Wednesday, April 7, 1999

Ontrack offers data recovery advice for computer-based tax preparation and e-filing

With the April 15 tax filing deadline rapidly approaching, Minneapolis-based ONTRACK Data International, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONDI) - a world leader in data recovery services - has released tips to help computer-dependent tax preparers and electronic filers prevent data loss and, in the event of a computer crash, quickly and cost-effectively recover lost data.Last year more than 20 million taxpayers used the IRS' new e-file option to submit income tax records via the Internet. In the same vein, an increasing number of people are taking advantage of readily available tax software, using their home computer to store and prepare tax information. According to Lee Lewis, president of Ontrack, information stored on personal computers is always at risk. “Viruses, hard drive crashes and human error cause the majority of computer data losses, and the last thing you want is for one of these events to occur while you're working on your taxes,” he said. “Although it's impossible to guarantee protection, there are preventive measures that can be taken,” says Lewis. “Plus, if data loss does occur, there are several ways to get it back.”Experts at Ontrack outlined the following prevention and recovery tactics:
  1. Place your computer in a dry, cool, controlled environment that is dust and static-free. Placing your computer in a low-traffic area will protect your system and storage media from harmful jarring or bumping.
  2. Back up data often using reliable tapes or other storage devices.
  3. Use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or a surge protector.
  4. Run a virus scan regularly and update it often.
  5. Perform periodic diagnostic checks on your hard drive. Products such as Ontrack Data Advisor™ software are available free on the world wide web.
  6. Be aware of strange noises. If you hear a strange noise or grinding sound, save your file, turn off the computer immediately and call an expert. Further operation may damage your hard drive beyond repair.
  7. Avoid using file recovery software if you suspect an electrical or mechanical failure. If you are unsure of the cause of the problem, consult a data recovery professional.
  8. Seek support from a data recovery service if you've lost more than an hour's work. Data loss experts, like Ontrack, offer a range of recovery options for as little as a few hundred dollars.
“The most important thing to remember is not to panic. It should never be assumed that lost data is unrecoverable, because in most cases it can be retrieved ,” says Lewis. “And not only is data recovery possible, it's also cost-effective, timely and practical.” Since its inception, Ontrack has performed more than 80,000 successful data recoveries using in-lab, on-site and remote services. The company also offers a series of do-it-yourself data recovery software products starting as low as $49. Additional information on data recovery is available on the Ontrack web site at Ontrack, the world leader in data recovery, specializes in services and software that help computer users access and recover their valuable data. Using hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices. Ontrack can be reached through its World Wide Web site at or by calling 800/872-2599 (612/937-5161). In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, Ontrack operates data recovery centers in Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington D.C., New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and Stuttgart.