Data Storage: Kroll Ontrack's Top 10 Data Storage Disasters of 2010
Disaster No. 10: A Square Peg in a Round Hole
When a computer novice's laptop battery died, a man 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.
Disaster No. 9: Double Data Recovery
A customer required the restoration of several archived tapes, and the Kroll Ontrack Tape Services team restored the data and returned it on six external HDDs. The company tried to make a backup of the data on six more HDDs and stored these HDDs in a fireproof safe. They started to use the data they needed from the backup HDDs, but unfortunately somebody had accidentally overwritten some of the data. However, when these extra HDDs were connected, they discovered that rather than copying the data, they had actually moved it, and there was nothing on the HDDs. Kroll still had the original tapes and recovered all of the data for a second time.
Disaster No. 8: Keeping a Family Members 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 a battle with cancer. News of the crime hit the airwaves immediately, which led to a speedy arrest and the 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 deceased daughter.
Disaster No. 7: Meat the Experts
A hard drive recently arrived at the Ontrack Data Recovery lab from a butcher shop, packed in Styrofoam, with the remnants of a delicious cured ham. After a thorough degreasing of the case, the hard drive was sent to the clean room with suspected mechanical failure. Luckily, all the data was recovered, partly due to the fact that the client had fully observed Ontrack's advice to preserve the drive in its found state and adequately protect the drive in transit.
Disaster No. 6: Up in the Air
A frequent traveler 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 take it. The airport police were notified of the unattended luggage, and while the traveler was on his plane, the laptop was detonated to ensure it was not a security threat, damaging the hard disk beyond any hope of recovering data.
Disaster No. 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 a car seat. Anxious to get on the road, the woman buckled up and quickly backed out of her garage, sending her briefcase, with laptop in tow, soaring off the roof just in time for the front wheels to crush it, preventing successful data recovery.
Disaster No, 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. Upon further investigation, the laptop had been drenched in cat urine. However, Ontrack was able to recover data.
Disaster No. 3: Advocate for Africa
A man quit his job to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling 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. An unfortunate apartment fire erupted, but luckily a fireman managed to grab the computer before it was charred. While rushing down the fire ladder, the computer was dropped. Despite those two accidents, Ontrack Data Recovery was still able to recover 100 percent of the pictures.
Disaster No. 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 clean room, an ant, which tried to escape drowning in the flood, was found hanging from the head of the drive. Rigorous clean room techniques resulted in a recovery of most of the drive's data; however, the ant could not be saved.
Disaster No. 1: Laptops Are Not Waterproof
Relaxing on a beach, a man brought his laptop on his holiday to stay caught up on e-mail. When the midday temperatures started to soar, he decided to go for a swim. A bit 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, and the laptop got soaked and the hard drive was ruined. However, Ontrack was able to recover much of the data stored on the waterlogged drive.