Data Recovery from Solid State Drive (SSD)


Today’s Question: Is it true that data recovery only works for traditional hard drives and not for an SSD drive? If so, shouldn’t SSD drives be avoided for photo storage?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Data recovery is possible from SSD drives. It is a bit more challenging, and I would say there’s a somewhat greater risk of data being lost forever. But I do consider SSD drives safe for photo storage.

More Detail: Especially in the early days of having SSD drives available for computer storage, there had been talk about data recovery being impossible from SSD drives. This related to the way SSD drives store data and manage the use of the flash memory on the drive. This makes it more complicated to recover data from an SSD drive compared to a traditional hard drive, but recovery is still possible.

First and foremost, when it comes to the storage of photos and other important data I strongly recommend having a consistent and through backup workflow. For example, I use GoodSync ( to create local backup copies of my data and I use Backblaze ( to create an offsite backup. With a good backup workflow a hard drive failure is merely an inconvenience rather than a crisis.

If you do have a hard drive fail and you lose data due to an insufficient backup workflow, there are options for data recovery even from an SSD drive. There are software tools that enable you to recover data from a drive that is experiencing problems, and in many cases these software tools can recover files that were accidentally deleted.

In addition, there are a variety of service providers that can use advanced tools to recover data from an SSD drive. There aren’t as many options compared to traditional hard drives, but it is still possible to recover lost data from an SSD. There are also a variety of advantages with SSD drives over traditional hard drives, so I consider SSD drives to be an excellent storage option, provided you use a good backup workflow to protect your primary storage.