Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Ontrack offers free diagnosis of damaged computer storage media to Hurricane Floyd victims

As victims of Hurricane Floyd begin returning to their homes and offices, many will find their computers water-damaged and valuable data seemingly gone. ONTRACK Data International, Inc., a leading provider of data availability software and services solutions, is offering free system diagnosis for victims of Hurricane Floyd who may have suffered from data loss. The company will also donate 10 percent of all revenue generated from hurricane-related jobs to the Red Cross in the region. Both programs will continue through the end of November 1999.
“Floyd has the power to inflict damage on its victims, even after the wind and rain are long gone,” said Michael Rogers, Ontrack CEO. “The tapes and hard drives in hurricane-damaged computers contain vital information needed to restart a business, continue corporate operations or maintain personal finances. If the damaged computers are not handled properly, valuable information could be lost.”
Rain and salt water harm the data stored on hard disk drives, tapes and other storage devices in two primary ways. First, they cause electrical damage, which makes data inaccessible to the user. Secondly, when computer media is submerged in water, water may leak through the protective seal of the hard drive, spreading dirt and other contaminants onto the storage area.
To improve your chances of recovering lost data, Ontrack experts recommend the following steps to care for water-damaged computers
  1. Unplug a wet computer and monitor immediately. If you turn a wet computer on, you could blow circuitry or cause it to physically fail and possibly destroy data permanently.
  2. Never attempt to dry or clean the computer yourself. Never freeze or expose a water-damaged computer to heat. Seal the damaged drive into a plastic bag and rush it to a qualified data recovery expert immediately.
  3. Act quickly. The worst thing you can do is to wait for the computer to dry out and then try to operate it. There are impurities in the water that will deposit and cause a residue to build up and contaminate the media. Contaminated hard drives require a complete and thorough cleaning from qualified experts before drying.
  4. Take special care of hard drives damaged by salt water. Because data can be destroyed more quickly due to the oxidization of salt on the hard drive, damaged components should be shipped immediately in an airtight container to a professional data recovery facility.
When users find their computers submerged in water or buried under rubble, the first course of action should be to contact a professional data recovery service. “It should never be assumed that lost data is unrecoverable, because in most cases it can be retrieved,” Rogers said. “Ontrack engineers have vast experience recovering data from water-damaged storage media and are prepared to help hurricane victims regain access to their data.”
For more information on how to recover data lost in Hurricane Floyd, call an Ontrack data recovery specialist at 800-872-2599 or visit the official Ontrack Web site at www.ontrack.com.
Ontrack, a leading provider of data availability software and service solutions, helps customers protect, backup and recover their valuable data. Using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Ontrack is able to recover lost or corrupted data from all operating systems and types of storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities. With its acquisition of Mijenix, Ontrack provides award-winning software tools to help prevent critical data loss. Ontrack also licenses Connected Corporation's leading Internet protocol PC backup and restore solutions. Ontrack can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.ontrack.com or by calling 800-872-2599 (612-937-5161). In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, Ontrack operates data recovery centers in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and Stuttgart and maintains Mijenix headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.