Some things I’ve learned recently-ish, over the past couple years or so:
- Don’t assume that SSD’s won’t/can’t fail.
- When buying an SSD, check what controller it uses and then get on Google to see how many data recovery providers claim to support that controller; if you find one or less, buy something else.
- Or even better, RAID and/or back up SSD’s just like you would HDD’s.
- In the event of failure, an idle, unpowered SSD can retain its contents for a year or so at least with no degradation (YMMV/don’t test this on any data you care about!).
- People will eventually figure out how to recover your data, if you give them enough money.
- Making a filesystem dump of an old Windows install bootable again is probably easier now than it’s ever been.
- Making an old Windows install (or installer) work with USB3.x and NVMe is nigh impossible.
- With enough old hardware, several rounds of “musical SSD”, Windows 10 installation media, and sufficient masochism, it can be done.
- Manually bootstrapping a GPT partition is also possible.
- Not everyone is courteous enough to warn you when they suggest running commands that will immediately and irreversibly remove all partitions from a disk.
- Windows no longer seems to care how many times you swap your install between completely different computers.
- When USPS says “7-10 business days” what they really mean is “3-4 weeks, if you’re lucky”.
Anyhow, major props to ACE Data Recovery for figuring out how to restore data from dead Sandforce drives. And also to Recovery Force, for pointing me in their direction.
Normally scheduled programming of “mostly nothing much” should be resuming shortly.