My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(
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Author:  johan_sw [ May 3rd, 2018, 6:26 ]
Post subject:  My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Hi there

I have serious problem and need your help please.

In 2012 I bought an ASUS laptop and was very happy with it until, after a couple of years, it started behaving very erratically.
I took it to a repair shop in my area and they told me the drive is dying and I should replace it with an SSD. They offered me a Kingston 240GB drive as a very good choice.

Luckily the old hard drive was still accessible and they were able to get all my files (almost) and put it in the SSD.

Everything was fine until last week, when I booted the laptop it gave me a "No Boot device" message.
I was shocked.

I immediately took it to the same repair shop and they told me the drive is dead and they can't do anything about it.

I was very angry because they sold me defect drive, but then they explained to me that I should have backed up my data and they said they told me this when they sold me the SSD (they didn't). Anyway.

My entire business career and personal life depends on the recovery of this drive.

I called a Data Recovery shop and they asked me about my old drive, if I still have it and if it has the old data still. The truth is, it is not available anymore, I must have put it somewhere but for the life of me I can not find it. It could have been lost during my move to a new house. Other than that, the data on this drive is very old and most of them are of no use to me anyway.
So they told me to get them my SSD.

I did and they told me it's not possible to recover it, it has a damaged CONTROLLER chip (if I'm saying this right) and as they have told me, it is encrypted and it is using a controller named Sandforge (or something). They said there is nothing that can be done.

Is this true?
Can someone shed some light?
Why is it so difficult to recover this SSD? Is it normal policy for sellers to not inform consumers about this? Should I call Kingston and complain? Why are they selling a drive that isn't recoverable? I understand that an electronic device might fail at any time, but why manufacturers develop a device that can't be fixed/recovered?

I also know I should have backed up, but I relied on this 'new fancy technology' and now I'm about to pay the price. I was stupid and I know it, so please no smart-ass comments :(

Thank you in advance for your time and any hints.
Sorry for the long post but I'm in panic right now.

Author:  fzabkar [ May 3rd, 2018, 20:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

AIUI, there are people who can recover data from a SandForce SSD, but only if the controller is not brain-dead.

If you are able to use a multimeter, and if you upload detailed photos of both sides of the PCB, I could help you measure the voltage test points. Sometimes the only problem is a shorted capacitor, or an open e-fuse, in which case there is an easy DIY fix.

Author:  jermy [ May 4th, 2018, 0:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(


Author:  northwind [ May 7th, 2018, 4:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Client got in touch with us and has shipped us the drive.

Tracking says we will receive it today.

I will keep updating this thread.

Author:  johan_sw [ May 7th, 2018, 6:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Thank you for replies.

@FZABKAR, I am just an end user, have no electronics background and knowledge, I don't even have a multimeter. And, I do not have the time for learning how to do all this. But thank you for your kind offer to help, I appreciate it.

@JERMY thanks for the link.

I got in touch with NORTHWIND and decided to send them the drive.
Let's hope they know what they're doing.
I see they have also replied to this post, so it's good that this will be public.

I have also contacted KINGSTON.
As expected, they said they will replace my drive (if it's still under warranty), however I'm responsible for keeping backups blah blah blah.
I asked them why they make a drive that is not easy/impossible to recover and I got a generic answer like "we're always choosing the best components for our products...". When I insisted, they said they will forward my complaints to their administrator (so, another generic answer...).

Author:  johan_sw [ June 20th, 2018, 5:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(


I requested information about how the procedure is going, and I was told that it should finish in a week or so.

That is great news!
I will update this page when I have more news!!

Author:  northwind [ June 28th, 2018, 4:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

We're still working on this drive.

I believe we will have final result in the next couple of days, possibly during the weekend.

It looks like there will be a small loss of data, about 7-8%, we're currently trying to improve this result.

I think we will be able to get about 96% of data when we're done :)

Let's see.

Author:  johan_sw [ July 11th, 2018, 6:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

I just got mail from NORTHWIND, with a listing with the files they can recover,
and incredible, all my files are there!

Great service, congratulations. There was a note to my email that there has been about 1% loss, which is fine I guess.

I need now to make payment, so they will make a copy of my data to a new disk and send it over to me.
Excellent, all I can say, excellent...

Author:  digisupport [ July 11th, 2018, 14:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Good work Northwind (as always)

Author:  pcimage [ July 12th, 2018, 14:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Well done Northwind :-)

Author:  hddguy [ July 13th, 2018, 12:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Great Job :D

Author:  labtech [ July 13th, 2018, 14:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Kingston SSD died -- need help! :(

Nice Northwind. Viva Sandforce!

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