3 December 2010

Kroll Ontrack announces seventh annual top ten list of data disasters

Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery, information management and legal technology products and services, today announced its light-hearted look at the top ten data disasters from 2010.

"Data loss situations continue to run the gamut in terms of when, where and how they happen, and the causes of loss can greatly vary. While every data loss situation is different, an experienced data recovery provider with the right tools, techniques and expertise can help ensure as much critical data as possible is recovered,” said  Robert Winter, chief engineer, Ontrack Data Recovery, Kroll Ontrack. “With cutting-edge hard drive recovery tools and processes backed by 25 years of experience in recovering data from media that are severely physically damaged, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers have recovered customers’ data following some of this year’s worst disasters.”

2010 Top Ten List of Data Disasters Compiled by Kroll Ontrack

10. A square peg in a round hole – When a computer novice’s laptop battery died, he reached behind his desk, grabbed what he thought was the laptop charger and shoved the power cable into his laptop. Unfortunately, it was a power cord for a different device, and he fried his machine.

9. Double data recovery A customer required the restoration of several archived tapes, and the Kroll Ontrack Tape Services team promptly restored the data and returned it on six external HDDs. The customer backed-up the data on six additional HDDs and stored the original HDDs in a fireproof safe. They started to use the data they needed from the backup HDDs, but somebody had accidentally overwritten some of the data. “Not to worry!” they thought. “We can simply use the Kroll Ontrack HDDs!” However, when these HDDs were connected, they discovered that rather than copying the data, they had actually moved the data, and there was nothing on the HDDs. Thankfully, Kroll Ontrack still had the original tapes and recovered the entire data for the second time.

8. Keeping a family member’s memory alive – A woman visiting her father to assist with his medical treatments became the victim of a thief, who entered the hospital room where the visitor had her belongings and stole a laptop that once belonged to the woman’s daughter. Sadly, the woman visitor had recently lost her daughter to cancer. News of the crime hit the airwaves immediately leading to a speedy arrest and recovery of the stolen laptop. However, the hard disk had been wiped. Kroll Ontrack contacted the family to assist and was able to recover 90 percent of the family’s only photos of their daughter.

7. Meat the experts A hard drive recently arrived for Ontrack Data Recovery from a butcher shop packed in Styrofoam, mysteriously together with the remnants of a cured ham. After a thorough degreasing of the case, the hard drive was sent to the cleanroom with suspected mechanical failure. Thankfully, all the data was recovered, partly due to the fact that the client had followed Ontrack Data Recovery expert advice to preserve the drive in its found state and adequately protect the drive in transit. The presence of the ham remains an enigma.

6. Up in the air – A frequent traveller was enjoying an espresso while waiting for a plane home. He put his laptop case on the floor at the espresso bar and forgot to collect it. The airport police were notified of the unattended luggage, and while the traveller was on his plane, the laptop was detonated to ensure it was not a security threat.

5. Buckle up – A businesswoman, late for work, placed her briefcase on her car roof while she secured her coffee in her cup holder and her child in his car seat. Anxious to get on the road, the woman buckled up and quickly backed out of her garage, sending her briefcase, with laptop inside, soaring off the roof just in time for the front wheels to crush it.

4. Laptop litter box – A woman left her Mac charging on the floor of her house for a few hours. She returned to discover a liquid on the keyboard and a sheepish kitten playing in the corner.

3. Advocate for Africa – A man quit his job to fulfill his lifelong dream of travelling to Africa to photograph poverty. After spending several months taking pictures, he moved back home to develop and sell the photos to businesses, bringing focus to the need for human aid in Africa. Unfortunately, an apartment fire erupted, but luckily the fireman managed to grab the computer before it was charred. While rushing down the fire ladder, the computer was dropped. Despite two devastating accidents, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers recovered 100 percent of the photos.

2. The ants go marching in – A flood in Europe resulted in a computer being submerged in river and rain water for more than two days. The flood water was not the drive’s only problem. When the drive arrived at the Ontrack Data Recovery cleanroom, an ant, who tried to escape drowning in the flood, was found hanging from the head of the drive. Rigorous cleanroom techniques resulted in a recovery of most of the drive’s data; however, the ant could not be saved.

1. Laptops are not waterproof – Relaxing on a beach, a gentleman had taken his laptop on his holiday to stay up-to-date on e-mails. When the midday temperatures started to soar, he decided to go for a swim. Wary of leaving his laptop unattended, he popped it into a plastic bag so it would not get wet and went for a dip - laptop and all. The bag did not prove as durable as he hoped: the laptop got soaked and he lost his data.