ACE Data Recovery developed a solution to rescue data from SAS Enterprise SSD based on Pliant Lightning II Controllers

Dallas, TX – October 9, 2021- ACE Data Recovery developed a solution and successfully completed a data recovery case from a failed SanDisk SSD based on Pliant Lightning II controller. The firmware bag was discovered in late 2020 and affected original SanDisk Lightning Ascend™ Gen II, Dell\EMS and Cisco SXKLTK Enterprise Plus SAS drives, as well as numerous HPE 800 GB and 1.6 TB models for servers and storage products.

The fixed versions of firmware are available on hardware vendors websites, but unfortunately, not some IT departments missed deadline to update firmware. The bug, seemingly related to an internal runtime counter in the SSDs, causes them to fail once they reach 40,000 hours runtime, losing all data in the process. The upstream supplier is SanDisk for SSD Pliant Lightning II controllers and firmware for SDLTMDKM series of Lightning Ascend™ Gen II SAS SSDs. The drives will suffer data loss unless they are arranged in a RAID arrays that provides protection against drive failure. If the RAID scheme lost more than one drive, recovery procedure should be performed. Forty-thousand hours is equivalent to four years, 206 days, 16 hours. The first affected drives were switched on in late 2015, but hardware vendors ship those drives for several years.

All modern SSD controllers use a Flash Translation Layer (FTL) to map logical block addresses (LBAs) that are used for all storage devices to physical flash cells and chips. When the FTL becomes inaccessible because of the SSD controller lock, data from an SSD becomes unavailable. ACE Data Recovery has developed a solution to extract customer data from the SSD with a locked SanDisk Pliant Lightning II controller. With the help of ZCopy Ultra hardware, engineers can read raw data from the flash memory chips of SSD drives.

The company’s R&D department has created a custom solution to reconstruct the damaged FTL from SanDisk Lightning based SSD drives and extract customer data. “The challenge here is the nature of SSDs. For hard drive recoveries sector remapping exists only for bad sectors. On the opposite, the FTL redirects each page individually and two sequential LBA blocks can be stored on any pages inside the SSD. So, engineers have to rebuild the entire SSD to a general LBA format accessible by commonly used file systems. As SSDs are now reliable to be in service for several years, we're going to start seeing the long-term impact of such a long service life.” said Fedir Bandurin, ACE RAID recovery engineer.

About ACE Data Recovery:

ACE Data Recovery, the leader in enterprise data recovery, provides services to businesses and individuals who experience data loss due to hardware and software failures or natural disasters. The company has recovered data from all types of media including HDD, SSD, RAID, SAN, NAS, and tapes since 1981. For additional information visit or call 877-304-7189.