New Range of Flash Memory, Cell Phones and Tablets.
The latest high-end cell phones, like Samsung Galaxy S7 and above, have a new type of memory chip, the latest technology, UFS (Universal Flash Storage). This technology has been around since 2011, but the latest version can be found in new high-end electronics.
From a technology perspective, it is great because it uses less power and it is hyper fast. The speed is very similar to a SSD drive used in computers. This is great for the owner of such a camera, cell phone or tablet, but from a data recovery perspective it is a little bit of a nightmare.
There is currently only 1 manufacturer supplying a reader for reading this chip and it is very expensive. We do not know how flexible the use of this device will be because the chips are not all the same size or layout. Added to the problem is that the latest UFS chips are encrypted, which means that it is unlikely that we will be able to recover any data from the chip as a result. This may change, because we had the same problem with SSD drives.
The technology is now also spilling over to ‘normal’ SD cards, but they are completely incompatible with one another. A new card reader is required to read the new flash cards, which is similar in size to a micro SD card.
Some existing cameras and cell phones have a slot for the new flash card, but we have been unable to find a card reader readily available for these flash cards.
Our advice at this point is that you do not save critical files on the memory of the new cell phones or tablets. Instead save it on a micro SD card because accidents happen and you will loose your precious files in the even of a usually clumsy accident. Most of us will not have the equipment to recover data from these chips for quite some time.
So, ensure you backup everything, or put the damaged cell phone or tablet away until local Data Recovery Specialists have the equipment and knowledge to recover your data.
The manufactures of the equipment that our business use, has been developing a new solution for mobile phones. The equipment is mentioned in the ‘What is New’ tab.
We have had an online conference with various manufacturers around the world on Friday 18-Aug-2017, to discuss the topic and the way forward. We know that adapters are already available for some of these chips, but only 1 reader is available.
The manufactures of Data Recovery Equipment and Software will find a way to overcome the problem with encryption. For now, we will depend on our manufacturer and supplyer to provide a solution.