If your SSD was formatted, or you deleted files from your SSD, can they be recovered? 

Recovery depends almost entirely on something called TRIM. What’s TRIM? According to Wikipedia, “[TRIM] allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered to be ‘in use’ and therefore can be erased internally.”

Essentially, once you delete a file on an SSD (and even some SMR hard drives), TRIM says it’s okay to “overwrite” that data with zeros. Once “overwritten,” the data can not be recovered in the future. 

🔌⚡️🚫 KEEP YOUR SSD POWERED OFF! According to this blog post by Ace Laboratory, “It takes from 10 minutes to 24 hours before [TRIM] will completely erase the data in the background.”

✅ If you did NOT have TRIM enabled on your SSD or operation system, there is a good chance some or all the files can be recovered.

❌ If you DID have TRIM enabled on your SSD and operating system (unless you turned off your SSD immediately after the deletion/format*), there is basically no chance any files can be recovered. *TRIM takes longer to run if a lot of data was deleted vs. just one file was deleted. 

How do I know if my SSD had TRIM enabled?

Remember, TRIM must be supported by your SSD and enabled on your operating system.

Most modern operating systems have TRIM enabled by default. Here’s a list of some of them:

– 🪟 Windows: Windows 7 and later versions have built-in support for the TRIM command, and it typically runs automatically in the background on a schedule when necessary.

– 🍎 Mac: Apple’s operating system also supports TRIM, but it’s only enabled by default on Apple’s own SSDs. If you’ve replaced or added an SSD that wasn’t from Apple, you would need to enable TRIM with the “trimforce” command in Terminal.

– 🐧 Linux: Linux has supported the TRIM command since the 2.6.33 kernel, and it’s usually enabled by default on modern Linux distros. The TRIM command can be executed manually using the ‘fstrim’ command or scheduled with a cron job for regular automatic execution.

– 🆓 FreeBSD: This OS has had support for TRIM for quite a while, available through its UFS and ZFS filesystems.

Again, support for TRIM also needs to be present in the SSD’s firmware. Most modern SSDs will support TRIM, but if you’re working with a particularly old SSD, it might not.

You need to check if your SSD supports TRIM by looking in the user manual, searching Google, or searching product descriptions online. 

Here are some common SSD models that support TRIM:

• Samsung 860 EVO/Pro – High-performance consumer SSDs from Samsung that support TRIM. Available in 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors.

• Crucial MX500 – Reliable consumer SSD from Crucial, a part of Micron. Comes in 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors and supports TRIM.

• WD Blue/Black – Mainstream and high-end SSDs from Western Digital. Both the WD Blue and Black SSD lines support TRIM.

• Intel 760p – Intel’s flagship consumer M.2 PCIe SSD. Supports high performance and includes TRIM support.

• MyDigitalSSD BPX – Budget-friendly M.2 PCIe SSD that supports TRIM. Offers decent performance for the price.

• Adata SX8200 Pro – Mid-range M.2 PCIe SSD with 3D NAND flash memory. Supports high read/write speeds and has TRIM enabled.

• Kingston A400 – Entry-level 2.5-inch SSD from Kingston. Supports TRIM and is budget-friendly.

Here are a few common SSD models that don’t support TRIM (newer versions of these SSD may now support TRIM):

• Early/budget SSDs – Some of the earliest and more budget-oriented SSDs don’t support TRIM. This includes options like PNY Elite, some OCZ drives, etc.

• Basic SATA SSDs – Some basic SATA SSDs that offer lower performance and endurance don’t include TRIM support. This includes options like Kingston V+, PNY CS900, etc.

• Some older/outdated drives – Some older SSDs that have been around for several years but haven’t been updated may lack TRIM support. This includes drives like some older Crucial M4/M500 models, OCZ Vertex 3, etc.

• Some consumer-grade NVMe drives – While more common with SATA SSDs, some low-end consumer NVMe drives also lack TRIM support. This includes options like the Intel 660p, HP EX920, etc.

• Most QLC-based SSDs – Since QLC NAND flash is newer, many QLC SSDs don’t yet include TRIM. This includes options like Intel 660p QLC, Samsung QVO, WD Blue SN500, etc.

The main factors that tend to determine whether an SSD supports TRIM are: performance level, endurance requirements, and when the drive was released. Newer, higher-end SSDs almost always include TRIM support, while some budget/basic drives omit it.

What about an SD Card or MicroSD?

Most SD and MicroSD cards do not inherently support the TRIM command like SSDs do. However, the SD card controller and the device using the SD card can support TRIM to optimize performance.

Here are some key points about TRIM and SD cards:

– Some SD card controllers support ATA TRIM pass-through, which allows the OS and device to send TRIM commands to the SD card. This requires OS, device, and SD card support.

– SD cards formatted with certain file systems like ext4 and F2FS support TRIM on Linux devices. But FAT32 on SD cards does not support TRIM.

– Android supports TRIM for external SD cards since v4.3. So compatible Android devices can TRIM SD cards formatted with supported file systems.

– On Windows, TRIM commands are not issued to SD cards by default. But it may be possible through manual configuration.

In summary, most SD cards do not natively use TRIM but can optionally support TRIM if implemented by the OS, device, and SD card controller.

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