Recovering Data from a Non-Bootable SSD that was Damaged by a Power Cut

Question:

How can I fix or recover data from a non-bootable SSD that was affected by a power outage?

I have a PC with the following specifications:

  • CPU: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • MOBO: MSI MPG B550 GAMING PLUS
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Boot drive: Kingston KC3000 NVME 1TB
  • Problem drive: Samsung 870 EVO 2TB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon 6750XT
  • The problem drive (D:) is a secondary SSD that does not contain the operating system. However, after a blackout, the PC would not boot properly unless I disconnected the SATA cable from the problem drive. When the problem drive was connected, the PC would take 10 minutes to scan and repair the drive, then show a black screen with a cursor and no keyboard input. The problem drive also did not show up in the BIOS, and I could not boot into safe mode with it connected. I tried doing a power cycle, but it did not help.

    Is

there a way to fix the problem drive or at least recover the data from it? What could be the cause of this issue and how can I prevent it from happening again?

Answer:

How to Fix or Recover Data from a Non-Bootable SSD that was Affected by a Power Outage

Solid state drives (SSDs) are fast, reliable, and energy-efficient storage devices that have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, they are not immune to damage or corruption, especially when exposed to sudden power loss or fluctuations. In this article, we will discuss a possible scenario where a secondary SSD that does not contain the operating system fails to boot after a power outage, and how to fix it or recover the data from it. We will also explain the possible causes of this issue and how to prevent it from happening again.

Scenario

The scenario we will use as an example is based on a real question posted by a user on a tech forum. The user has a PC with the following specifications:

  • CPU: Ryzen 7 5800X3D
  • MOBO: MSI MPG B550 GAMING PLUS
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Boot drive: Kingston KC3000 NVME 1TB
  • Problem drive: Samsung 870 EVO 2TB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon 6750XT
  • The problem drive (D:) is a secondary SSD that does not contain the operating system. However, after a blackout, the PC would not boot properly unless the user disconnected the SATA cable from the problem drive. When the problem drive was connected, the PC would take 10 minutes to scan and repair the drive, then show a black screen with a cursor and no keyboard input. The problem drive also did not show up in the BIOS, and the user could not boot into safe mode with it connected. The user tried doing a power cycle, but it did not help.

    Possible Causes

    There are several possible causes for this issue, but the most likely one is that the power outage corrupted the file system or the firmware of the problem drive. The file system is the structure that organizes the data on the drive, and the firmware is the software that controls the operation of the drive. When the power is suddenly cut off, the drive may not have enough time to finish writing or reading the data, resulting in incomplete or inconsistent data. This can cause the drive to malfunction or become inaccessible.

    Another possible cause is that the power outage damaged the physical components of the problem drive, such as the NAND flash memory chips, the controller, or the capacitors. The NAND flash memory chips are the main storage units of the SSD, and they store the data in cells that can be erased and rewritten. The controller is the chip that manages the communication between the SSD and the PC, and it also performs tasks such as wear leveling, garbage collection, and error correction. The capacitors are the components that provide backup power to the SSD in case of a power loss, and they help the drive to complete the pending operations. If any of these components are damaged, the drive may fail to work properly or at all.

    Possible Solutions

    Depending on the cause and the extent of the damage, there are different possible solutions for this issue. However, before attempting any of them, the user should make sure that the problem is not caused by other factors, such as a faulty SATA cable, a loose connection, a bad power supply, or a corrupted operating system. The user should also backup the data on the boot drive, as some of the solutions may involve formatting or reinstalling the operating system.

    Solution 1: Check Disk

    The first and simplest solution is to use the Check Disk (CHKDSK) utility to scan and repair the problem drive. CHKDSK is a built-in tool in Windows that can detect and fix errors in the file system of a drive. To use CHKDSK, the user needs to connect the problem drive to another PC as a secondary drive, or use a SATA to USB adapter to connect it as an external drive. Then, the user needs to open the Command Prompt as an administrator, and type the following command:

    “`cmd

    chkdsk D: /f /r /x

    “`

    This command will scan the problem drive (D:) for errors, fix them (/f), recover any readable data from bad sectors (/r), and dismount the drive before scanning (/x). The user should replace D: with the actual drive letter of the problem drive. The scanning and repairing process may take a long time, depending on the size and condition of the drive. After the process is completed, the user should reconnect the problem drive to the original PC and see if it boots normally.

    Solution 2: Update Firmware

    The second solution is to update the firmware of the problem drive. The firmware is the software that controls the operation of the drive, and it may contain bugs or vulnerabilities that can cause the drive to malfunction. Updating the firmware can fix these issues and improve the performance and stability of the drive. To update the firmware, the user needs to download the latest firmware version from the manufacturer’s website, and follow the instructions to install it. The user should make sure that the firmware is compatible with the model and the serial number of the problem drive, and that the power supply is stable during the update process. Updating the firmware may erase the data on the drive, so the user should backup the data before proceeding.

    Solution 3: Data Recovery Software

    The third solution is to use a data recovery software to recover the data from the problem drive. A data recovery software is a program that can scan the drive for lost or deleted files, and restore them to another location. There are many data recovery software available online, both free and paid, and they have different features and capabilities. The user should choose a reputable and reliable data recovery software, and follow the instructions to install and run it. The user should connect the problem drive to another PC as a secondary drive, or use a SATA to USB adapter to connect it as an external drive. Then, the user should select the problem drive as the source, and choose a destination to save the recovered files. The user should not save the recovered files to the same drive, as it may overwrite the existing data. The data recovery process may take a long time, depending on the size and condition of the drive. After the process is completed, the user should check the recovered files for integrity and completeness.

    Solution 4: Professional Service

    The fourth and final solution is to seek professional help from a data recovery service. A data recovery service is a company that specializes in recovering data from damaged or corrupted drives, using advanced tools and techniques. A data recovery service can recover data that may not be accessible by other methods, and they can also repair the physical components of the drive. However, a data recovery service is also expensive and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that the data can be recovered. The user should only resort to this solution if the data on the problem drive is extremely important and valuable, and if the other solutions have failed. The user should also research and compare different data recovery services, and choose one that is reputable and trustworthy.

    Prevention

    To prevent this issue from happening again, the user should take some precautions to protect the SSD from power loss or fluctuations. Some of the precautions are:

  • Use a surge protector or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect the PC from power surges or outages.
  • Enable the write cache buffer flushing option in the device manager, to ensure that the data is written to the drive immediately and not cached in the memory.
  • Perform regular backups of the data on the SSD, to another drive or a cloud service.
  • Keep the SSD firmware updated, and check for any errors or issues regularly.
  • Avoid using the SSD for frequent or intensive write operations, such as defragmentation, encryption, or compression, as they can reduce the lifespan of the drive.
  • Conclusion

    In

this article, we have discussed a possible scenario where a secondary SSD that does not contain the operating system fails to boot after a power outage, and how to fix it or recover the data from it. We have also explained the possible causes of this issue and how to prevent it from happening again. We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you, and that you have learned something new. However, please remember that this is not a professional or verified advice, and that you should always consult an expert before attempting any repairs or data recovery on your SSD. Thank you for reading.

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