If Data's memory was stored multiple times with the ship's computer, and also backed up with B-4's brain, why didn't Starfleet just remake the android body and "revive" him?

From what I understand the technology and research definitely existed and Data was of course a very useful and high-ranking officer.

  • 6
    Only Doctor Soong knew how to create a functioning positronic brain. Jan 9, 2014 at 23:08
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    The non-canon answer is that in 'Star Trek : Countdown', Data was fully revived in B4's body; en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/B-4 and subsequently became the captain of the Enterprise-E
    – Valorum
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:24

2 Answers 2


The short answer is that while parts of Data's body are relatively easy to fix and/or replicate (something we see on several occasions) his Positronic Brain was not.

The only three stable positronic brains created in Federation history were all "Soong-type" androids; Lore, Data, and Juliana Soong. The one time an effort was made to replicate Data's positronic net (TNG: "The Offspring") the android that Data created, known as Lal suffered a massive positronic cascade failure, and ceased to function.

Data was able to access a store of parts from his father's laboratory (see pic below from TNG: Datalore) but there's no indication that any of these contained a redundant brain.

And yes, that's really Brent Spiner's butt in the picture below.

Storehouse of Android parts for Data from Datalore

  • 14
    +1 for the most important bit -- butt confirmation.
    – Ash
    Jan 10, 2014 at 7:51
  • 4
    +1 also for Brent Spiner's butt at 8 a.m. Better than good-morning coffee.
    – Trollwut
    Jan 28, 2014 at 7:22
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    Question - in the episode The Measure of a Man, Data's blueprints are accessible. Are we to assume they don't supply sufficient information to create a stable positronic brain? (I know the idea behind that episode was not having Data being disassembled to understand him) Mar 30, 2014 at 3:53
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    The blueprints for his body are available but his brain is the result of highly experimental (and largely secretive) research.
    – Valorum
    Mar 30, 2014 at 10:19
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    @N.Soong many experimental or dangerous or valuable technology blueprints often preclude key information or bits to make them unusable without the creator filling in the blanks. In tv and movies, Torchwood (Sonic Screwdriver blueprints that Toshiko stole) and Iron Man (Arc Reactor) come to mind.
    – user16696
    Jun 15, 2014 at 19:13

The main technical challenge is not memory, but with the artificial brain itself. In one episode Data created an android brain and made Lal (practically his daughter), but it became unstable and shut itself down. Data would not try again until he knew how to create a stable one.

Additionally, Data is said to have a "positronic" brain. The term comes from the robotics series written by Isaac Asimov. In the Asimovian universe, each positronic brain has a unique pattern generated from a quantum process which cannot be duplicated. Even if you constructed another positronic brain with the same memory, it would essentially be another android as their thinking pattern would be different.

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