Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Ontrack Data Recovery announces 2004 top 10 list of data disasters

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

MINNEAPOLIS – Nov. 10, 2004 – Ontrack Data Recovery has unveiled its annual Top Ten list of the 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 recovered the data, by either working on the computers or media/storage devices in their labs and cleanrooms, or by using its patented Remote Data Recovery™ technology.

The Ontrack 2004 Top Ten List 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 place a broken drive in the freezer it would fix it. So he tried that method 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 realizing 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 punching bag to relieve his frustrations with the slow computer. The man sent his nephew back to live with his parents.

4. Digital Disaster at 19,000 Feet - 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 Calamity - 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 man became so mad with his malfunctioning laptop computer, he threw it into the toilet and flushed a couple of times.

9. Road Kill - A woman 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 airplane. 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 make up a large percentage of the reasons we’re given for data loss,” said Jim Reinert, senior director of Software and Services for 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 realize the damage they’ve done and come to us pleading 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 Reinert.

For further information about data recovery please call Ontrack at 1-800-872-2599 or visit the website at

About Ontrack Data Recovery
Ontrack Data Recovery ( is the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide. Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from virtually all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities, using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques. Ontrack Data Recovery is a brand name of Kroll Ontrack Inc., the technology services subsidiary of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company.