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 Post subject: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 14th, 2016, 14:59 
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Joined: July 7th, 2014, 6:44
Posts: 143
Location: Switzerland
Hi,

I would like some feedbacks about NAND flash readers (in order to dump USB flash pens), but without necessarily buying --in a first time-- the softwares to decipher the dumps.

Some companies, like ACE, sell kits including software, the reader and adapter.

Soft-Center sells the reader/adapters separately from Flash-Extractor software.

Rusolut, seems selling the software, reader, and adapters separately.

In this interesting thread https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=29920,
HaQue tells that VNR has the ability to adjust the voltage to the chip, and that this is important for new TLC chips.
Question:
- Is really the VNR software that does it -- so that adjusting the voltage could be used with third-party hardware ?
- Or is it the Rusolut's reader (hardware) ?
- Or do you need both software and hardware being from Rusolut ?

What about third-party programmers ?
I tried to order them by increasing price.

GQ-5X programmer :
http://www.mcumall.com/comersus/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=4583
NAND only. ~200 USD

AEC LabTool-48UXP Intelligent Universal Programmer
http://www.aec.com.tw/
I'm not sure about the price.

EPOS FlashExtractor ?
http://www.epos.ua/view.php/en/products_epos_flashreader
It tells also supporting voltages lower than 3.3V :
Code:
Vcc 1,8 V / 2,7V / 3,3 V
For some idea about prices of EPOS Flash Extractor and accessories, see: http://hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=103&t=673

Batronix BX48 Batego II :
http://www.batronix.com/shop/programmer/BX48/batego-II.html
487 USD

Xeltek Superpro programmers :
http://www.xeltek.com/
pricey ...

Other suggestions ?

Which one (brand, model) are you using, and which pros/cons do you find to it ?

Do you see benefits or drawbacks in getting first a NAND reader from a company other than ACE / Rusolut / Soft-Center and possibly purchasing their products later ?


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 Post subject: Re: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 14th, 2016, 15:31 
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Joined: October 24th, 2009, 15:22
Posts: 508
Location: Poland
Forget about strange solutions - usually not work, problem with reading nands correctly etc. Buy one of complete solutions. It is software-hardware connected. If you are masochist buy SC reader (cheapest one) and assembly data in Winhex :)

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 Post subject: Re: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 14th, 2016, 15:40 
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Joined: November 29th, 2006, 10:08
Posts: 6891
Location: UK
arvika wrote:
Forget about strange solutions - usually not work, problem with reading nands correctly etc. Buy one of complete solutions. It is software-hardware connected. If you are masochist buy SC reader (cheapest one) and assembly data in Winhex :)


Totally agree on all points, especially about the masochistic winhex "solution" !

I am biased towards SC because I've been using it for many years and know how it works, I have Ace PC3k for flash but can't really get used to the software although the reader comes in useful with it's read-retry features (but SC tool now has a similar feature now).

Am considering buying VNR tool too, but I understand the learning curve is pretty steep :-(

"One gun does not make an arsenal" :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 14th, 2016, 17:45 
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Joined: July 2nd, 2014, 8:05
Posts: 131
There are couple of issues with WinHex approach (which is still great tool for different work).
It just can't handle:

- bad columns removal
- ECC correction
- NAND config
- LBN extraction
- Page structure analysis is hardly possible
- Data decoding (de-scrambling/XOR)
- block arrangement
- reader's control
Plus about ~20-30 other reasons.

If you're doing business - don't waste TIME and money on reader that does just ~5% of job, instead of getting solution which is developed specifically for that purpose.
If you're doing diploma project/want to build you own tool then the standard reader is a way to go.

You can get the free documentation and articles to have a quick look at the technology:
http://rusolut.com/visual-nand-reconstr ... mentation/
http://rusolut.com/nand-recovery-case-samples/

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 Post subject: Re: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 15th, 2016, 7:13 
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Joined: July 7th, 2014, 6:44
Posts: 143
Location: Switzerland
I'm aware that specialized software is required and that using only an hexadecimal editor would be a pain.

However, you're not taking into consideration that dumps allow to outsource more easily.
Less shipping costs, faster recoveries, ...

Not that I'm not wanting doing flash recoveries in-house.
I already did several broken plugs repairs, and I'm probably going one day to buy VNR or PC-3000 Flash.

However, there is an important price gap between a NAND reader and a complete software+hardware solution.
With VNR, the learning curve seems steep, I don't have much time now to learn more about NAND.
PC-3000 doesn't handle all models of USB sticks.

I don't want to purchase an expensive tool if I cannot find the time to progress enough during six month after the purchase. I prefer learning more about NAND memories and buy when I feel ready (although I'm aware that one is never "ready" and has to learn permanently).
The technology evolves and NAND successors will gradually replace it.
(http://www.computerworld.com/article/29 ... d-end.html)
So, better wait till the hardware tools are also able to support the NAND's successors.
Meanwhile, other softwares may also arise. Well, this is a never ending problem and of course, one has to invest at some point.

With the price difference, between a complete solution and a NAND reader, I can also buy other useful equipement.
So, it's also a question of prioritizing investments.

If the readers coming with the complete solutions are better than others, why not.
But can they work without the whole kit, i.e. do they come with a free dump extraction software?
This doesn't seem.

In this regard, EPOS FlashExtractor as well as Batronix BX48 Batego II look interesting as they come with software.

I wonder how much flash recovery softwares and hardware are bound.
Can one use VNR on dumps made by either PC-3000 Flash, SC FlashExtractor, or vice versa?

Quote:
Forget about strange solutions - usually not work, problem with reading nands correctly etc.

@arvika: Can you please tell more? I'm surprised that tools like Batronix BX48 Batego II or Xeltek would not read NAND correclty as they look truely professional (and pricey) tools. If you look at their product ranges, you'll see they have tools to program NAND at an industrial level.
Can you please tell which NAND readers you tried that were not reading NANDs correclty and which kind of other problems you encountered?


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 Post subject: Re: Which NAND flash reader ?
PostPosted: July 15th, 2016, 11:06 
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Joined: October 24th, 2009, 15:22
Posts: 508
Location: Poland
I have all 3 solutions. I read your post and my advice if you not want invest money: buy cheapest reader but DEDICATED to NAND flash - choice is simply, SC reader (210$) - soft for reading nands is free. Than outsource dumps to someone by FTP (we make service like this and some others too).
I do not have Batronix BX48 Batego II or Xeltek, but it is programmer for many other chips, they do not dedicated for NAND. I think they can read some simple memories, but not new one with complicated internal structure.

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