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 Post subject: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2016, 18:01 
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In have one of these coming in tomorrow. Anyone know if they have an SSD, eMMC or NAND chips directly on the motherboard?

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2016, 19:14 
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https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft+Surface+Teardown/11275
http://www.google.com./search?q=Microsoft+Surface+RT+teardown

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2016, 9:26 
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Note, if the User used a Microsoft aka Live Account, the drive is likely to be BitLockered.

There is a boot from USB, Surface RT image available on the web, which will allow you to see if the internal drive is responding
(if the system is still working and if it is just refusing to boot for some reason)


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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2016, 10:15 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
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Location: Providence, RI
I'm working on a Surface 3 right now. From my research, the Surface 3 Pro uses an SSD however, the regular Surface 3 is eMMC which I assume is soldered onto the board (didn't actually open it). You can boot to Linux with it, though I found that most builds don't work well and either crash on startup or hang shortly after booting. I finally did manage to get an image of it using Clonzilla. I posted a write-up of what I did here: https://www.data-medics.com/forum/surfa ... t1430.html

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2016, 15:30 
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Thanks for the help all, it just came in. Looks like its already been to Best Buy and doesn't power up. Nice write up data-medics, I will try the USB boot, but might be a tear down job without power. Will let you know. Once again thanks. BitLocker hhmmmmmm....

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2016, 16:06 
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ddrecovery wrote:
Looks like its already been to Best Buy and doesn't power up.

If it's a power problem, it should be any easy fix. Let me know if you need help with this.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 23rd, 2016, 17:41 
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fzabkar wrote:
ddrecovery wrote:
Looks like its already been to Best Buy and doesn't power up.

If it's a power problem, it should be any easy fix. Let me know if you need help with this.

Will do :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 30th, 2016, 12:20 
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Quick update on this one. Ace Labs say the RT is encrypted so you cannot complete a chip off. Still waiting to hear from the client if he wants to go ahead with some form of repair/recovery.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 30th, 2016, 12:59 
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ddrecovery wrote:
Quick update on this one. Ace Labs say the RT is encrypted so you cannot complete a chip off. Still waiting to hear from the client if he wants to go ahead with some form of repair/recovery.


Seems like they are really trying to kill data recovery from flash memory. A few more years and we'll all need to have supercomputers breaking encryption keys to have a chance at data recovery.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: August 30th, 2016, 15:40 
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Am I to understand that the immediate response to any problem with a flash based device is a "chip-off" kneejerk? Doesn't anybody have any real troubleshooting skills? In all the years that I've been watching this forum, the "professionals" have been lecturing visitors on the merits of professional recovery and the pitfalls of DIY. Yet all I see are people who reach for the blowtorch even for the most trivial hardware problem. It just beggars belief that people who claim to be professionals don't possess the basic skills to troubleshoot basic electronic faults, and would rather torture an entire array of NAND memory than learn some basic electronics.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: September 2nd, 2016, 17:57 
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fzabkar wrote:
Am I to understand that the immediate response to any problem with a flash based device is a "chip-off" kneejerk? Doesn't anybody have any real troubleshooting skills? In all the years that I've been watching this forum, the "professionals" have been lecturing visitors on the merits of professional recovery and the pitfalls of DIY. Yet all I see are people who reach for the blowtorch even for the most trivial hardware problem. It just beggars belief that people who claim to be professionals don't possess the basic skills to troubleshoot basic electronic faults, and would rather torture an entire array of NAND memory than learn some basic electronics.

As stated in my post, I am waiting for the client to confirm if he wants to go ahead or not. During my "professional" evaluation, I need all the information at hand in order to properly evaluate the issue. This includes asking Ace Labs if it is possible to complete a chip off on this device. This means I can "professionally" inform my client of the options available to us. Again as stated, I said "repair/recover" the RT depending on the issues. This RT had already been to a electrical repair store who said they couldn't get it to work. They charged the client $95 for the attempt, so finding out if a chip off was possible was the "professional" thing to do.

You help a huge amount of people on this site and I know everyone is grateful. Indeed you have helped me out on numerous occasions. However I know you are not too fond of data recovery engineers and have an inbuilt belief that we are trying to rip everyone off and/or take the wrong course of action, but you maybe come at the problem yourself from one direction. As a data recovery "professional" its my duty to explore every option available to me to get the clients data back and inform them of likely outcomes i.e. managing the clients expectations of a recovery. We offer a no data no fee guarantee, so while the electronics store has in my opinion ripped off the client, I will not do so. But will hopefully have all the information at hand to make the right decision if the client goes ahead.

On September 19th I am attending a week long Cell Phone & Tablet Repair Class to help in exactly these cases. I have just come back from a RAID recovery class in Poland. I invest a lot in both my personal training and my clients data in order to make the right decisions. Do I make the right ones everytime, no, I still feel like a newbie even now after being in the industry for 4 years.

Perhaps your reply was a little 'kneejerk', if so I hope we get to have a beer one day as I am sure we can learn a lot from each other. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: October 20th, 2016, 15:00 
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For anyone interested. We did have to complete a chip off recovery of the Surface RT. The chip was eMMC and was encrypted with BitLocker. We recovered the key from the clients Microsoft account, decrypted the data and got it all. The only real issue was the compound both surrounding and under the chip was difficult to remove. Once we got through that it was not so bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: October 21st, 2016, 14:09 
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Location: CDRLabs @ Chandigarh [ India ]
ddrecovery wrote:
For anyone interested. We did have to complete a chip off recovery of the Surface RT. The chip was eMMC and was encrypted with BitLocker. We recovered the key from the clients Microsoft account, decrypted the data and got it all. The only real issue was the compound both surrounding and under the chip was difficult to remove. Once we got through that it was not so bad.


Hi,
Surrounding Compound You Heat And Then Remove Using a Sharp Knife type object .How do you handle the under chip stuff ?

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: October 21st, 2016, 16:28 
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Amarbir[CDR-Labs] wrote:

Hi,
Surrounding Compound You Heat And Then Remove Using a Sharp Knife type object .How do you handle the under chip stuff ?

We removed the outer compound with a sharp knife (no heat as it didn't seem to react to heat at all). For under the chip, we heated the chip and slid a thin piece of metal (part of a razor) between the chip and the board. It slowly came away from the board. Took us about 30 minutes to get the chip clean by using a soldering iron to melt the compound/glue.

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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2016, 1:53 
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Location: CDRLabs @ Chandigarh [ India ]
ddrecovery wrote:
Amarbir[CDR-Labs] wrote:

Hi,
Surrounding Compound You Heat And Then Remove Using a Sharp Knife type object .How do you handle the under chip stuff ?

We removed the outer compound with a sharp knife (no heat as it didn't seem to react to heat at all). For under the chip, we heated the chip and slid a thin piece of metal (part of a razor) between the chip and the board. It slowly came away from the board. Took us about 30 minutes to get the chip clean by using a soldering iron to melt the compound/glue.


Bravo Brother ,
You heated the chip and then slid the razor under it fully understood .How does the soldering iron fit into this context "Could not understand that part " .

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CDRLabs Data Recovery - [ Chandigarh ,India ]
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 Post subject: Re: Microsoft Surface RT
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2016, 9:09 
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We used the solder iron with a chisel tip to melt the compound and glue on the back of the chip. The chisel tip helps to push off the goo off.

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