Rusolut VNR (Visual NAND Reconstructor) Review / Rip Off Warning!!!
Full disclosure to anyone reading this. It’s not really a “review” of Rusolut’s VNR system. My review here is of the terrible company that makes this system and why you should never, ever do business with them. If you’re considering buying this sytem, I hope this article will help you to make a wiser choice and buy a system like Ace Laboratory’s PC-3000 Flash system.
What is Visual NAND Reconstructor (VNR) system from Rusolut?
VNR is a system used for flash data recovery from devices such as thumb drives, flash drives, SSDs, phones, tablets, etc. It includes a reader (with a fake “lifetime warranty”) and some rather advanced software for reconstructing the data after you get a dump of the NAND flash chip(s). The system has some attractive features such as the fact that it uses a pretty standard DIP48 interface making it somewhat compatible with third-party adapters. This is a big selling point since these adapters will ultimately cost you more than the whole system in the long run. To be fair their software is quite powerful and some really advanced data recovery professionals like using it. Though, most people find it a bit difficult to learn how to use it and it’s quite common to see these getting re-sold shortly after they are purchased (something I wish I’d done).
My Experience With VNR and Rusolut
So, the best way I can think of to warn you not to buy from Rusolut is just to tell my story. I’ll try to stick to just the facts and you should be able to easily recognize why I’m warning everyone about this terrible company. In late 2016 I purchased my VNR system from another owner who’d had it for only one or two months and decided it wasn’t for him (smart man). Before making the purchase I contacted Rusolut and they reassured me that the license and “lifetime warranty” on the reader was fully transferable. They also assured me that as long as I paid for the annual “Premium Update and Support” plan each year the warranty on the reader would never expire. So I paid the prior owner 1480 EUR (circa $1,800) and bought the system.
Total Cost So Far ~$1800+ USD
At first, the system seemed to work well. The reader worked as expected and the software, though difficult to learn, was quite powerful in the right hands. I often had another more experienced VNR user remotely work on the system when we needed to use it for a case. He could work magic with it, while I was still just learning how to use it. I quickly realized that the included adapters don’t cover some of the most common NAND pinout configurations. Also, that many of the adapters they included with the kit require you to reball the chips to the adapter. However, they will sell you the proper adapters for those other common NAND types….for a price. I ordered just 3 additional adapters for a price of $615. So just a bit over $200/ea for nothing but a socket and some pins mounted to a PCB. So I paid that since I needed them to use the system on some cases on hand.
Total Cost So Far ~$2415+ USD
Then, less than a year after buying it and just a few weeks before the 1st year’s Warranty/support/update period was going to expire everything really went sideways. I was working on a case one afternoon, had the software open, everything was working fine. The next morning I come in and try opening the software only to be hit with this error:
Suddenly, from one day to the next the software can’t find the reader. It never left my desktop, was never even unplugged from the USB or UPS battery it was connected to. But, it just wasn’t recognized by the software. Windows would see that something was connected and had the correct drivers assigned to it, but the VNR software just wouldn’t recognize it. I jumped through all the normal hoops, reinstalled drivers, reinstalled software, re-activated the software, tried different versions of the software, even tried installing it on different computers. Wasted my entire day before I finally managed to convince Rusolut support to remotely take a look remotely. They confirmed that the reader was in fact malfunctioning. Well, good thing I’ve got a “lifetime warranty”… right? Now I don’t know how long shipping/repair is going to take, but I decide to pay the next year of “Premium” support to be sure it doesn’t lapse and lead to any issues. Cost of renewing my “Premium Support” for a year = $760
Total Cost So Far ~$3175+ USD
Trying to Get the VNR System Repaired by Rusolut
Attempt #1 (The Customs Debacle)
So I get all the instructions from the Rusolut support guy regarding how to send it in for repair. I follow it all to the letter, addressing it exactly as he told me to (which I later find out wasn’t quite correct). So now it’s mailed of to Poland for repair. But, it never arrives there. The tracking just stops in Polish customs and never continues (I know that’s not totally their fault even though the way they had me address it wasn’t totally correct). Day after day, for months, I’m contacting Rusolut trying to ask if they can just call get to the bottom of why it’s not leaving customs. For weeks they just completely ignored me and weren’t responding. And, it’s not like I speak Polish to call or can just run over there myself to check it out. In the end, we finally determined that customs was demanding some import tax because it’s wasn’t properly addressed to the company who made the broken system. Meanwhile, I try asking Rusolut if they can send me a loaner system to use on my cases, which have now been sitting for three months. They refuse to even acknowledge my request. So I’ve got to turn away several cases ($$$ hundreds lost) and deal with angry customers calling every day. I finally end up buying another system from Ace Laboratory – PC-3000 Flash, just so I can get my cases done before the customers kill me or all walk away.
Attempt #2 (When it Gets Really UGLY!!!)
So, after four months of not having my system (1/3 of the support period I just paid $760 for) I finally get my broken reader back from customs. And I mail it out again, this time addressed the way that it should have been from the start. This time it’s there in just a week or so. Yay! (or so I thought).
The Lies Begin
Then, I get an email with this image attached and the message you see above. I’ll let you be the judge of whether that’s the kind of damage that would cause a device to electronically fail. The device was never dropped, and even if it were the office where it’s used has nice soft carpeted floors. Most likely this tiny chip in the paint was caused during the months it was in customs (twice) and likely opened several times with a box cutter to inspect what’s inside.
- Option A – Pay them 498EUR to fix the reader
- Option B – Pay then 820EUR to replace it
Needless to say, I called them out on this being a made up excuse to not honor the warranty. I then asked them to just tell me straight out if they’re going to stiff me on the warranty. After all, they’re in Poland and I’m in the USA so there’s not much recourse if they want to screw me over. Despite emailing two of their email addresses several times, I got no response for several days after calling them out on this lie. Finally, I was able to get Katarina to talk by harassing her on Skype. This is the reply I get now.
The Story Changes
So now they’re changing the story. Now, it’s due to a lapse in the “Premium Support Period” that’s why they’re not going to honor it. And they’re still spinning the ridiculous story about the reader being damaged (see above picture and judge for yourself). I’m pretty sure this was a lie because I paid my support renewal the moment I saw the notification it had expired (which was after my reader had already failed by the way). In fact, I only got the notification after I began repeatedly asking when I needed to renew. I really only paid it because I was afraid they’d give me a problem about the warranty if I didn’t renew (big mistake).
So Now They’ll Honor The “Lifetime Warranty” Right?
NOPE!!! Even though I caught them in two lies they’re still refusing to honor the warranty and fix the reader. Granted, my first email didn’t specifically say the words “my reader has failed” because it initially appeared as an activation issue. But, in the end, we discovered the “activation issue” was being caused by the failed reader. It just took a few months before I was able to actually get the system to them to take a look at what was going on (due to the customer debacle mentioned above). At the time I was still outsourcing flash cases to another company so I could live without it for a couple months. This is the final reply I got from Katarina after she finished her “investigation” into the warranty claim:
So, their final decision on the matter (after getting tangled in their own web of lies) is that because I delayed in renewing the “Premium Support” for a reader that was already broken and couldn’t be used they’re not going to honor the warranty. I guess this company expects that even after they sell a poor quality product that can’t even last a year with minimal usage (I literally used it 4 times) you’re to continue paying for a warranty on it even after it has failed.
Katarina also told several other lies, some of which directly contradicted each other. First, she said the VNR was never registered to our company and that’s why we didn’t get the notification about renewal (that’s a lie, they had sent me the activation key themselves). Then she later told another lie which you see here saying “we sent you some reminders to renew” which they never did. But, those lies don’t really matter at this point since the reader actually failed during the first warranty period well before any renewal was ever required.
- Paid $1800 for a nearly brand new VNR system that I got a whopping 5 working months and 4 cases out of (the first three were just test cases anyway, only one would have been paying but the reader failed before we finished it).
- Paid $615 for adapters that should come standard but I never got to use any because the reader failed the first time I tried.
- Paid $760 to renew the “Premium Support” for a device that had already failed just so I wouldn’t have a problem with the “lifetime warranty” that is included in the “Premium Support”. I should have just burned that money since it’s 100% wasted.
And now they want me to pay another 498-820EUR to fix their junk device that should be 100% covered under warranty. A WARRANTY I ACTUALLY PAID GOOD MONEY TO BUY!!! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my story and I hope it convinces you to not buy a VNR system from Rusolut. A much better option in my honest opinion would be to buy PC-3000 Flash from Ace Laboratory. Their tool is easier to use and comes with stellar support. Ace is a company that actually stands behind their products rather than relying on scamming their customers to make money.
Review Summary of VNR from Rusolut
- Powerful Software and a reader with many available adapters
- Adapters are overpriced
- The reader is of poor quality and may fail after just a few uses
- “Lifetime Warranty” on the reader will not be honored by the company under any circumstances. Even if it fails within the first year.
- Support is painfully slow to respond regardless of when you contact them (usually has taken days or never got a response)
- Everyone at the company seems to be a habitual liar