Saturday, December 26, 2009

Compact Flash Memory and Data Recovery

Flash memory gets its name due to its microchip arrangement in such a way, that its section of memory cells gets erased in a single action or "Flash".
Both NOR and NAND Flash memory were invented by Dr. Fujio Masuoka from Toshiba in 1984.The name 'Flash' was suggested because the erasure process of the memory contents reminds a flash of a camera, and it's name was coined to express how much faster it could be erased "in a flash". Dr. Masuoka presented the invention at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) held in San Jose, California in 1984 and Intel recognizes the potentiality of the invention and introduced the first commercial NOR type flash chip in 1988, with long erase and write times.

Flash memory is a form of non-volatile memory that can be electrically erased and rewrite, which means that it does not need power to maintain the data stored in the chip. In addition, flash memory offers fast read access times and better shock resistance than hard disks. These characteristics explain the popularity of flash memory for applications such as storage on battery-powered devices.

Flash memory is advance from of EEPROM (Electrically-Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) that allows multiple memory locations to be erased or written in one programming operation. Unlike an EPROM (Electrically Programmable Read-Only Memory) an EEPROM can be programmed and erased multiple times electrically. Normal EEPROM only allows one location at a time to be erased or written, meaning that flash can operate at higher effective speeds when the systems using; it read and write to different locations at the same time.

Referring to the type of logic gate used in each storage cell, Flash memory is built in two varieties and named as, NOR flash and NAND flash.
Flash memory stores one bit of information in an array of transistors, called "cells", however recent flash memory devices referred as multi-level cell devices, can store more than 1 bit per cell depending on amount of electrons placed on the Floating Gate of a cell. NOR flash cell looks similar to semiconductor device like transistors, but it has two gates. First one is the control gate (CG) and the second one is a floating gate (FG) that is shield or insulated all around by an oxide layer. Because the FG is secluded by its shield oxide layer, electrons placed on it get trapped and data is stored within. On the other hand NAND Flash uses tunnel injection for writing and tunnel release for erasing.

NOR flash that was developed by Intel in 1988 with unique feature of long erase and write times and its endurance of erase cycles ranges from 10,000 to 100,000 makes it suitable for storage of program code that needs to be infrequently updated, like in digital camera and PDAs. Though, later cards demand moved towards the cheaper NAND flash; NOR-based flash is hitherto the source of all the removable media.

Followed in 1989 Samsung and Toshiba form NAND flash with higher density, lower cost per bit then NOR Flash with faster erase and write times, but it only allows sequence data access, not random like NOR Flash, which makes NAND Flash suitable for mass storage device such as memory cards. SmartMedia was first NAND-based removable media and numerous others are behind like MMC, Secure Digital, xD-Picture Cards and Memory Stick. Flash memory is frequently used to hold control code such as the basic input/output system (BIOS) in a computer. When BIOS needs to be changed (rewritten), the flash memory can be written to in block rather than byte sizes, making it simple to update.
On the other hand, flash memory is not practical to random access memory (RAM) as RAM needs to be addressable at the byte (not the block) level. Thus, it is used more as a hard drive than as a RAM. Because of this particular uniqueness, it is utilized with specifically-designed file systems which extend writes over the media and deal with the long erase times of NOR flash blocks. JFFS was the first file systems, outdated by JFFS2. Then YAFFS was released in 2003, dealing specifically with NAND flash, and JFFS2 was updated to support NAND flash too. Still, in practice most follows old FAT file system for compatibility purposes.

Although it can be read or write a byte at a time in a random access fashion, limitation of flash memory is, it must be erased a "block" at a time. Starting with a freshly erased block, any byte within that block can be programmed. However, once a byte has been programmed, it cannot be changed again until the entire block is erased. In other words, flash memory (specifically NOR flash) offers random-access read and programming operations, but cannot offer random-access rewrite or erase operations.

This effect is partially offset by some chip firmware or file system drivers by counting the writes and dynamically remapping the blocks in order to spread the write operations between the sectors, or by write verification and remapping to spare sectors in case of write failure.
Due to wear and tear on the insulating oxide layer around the charge storage mechanism, all types of flash memory erode after a certain number of erase functions ranging from 100,000 to 1,000,000, but it can be read an unlimited number of times. Flash Card is easily rewritable memory and overwrites without warning with a high probability of data being overwritten and hence lost.

In spite of all these clear advantages, worse may occur due to system failure, battery failure, accidental erasure, re-format, power surges, faulty electronics and corruption caused by hardware breakdown or software malfunctions; as a result your data could be lost and damaged.

Flash Memory Data Recovery is the process of restoring data from primary storage media when it cannot be accessed normally. Flash memory data recovery is a flash memory file recovery service that restores all corrupted and deleted photographs even if a memory card was re-formatted. This can be due to physical damage or logical damage to the storage device. Data even from damage flash memory can be recovered, and more than 90% of lost data can be restored.

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What’s colocation hosting?

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Added features of dedicated hosting!

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Be one among the world’s leading players or excel them with secure and well managed colocation. Colocation pricing queries can be dealt with our online professionals with just a click or a phone call. Have a single rack or a dedicated private suite, your servers and core systems need to be housed in a secure, well managed, and environmentally controlled environment. Sometimes the server is hosted with one and the other provides the Internet connectivity. Here, there are issues with cross-connection fees, which can complicate the matter. The host must be able to provide uninterrupted connectivity without any major hiccups.

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Clean Room Data Recovery - What's Its Significance?

Clean rooms are rooms that have been designed to reduce the level of particulates in the air like dust aand airborne microbes. Clean room construction employs filters extensively. Outside air is filtered to prevent dust entering the room. Filters and processes will be in place inside the room to remove internally generated contaminants during production and working areas are often further filtered locally such as laminar flow bench.

Staff would usually have to enter clean rooms through airlocks and wear protective gear while working inside the rooms.

There are different "classes" of clean rooms, with each class limiting permissible different numbers of particles per cubic meter, as well as the maximum sizes particles. Thus a Class 1 clean room is one where the number of particles should not exceed 1000 particles per cubic meter.

Clean rooms are used extensively in the pharmaceutical, semiconductor manufacturing and biotech industries. Data recovery centres typically use a Class 100 clean room that has an allowance of 100,000 particles per cubic meter (compared to 35 million particles per cubic meter in a normal room).

Why Use Clean Rooms for Data Recovery?

Clean rooms are used for data recovery to prevent dust, electro static discharges and such disturbances. These kinds of precautions become necessary because even microscopic dust particles can damage the image on the drive platters, and make data recovery difficult.

With each generation of disks, data is packed more and more densely on the disk platters. It is thus increasingly important that data recovery be attempted in exceptionally clean rooms.

Drive manufacturers usually specify that their product guarantee will become void if the drive is opened by anybody other than themselves, or their authorized agents. And typically, one of the conditions they impose on authorized agents is that the disks be opened in clean rooms meeting specified standards.

Thus clean rooms are necessary for data recovery on both performance and product warranty considerations.

Clean Room Data Recovery

Disk drives are opened only in clean rooms and kept there until the recovery is complete and the drive is closed. All devices are also protected against electro-static discharge, physical shocks, temperature fluctuations and electrical disturbances.

Staff wear special clothing while working in the rooms and particle density is constantly monitored using particle counters. A typical objective of clean room data recovery centers is to maintain Class 10 conditions during production.


Data storage media are getting packed with data more and more densely with each new generation of drives. It is thus extremely important to attempt data recovery in exceptionally dust free rooms.

These days, clean room data recovery uses Class 100 clean rooms where the number of particles is reduced by some 350 times compared to normally prevailing particle density.

Clean room data recovery centers actually aim to achieve even higher levels of dust free conditions during production operations. Even minute specks of dust on the drive platters can damage the image on the media, and make data recovery even more difficult, if not impossible.

Can USB Data Recovery Be Recovered?

When you store important information on a USB device, you take the chance of losing that information. Losing data on a USB can be kind of a mystery, but there are companies out there that can help you get that data back. These companies use engineering that can recover your lost data over ninety six percent of the time. These companies can even recover data that has been stored on a damaged USB device. So when you find yourself in a situation where you have lost valuable information you should not assume that this data can not be retrieved.

There are some companies that specialize in repairing damaged USB memory devices. In the process of retrieving your data, companies can also repair your device. Types of the problems they can repair broken solders, loose plugs, and broken internal connections. Some of the devices that they can fix are USB ports, USB sticks, USB drives, USB thumb drive, and Flash memory devices. These companies use a type of recovery called a jump drive recovery. They can recover any files from any type of USB drive or memory stick. Sometimes the chips inside the devices will be damaged, but don't fret; there are some companies that can fix that problem too.

So the conclusion on USB data recovery is that just because information seems to have disappeared, doesn't mean that it is lost forever. There are companies that can find and retrieve lost data on a damaged or removed USB device. In the process of finding data, the problems that caused the data to go missing in the first place will be fixed. This is helpful because it insures that it won't happen again. There are programs out there that can help you retrieve your data by yourself, but the problem might be bigger than you know, so you should always seek professional help. There could be problems inside your device that prevent your device from working properly.

A Safer Way to Recover Damaged Partitions

Repairing damaged partitions on is a risky business. Even if you use the best toolkit and are absolutely sure in what you are doing, you are still risking your files shall something go wrong. Changes made to the damaged partition are irreversible; it is just too easy to overwrite an important system structure that holds vital information about your disk, files and data. Bottom line: it's good to backup before performing data recovery. But is this really the best way to do it?

There is a different approach to do data recovery that is even safer. No need to backup and restore during the recovery. Instead of making a backup copy of corrupted data, you can simply take a binary snapshot of the partition being repaired, and attempt the recovery with different settings as many times as you need on this snapshot instead of the actual disk.

SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor by is one of a few data recovery tools that allow recovering a virtual image of a damaged hard drive instead of repairing the hard drive directly. The data recovery tool lets you create a binary image of the damaged hard drive, and works with the binary image instead of the real thing. The binary image is a big file stored on another hard disk, CD, DVD or other media. The technology is similar to making an .iso image of a CD or DVD disc, only SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor extends it to partitions or even entire disks.

The hard drive copy may be virtual, but any data you save from it is for real. SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor can recover your files, documents and other data from the binary image and put it on a healthy media. After that, you can attempt fixing the damaged system structures of the corrupted hard drivewithout taking any risk at all. Any modifications will be performed on the virtual image.

Don't rush the recovery. Don't take the risk of losing or corrupting your data. Create a virtual snapshot of the hard drive being repaired, and work on that snapshot instead of accessing the corrupted hard drive. This procedure keeps your original data safe, and ensures the highest level of safety during the recovery process.

SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor recovers files from damaged and corrupted disks and partitions and fixes damaged hard drives. The disk recovery product supports all 32-bit versions of Windows, and recovers FAT and NTFS formatted hard disks, memory cards, CD and DVD media, and USB flash drives. The evaluation version is available for free at

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