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Data vs New Ice Age

The Day After Tomorrow, dir. R. Emmerich (2005)

Another vision of the extinction of the human species is associated with the onset of a new ice age. A climatologist, Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), discovers that as a result of disturbances in the North Atlantic Drift, the Earth will experience a global catastrophe, and a series of natural disasters (tropical storms, floods, destructive hailstorms) is only the beginning of the apocalypse. Everything that is located too far from the Equator will be frozen to the bone. The apocalypse of 2004 would impact a large collection of data carriers – ranging from hard disks, CDs and DVDs, VHS tapes, up to and including flash memory drives.

Data carriers

  • Hard disks
  • CDs and DVDs
  • VHS tapes
  • Flash memory drives

Destroying forces

  • Water damage
  • Freezing

Would it be possible to retrieve the data?

Low temperature is far less damaging to the data than heat. Data saved on a flash drive is even more durable when the device operates in a low temperature. However, the cold in conjunction with water (including humidity in the air) can be dangerous as it can cause mechanical damage which may result in data loss. Despite that, data retrieved from frozen territories depicted in the film could be successfully recovered. The important thing is to keep the equipment in a low temperature for a long period of time and switch on only after a while, after it has “thawed out” at room temperature. This will prevent moisture from condensing and causing the electronic parts of the device to short-circuit.

Trailer: The Day After Tomorrow, 2004

To be continued

Data vs. the Apocalypse, part 3/6

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