Kroll Ontrack Reveals Its List of Worst Data Disasters of 2015

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Kroll Ontrack Reveals Its List of Worst Data Disasters of 2015

There is always hope that the data you think is missing can be retrieved. Here are Kroll Ontrack's most interesting data disaster recoveries of 2015.

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Fire Plus Water Equal Solution or Problem? (U.K.)

When you store all of your data on your laptop in your flat (without a backup) and your building catches on fire—triggering the sprinklers to go off—you're having a pretty bad day. This is the scenario that brought a customer to Kroll Ontrack with his laptop that had severe fire and water damage. Even under these conditions, Kroll engineers managed to recover 100 percent of the data.

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Beautified iPhone (Italy)

A customer was busy removing her makeup at the end of the day when she knocked over her cleanser lotion and liquid spread all over her iPhone. As a result, her iPhone would not boot up, so she asked Kroll Ontrack for help. Her priority on the call was to stress the fact that the lotion was from a very well-known brand. Kroll engineers were able to recover all the data, including precious photos and contacts.

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iPad Goes on a Trip (U.K.)

In a play of very bad luck, a customer accidentally dropped his iPad from a train in the middle of remote woodland. Amazingly, the iPad was recovered, but it was severely damaged and access to the data was compromised. The digitizer was destroyed so that the iPad did not respond to touch; while the second screen layer, comprised of the LCD (which displays all the content), the chassis, the battery and the lightning connector, were all damaged. The electronics were also playing up, so that the iPad was rebooting itself every two minutes, giving the engineer only a few-second window to perform the recovery between the reboots. Despite these obstacles, engineers found that the motherboard was actually in fairly good condition, facilitating the recovery of 100 percent of the data.

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Gardening Gone Wrong (U.K.)

A customer was mowing the lawn when his smartphone inadvertently fell to the ground. He was initially unaware until he mowed over his mobile device, completely destroying it. A few minutes and a crumpled phone later, he called Kroll Ontrack to ask if we could help recover his data. Though the phone was flattened and in really rough shape, Kroll Ontrack engineers still managed to get all the data back.

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Temper, Temper (U.S.)

In a fit of frustration, a customer took her laptop and threw it with all her strength against a wall. The drive bounced off the wall and fell to the ground. Despite the 10-foot toss, the crack against the wall and the crashing decent to the floor, Kroll Ontrack was able to recover the customer's data.

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Dissolved Data (Poland)

"I poured the solvent on my laptop. I'm on my way to your office," said the voice on the phone. Kroll soon learned that while preparing a custom paint color, which required mixing different paints with solvent to achieve the proper shade, a man accidentally kicked an open solvent container straight onto a laptop on the floor, which was playing background music. It was a sad day for the laptop, but fortunately not for the data. Thanks to the man's quick reaction and fast delivery of the laptop to Kroll Ontrack, the home decoration story ended well—all the data was recovered.

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Déjà Vu (Poland)

Kroll received a RAID server with 22 drives that already had undergone data recovery by Kroll Ontrack from a previous data loss. The customer had reused the good drives, replaced the bad drives and continued to use the server. The customer did not have a backup (again), the server crashed (again) and the drives were sent (again) to Kroll Ontrack for the recovery of the data. The lesson

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Professional Bad Luck (Norway)

A home user experienced data loss and turned to a local IT shop to get the problem fixed. In the process of copying the data onto a backup overnight—which can take several hours—the IT shop's cleaner accidently dropped the disk onto the floor. Immediately, the drive started making a very loud clicking sound. The IT shop did not take a second chance with the data and sent the disk straight over to Kroll Ontrack, where engineers managed to recover 98.8 percent of the data in the cleanroom.

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Vintage Computer (Poland)

A customer was still using his Amiga 600 (introduced to the market in 1992) until one day it finally stopped working. No accidents, no human error; it was simply an old device reaching its end of life. Fortunately, Kroll Ontrack was at hand to support the customer, who viewed the Amiga 600 as more than just a machine—it was also a childhood gift full of lifelong memories.

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Summertime Blues (Germany)

A small company was undergoing construction work throughout its offices, including its server room, when the company's system administrator discovered one Friday that the plastic sheets used to protect the server room were not keeping the dust out. He decided to move the server to a different room away from the construction work for the weekend. After a very hot and sunny weekend, he discovered Monday morning that his co-workers could not log on. The administrator soon realized another co-worker had switched off the air conditioning to the room where he had moved the server on Friday to prevent dust from getting in there, and the server severely overheated as a result. Fortunately, although the server was smoking hot, Kroll Ontrack managed to recover 99 percent of the data.

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How Deduplication Has Evolved to Handle the Deluge of Data

The alarming influx of accumulative business data is expensive to store, secure and make readily accessible for the right people so they can do business well. Small to medium-size businesses are particularly vulnerable to this challenge—preserving the integrity of their data but facing potential budget issues that may be related to acquiring more storage space. To be effectively managed, adequately protected and completely recovered, data stores must be lean, with backups kept to a minimum. Yet, research has shown that 13 copies of each business document exist within a storage system on average. This is why deduplication is a highly effective method to address ubiquitous data growth. It identifies and eliminates redundant information in a data set and allows organizations to reduce their storage space and network bandwidth needs. However, deduplication is often viewed as a standard capability...
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