11 November 2004

Ontrack Data Recovery announces 2004 league table of data disasters

Computer rage, human error and natural disasters behind top worldwide data recovery requests

LONDON, November 11, 2004 - Ontrack Data Recovery has unveiled its annual league table of the top ten strangest and funniest computer mishaps.

The global poll of Ontrack's experts uncovered the best examples of bizarre data disappearances taken from the thousands of recovery jobs Ontrack processed this year. In all incidences, Ontrack was able to recover the data, by either working on the computers or storage devices in their labs and cleanrooms, or by using its patented Remote Data Recovery™ technology.

The Ontrack top ten global league table of data disasters:

  1. Data defrost
    One man brought in a hard drive in a wet plastic bag. He said he had read on the Internet that if you put a broken drive in the freezer it would fix it. So he tried it and asked the recovery engineers not to laugh.
  2. Reckless recycling
    One man tidied up his computer folders and inadvertently deleted the ones he meant to keep. He then cleaned up his system, emptied the recycle bin and defragged the hard drive before realising his error. He now triple-checks files before deleting them for good.
  3. Rowdy relatives
    A man suddenly found his laptop would only boot up to the 'blue screen of death,' putting his data at risk. A week later his nephew admitted that he used its screen as a punch bag to relieve his frustrations with the slow computer. The man sent his nephew back to live with his parents.
  4. Digital disaster at 6,000m
    The Polish explorer, Krystof Wielicki, dropped his digital camera when climbing the Himalayas on his latest expedition, smashing it to smithereens and damaging the memory card in the process.
  5. Gone in a flash
    One medical company worker completed 1,200 customer billing entries - a process that took several days - when lightning struck the transformer outside the building. Everything was gone, including all the bills she had just prepared.
  6. Baby blues
    One couple had hundreds of pictures of their baby's first three months on their computer. When a virus struck their PC, the computer manufacturer advised them to reload the operating system but they forgot to save the data.
  7. Construction calamities
    During the construction of a large office building, a steal beam fell on a laptop computer containing the building plans, crushing the laptop.
  8. Toilet trauma
    One guy became so mad with his malfunctioning laptop computer, he threw it into the toilet and flushed a couple of times.
  9. Road kill
    A lady placed her laptop on top of her car while she got in. She forgot about the laptop, which slid off the back of her car, and she then reversed straight over it and reported hearing a 'crunch'.

    And finally...

  10. Runway wreckage
    A laptop computer was run over by an aeroplane. Even Ontrack's recovery engineers don't understand how it happened, but that was the customer's explanation.
"Computer malfunction remains the predominant cause of data loss, but careless mistakes that could easily be prevented form a large percentage of the reasons we're given for data loss," said Adrian Palmer, managing director of Ontrack Data Recovery. "Data can disappear as a result of natural disaster, system fault or computer virus, but human error, including 'computer rage', seems to be a growing problem. Nevertheless, victims soon calm down when they realise the damage they've done and come to us with pleas for help to retrieve their valuable information."

"Data can be recovered from computers, servers and even memory cards used in digital devices in most cases. However, individuals and companies can avoid the hassle and stress this can cause by backing up data on a regular basis and establishing a relationship with a professional data recovery company before disaster strikes," added Palmer.

For further information about data recovery please call Ontrack on 0800 243 996 or visit the website at www.ontrack.co.uk or www.krollontrack.co.uk.


About Kroll Ontrack

Kroll Ontrack Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroll Inc, is a leading provider of data recovery and electronic evidence services. It helps individuals, companies, law firms and government agencies recover electronic information quickly and cost-effectively. In addition, it enables customers to protect, manage, backup and recover their valuable data.

Using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Kroll Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities. Kroll Ontrack’s award-winning utility software tools help prevent critical data loss through problem-solving and file-management utilities.

Formerly known as Ontrack Data Recovery Europe Ltd., Kroll Ontrack operates as the Technology Services Group of Kroll. This is one of four businesses dedicated to providing practical and integrated solutions to organisations worldwide to help safeguard them against risk.

Kroll Ontrack can be reached online at www.krollontrack.co.uk or at www.ontrack.co.uk or by calling +44 (0)1372 741 999. For further information about Kroll Ontrack, please contact:

Sally O'Neill
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7802 2626
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7802 2627
Email: sallyo@lewispr.com
Web site: www.lewispr.com.