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Video: The Zipline Proposal Data Recovery

Professional videographer, Tyson Henderson contacted DriveSavers for data recovery after losing access to once-in-a-lifetime video footage of a surprise wedding proposal. Watch the video to hear about his experience, the custom NAND flash data recovery solution we provided and see the emotional video we recovered.

Here’s what Tyson says happened, “…This proposal I filmed for Brodie and Kelsey. Everything went really good – got all the footage that I needed. When I got home to actually download the footage, I plugged my SD card into my computer, started the download process and it just ejected.”
Tyson tried to read the card several times on his main computer, “So, I tried it again and again…it wouldn’t even read…I tried it on other computers and it still wouldn’t show up,” he said.
Desperate for help, he took the card to a local computer store called Compu-clinic. “The guy put it in his computer – wouldn’t read. He immediately said, ‘this card is fried.’ He gave me a flyer to DriveSavers and said, ‘If anyone can recover it, these guys can recover it.’”
He sent the SD card to us and, during our initial evaluation, we discovered a unique issue that was unlike anything we’d seen. We contacted Tyson and explained we would need to work with the card for several weeks (well beyond the Standard Service of 1-2 business days). This allowed the DriveSavers R&D team to develop a custom solution.
Lexar SD card deconstructed
DriveSavers engineers desoldered the NAND flash memory chips from the printed circuit board of the SD card in a process known as a “chip-off” – a technique frequently used in law enforcement by computer forensics investigators.
Lexar SD card chip-off
A protective coating on the device controller greatly challenged the recovery and reading of the chips. Because this protective coating permanently covered any reference of the controller manufacturer, the data found on the chips was exponentially more difficult to reconstruct. Beyond difficulties with the physical device, the DriveSavers data recovery team had to create a custom “map” to determine proper reconstruction by descrambling data, using proper error correction algorithms and finding data layouts using known file-type construction.
Tyler waited patiently for what he hoped would be positive results, “…I crossed my fingers and hoped and every week they gave me updates which was really nice. I kept getting emails that said, “hey we’re still working on it. The process is going good. We’ll be in touch next week to update you.”
After five weeks, the DriveSavers NAND flash data recovery team was able to recover the critical video files and, after repairing the footage, Tyson finally received a flash drive with the data allowing him to finish the project for his clients, Brodie and Kelsey.
The final video was posted on YouTube. Tyson tells us, “It’s now got one point four million views on YouTube – which is amazing. And not only is that amazing but these two (Brodie and Kelsey) are now able to go back and watch this proposal for the rest of their lives. And it’s all thanks to DriveSavers.”
Special Thanks to Tyson J. Henderson:
Brodie and Kelsey:

Brodie and Kelsey

Tyson J. Henderson

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