when the oxide-layer of the NAND cells in the SA degrades due to constant wear-and-tear, the intructional code needed for disk operation can no longer be read. This can result in an SSD which is no longer recognisable by your computer.
“Fatal Device Hardware Error”
Last week, we were helping a medical device company in Sligo with this problem. Their PNY CS900 SSD (taken from a HP EliteDesk PC) was no longer recognised. When connected to a Windows PC via a USB dock, they received the message “The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error”. The disk was using a SMI 2258H controller and appeared to have a worn out Service Area. We put the disk into technological mode and used a 2258H loader (on our recovery equipment) to access the file system. We achieved a complete recovery of all their SLDDRW, SLDPRT and SLDASM (SolidWorks) files. This recovery, saved their technicians hours of reconstructing some very intricate technical drawings.
Drive Rescue data recovery are based in Dublin, Ireland. We provide a complete SSD recovery service for disks which are no longer recognised in BIOS, not recognised in Disk Management or not appearing Windows or MacOS. Common models of PNY SSD we recover from include the PNY CS900 250GB, PNY CS900 480GB, PNY CS900 960GB and 1TB. We also recover from their XLR8 CS3030 PCIe SSD and the PNY Portable Elite Black USB drive.