Top 10 disaster recoveries of 2009

Kroll Ontrack releases its sixth annual list - and pets seem the most to blame

Data recovery and legal technology provider, Kroll Ontrack, has announced its sixth annual top ten data disasters from 2009.

A global poll of Ontrack Data Recovery experts came up with the list, which points to the vulnerability of data loss during time, location and situation.

"Ontrack Data Recovery engineers see more than 50,000 data recoveries annually,” said Kroll Ontrack Asia-Pacific general manager, Adrian Briscoe. “While some are extreme, it is important to note that advances in technology and expertise make no situation impossible.”

Top 10 data disasters for 2009:

1. Law trouble

As legal officials entered the home of a criminal suspect, the individual threw a laptop containing potentially pertinent evidence out the window of a 12-story building. As a result, the laptop smashed into pieces on the footpath. Investigators turned to Kroll Ontrack to recover the photos, videos and emails.

2. Sunken drive

A hard drive sank about 60 metres to the ocean floor. It was discovered six months later and sent to Kroll Ontrack’s cleanroom, where engineers were able to image and recover 99 per cent of the data.

3. Hold on to your horses

A horse riding tour ended abruptly with a fall. The rider was wearing a camera at the time of the accident and although the rider was given a clean bill of health, the memory card did not. The files were corrupted and could not be uploaded to the owner’s computer.

4. Upset stomach

When the family pet was sick the household computer, the remnants seeped into the laptop’s hard drive, ruining the computer. It puts a whole different spin on ‘the dog was sick on my homework’.

5. Speed bump

A photographer’s bike basket containing his camera came loose while he was riding his motorbike. The camera flew out and broke, leaving the memory card drowning in a puddle.

6. Boxing ring

As a result of a brawl between two colleagues, a server fell off a server rack in a server room. Luckily for them, the business critical information was recovered in full.

7. It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a computer?

A businessman running late for a meeting made the mistake of placing his laptop on the roof of his car and drove off in rush. As he turned a corner, the laptop flew through the air, crashing into a wall. Ontrack Data Recovery engineers were able to repair the broken drive and recover the individual’s laptop data.

8. Look out below

Somehow, somebody dropped a laptop dropped from the second floor of a business operation. The hard drive was initially sent to another data recovery company, where the data was deemed unrecoverable. A second opinion yielded different, more promising results.

9. A game of cat and USB

Family pets strike again: When a house cat decided to replace a game of cat and mouse by playing with the AC power cord, it ended poorly. The cord was attached to an external USB hard drive, which of course fell, rendering household financial information and memories unreadable.

10. A photo is worth 1,000 words

A customer reformatted an SD card by accident, erasing one particularly important photo. The photo was from a recent trip, where the customer helped capture a breath-taking scenic photo for a stranger, who forgot to bring a camera. The customer had promised to email the photo when the customer returned home. Kroll Ontrack helped the customer keep their word.

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