1
\$\begingroup\$

I understand that SSD endurance is typically much greater than advertised and disregarding any form of data recovery, is it possible to replace NAND chips in solid state drives (with the exact same part)?

It is physically possible with a rework station, but is it likely the SSD controller is paired with the IDs of the flash chips? Do flash chips even have unique identification numbers?

Specifically for laptops with non-removable storage like newer MacBooks and notebooks will this be a feasible process that repair shops could undertake?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't see a point in keying the controller to the flash chips; replacing the flash chips is so beyond what most people can do that no one would ever expect them to change. \$\endgroup\$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 26 '18 at 11:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most controllers use id for mapping and timing, in order to correctly address device. assuming all macbooks use same controller but different nand's, replacing small model with larger known nand should work. problem would be inserting a chip which controller doesn't support. \$\endgroup\$ – johnger May 26 '18 at 11:59
1
\$\begingroup\$

It would be possible in theory, but in practice it would likely require detailed knowledge of the controller architecture, and possibly some debug tools that only the manufacturer would have. The reason is not because of a unique ID (most NAND chips will indeed have one, but most controllers won't care), but rather because a "blank" drive will generally not have a blank NAND chip. Rather, because of the indirection and wear leveling algorithms, the controller needs to read some data from the NAND when it boots up in order to know what's stored where, and if it can't (because the new chip is completely blank) it will generally enter some error state. Simply copying the data from the old NAND chip will likely also result in an error state, because the indirection table's size will not match the size of the NAND. You would need to know how to tell the controller to rebuild that indirection table from scratch. Sometimes manufacturers will provide tools to do this (generally to large datacenter customers, under an NDA), but notebook manufacturers typically will not.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.