Western Digital SMR. Formatted Drive Solution.


Modern SMR drives are very sensitive due to a new shingled recording technology.
The writing density becomes higher, and also, the internal processes in the drive firmware almost never stop. Even when the drive is idle, bands are rewritten to optimize data access. This is very good for data reading speed and increasing the amount of data written to the drive, but, unfortunately, sometimes this can be a reason of the internal processes fail, and the drive stops giving previously written data. Windows sees that the User Area is not allocated and automatically starts the format procedure. Yes, the drive is detected and works after that, but all the data on it disappears. The problem is that when formatting, the second-level translator also changes. What can be done in such a situation? Let’s look at it in this article.

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PC-3000 Flash. The Importance of having a powerful PC (UPDATED FEB 2024)

Hello Friends!

As you may already know Flash recovery requires many more hardware resources than data recovery with PC-3000 ExpressPC-3000 UDMA or PC-3000 Portable III Systems. When you have to deal with HDDs, all complex operations are produced by the internal CPU on the drive’s PCB. But if you work with Flash devices, all the operations such as ECC correction, XOR decryption, page, and block splitting are applied within the PC-3000 Flash software.

Today we’re going to run some tests and show you the difference between various PCs configurations. In the end, the importance of having a good and stable PC configuration will become obvious. Also, do not hesitate to read our regularly updated article “The Best PC Configuration for the PC-3000 tools”.

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PC-3000 SSD Systems. The List of Supported SSDs (regularly updated, ver. 3.4.12)

Hello friends!

The ACE Lab developers constantly research drives, which results in a rapid expansion of the Support List for most of the modern SSDs. So with the PC-3000 Systems that support Solid State Drives, you will always be on the cutting edge of
data recovery technology!

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A brick named Rosewood

Disclaimer: the article is specially written in an easy form to simplify the perception of the information presented; despite this, the material should be taken as seriously as possible.

Currently, we receive a lot of modern SMR drives for data recovery, which output a huge number of messages to the terminal at startup, and eventually freeze without access via ATA or terminal. In this case, messages can end either with the output LED BD FAdr xxxx, or without this assertion. When resuscitating SMR drives with Media Cache, you should keep in mind that it accumulates updates with the latest write operations to the disk. The main risk area includes file system metadata – small portions of updates, for example, MFT records. In our practice, there were cases when a very significant part of the MFT was stored in the MC. At the same time, when reading without MC, sectors filled with zeros were read. Or an irrelevant “past life”. Therefore, any actions to gain access to SA must be calculated so that key data elements are not damaged during manipulation and restart of the drive. We will give examples of actions with frozen drives and their dangerous moments below.

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PC-3000 SSD. How to choose the correct loader for SM2258XT/SM2259XT/XT2

Hello everyone!

ACE Lab Technical Support department gets a lot of requests from your side about modern Solid State Drives based on such popular SMI controllers as SM2258XT, SM2259XT, SM2259XT2. All these controllers are fully supported in PC-3000 UDMA, Express and Portable III starting from 2020-2021, and now if you got one of these controllers in your target drive, we can try to guide you how to recover it.

Anyway, a huge number of requests from customer side makes us to write this article which could be a handy instruction – how to properly work with these drives and how we can initialize the correct loader.

Before we start, a short guide about the LOADER – what is that, and who is guilty?!

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PC-3000 HDD. Western Digital 4F ROM Module recovery mode

Hello Friends! All of you already know that the PC-3000 can recover ROM from old Western Digital Marvell drives with External (in separate chip) and Internal (in MCU) ROM.  However, it was a problem to recover ROM from newer families, like HubbleLT, FBLite or Shrek due to their special ROM structure which includes some unique information in 4F ROM module.

In this article we are going to discuss how to recover ROM from Service Area for such drives using a new PC-3000 v7.3 feature – ROM module 4F recovery.

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PC-3000 Flash 8.2.x – adding unsupported chip ID into the software

Hey guys!

ACE Lab engineers regularly add new NAND memory chips into the PC-3000 Flash software database. Updates with the new XORs, NAND ID’s, ECC and dynamic XORs appears in Flash weekly. If our customer faced with the unsupported XOR or unknown chip ID, we’re trying our best to communicate with the customer and urgently add the required resources via remote control.

 

We are strongly recommending to contact ACE Lab TS because every modern unknown NAND chip has a lot of additional reading parameters which directly influence the data read quality and integrity.

Anyway, our developers add a new additional feature in the upcoming PC-3000 Flash 8.2.x software update which allows adding unknown memory chip automatically with 100% parameters matching result.

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Digital Forensics: PC-3000 SSD – how to bypass the TRIM

Hey there!

In this article we are going to speak about the TRIM command which appears in the beginning of SSD era (around 14 years ago) and become a native feature in all existing Solid State Drives.

So, what is that and how’s it working?

TRIM – is an internal hardware SSD command which works in pair with Operating System. By default, TRIM was fully integrated in all OS starting from Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7 and MacOS X 10.6 (approximately from 2009-2010).

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PC-3000. Best PC configuration for ACE Lab products in 2024

Recently, users have been asking about the most comfortable hardware configuration for using PC-3000 Flash, PC-3000 Express or PC-3000 UDMA-E. A lot of engineers are still working on computers with Core i5 2400 and 4GB of RAM, but this configuration is outdated and if you want to recover huge NAND Flash cases with 64-512Gb capacity, or working with complicated RAID configuration, you should get faster Personal Computer. We decided to compile a short list of configurations of different price categories, which should be enough for any complicated case.

 

Intel CPU based on latest architectures like Haswell, Skylake, Coffee Lake provide a high performance. At the same time in 2017 new generation of AMD CPU has been released. New AMD ZEN micro-architecture become very powerful and it allows to work even with the most complicated cases like Flash, HDD and RAID recovery. We strongly recommend to pay attention to Ryzen CPUs – they become much better than previous generation – AMD FX which were not so good

Ryzen 2 from 2019 become a real surprise for all – AMD boost the performance for 20-25% in compare with Ryzen 2017! That’s why ACELab also recommend to pay attention on Ryzen 2d GEN 3xxx family and 3d GEN 5xxx – it’s a really great 7nm CPU.

Finally, we can compare the models of CPU like:

  • Intel Celeron (2 cores / 2 thread) = AMD Athlon (2 cores / 4 thread) LOW-END
  • Intel Pentium (2 cores / 4 thread) = AMD Ryzen 3  (4 cores / 4 thread)  LOW-MID
  • Intel Core i3 (4 cores / 8 thread) = AMD Ryzen 5  (4 cores / 8 thread) MIDDLE-END
  • Intel Core i5 (6 cores / 12 thread) = AMD Ryzen 5 (6 cores / 12 thread) PERFOMANCE
  • Intel Core i7 (20 cores / 28 thread) = AMD Ryzen 7  (8 cores / 16 thread) HIGH-END
  • Intel Core i9 (24 cores /32 thread) = AMD Ryzen 9  (16 cores / 32 thread) I SAW YOU IN MY DREAM

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PC-3000 HDD. How to fix the Second Level Translator (T2) in the PC-3000 7.2 Software Version

Hello Friends! As you know, the Second Level Translator (T2) is a very critical FW part which affects HDD normal work and data access. Previously, if the T2 was damaged, we  had to use RAW recovery in PBA mode in order to get access to the files. In the PC-3000 Software Version 7.2.x, we can do more to recover the T2 and get data access. Let us review this new PC-3000 feature in the article below. Continue reading

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