Thursday, March 15, 2001

Ontrack offers timely advice to electronic tax preparers

Tips highlight measures for data recovery and data loss prevention

MINNEAPOLIS, March 15, 2001 - As this year's tax season begins shifting into high gear, Minneapolis-based ONTRACK Data International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONDI), a leading provider of data availability software and service solutions, offers several tips to help electronic tax preparers protect themselves from computer data loss, and provides tactics for cost-effective and quick data recovery in the event of a computer crash.

With more than 35 million taxpayers using the IRS' e-file option to submit income tax records via the Internet, and more than 3.8 million filers self-preparing their returns on home computers using do-it-yourself tax preparation software, the possibility of data loss due to viruses, hard drive crashes and human error is a reality that cannot be ignored. According to Greg Olson, director of worldwide data recovery for Ontrack, information stored on personal computers is always vulnerable. "As more people prepare and submit taxes online they need to be mindful of preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of data loss," he said. "Although it's impossible to guarantee protection, data loss is not necessarily a disaster, since there are several ways to get it back."

Independent tax consultant Sue Dearborn experienced such a data loss last tax season. "While upgrading my personal computer with new software, I inadvertently deleted the C drive and lost all the data and nearly all of my work," said Dearborn. "Fortunately, the data recovery specialists at Ontrack were able to fully recover my data within three days, enabling me to meet all of my deadlines." Since this time, Ontrack has introduced Remote Data Recovery™ services that enable customers like Dearborn to connect to Ontrack by Internet or modem connection to have a data recovery engineer recover the data in a much shorter time frame - sometimes even in a few hours.

Experts at Ontrack outlined the following prevention and recovery tactics:

  1. Keep your computer in a dry, cool, controlled environment that is dust- and static-free. Placing it in a low-traffic area will protect your system and storage media from harmful jarring or bumping.
  2. Back up data often using reliable discs or tapes, removable cartridges, a separate hard drive 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. A virus scanner is included in Ontrack SystemSuite™ 3.0 and Fix-It Utilities ™ 3.0
  5. Perform periodic diagnostic checks on your hard drive. Products such as Data Advisor™ software are available free on the Ontrack Web site at www.ontrack.com.
  6. Be aware of strange noises in your computer. 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. Seek support from a data recovery service, such as Ontrack, if you've lost significant work.

Since its inception, Ontrack has performed more than 125,000 data recoveries using in-lab, on-site and remote services. The company also offers a series of do-it-yourself data recovery software products. Additional information on data recovery is available on the Ontrack Web site at www.ontrack.com.

About Ontrack

Ontrack, a leading provider of data availability software and service solutions, helps customers protect, manage, recover and discover their valuable data. Using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, 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. Ontrack also offers award-winning PC utility software programs and services to help prevent critical data loss through a broad line of problem-solving, file-management and productivity utilities. 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 other locations in Los Angeles, Boulder, Colo., Washington D.C., New York, London, Paris and Stuttgart. Ontrack also makes its data recovery services available in Tokyo through its strategic alliance with Y-E Data, a company with over 25 years of experience in storage devices.

For more information:

Media Contact:
Nicolle Martin
ONTRACK Data International, Inc.
800-752-1333
nmartin@ontrack.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Tom Skiba
ONTRACK Data International, Inc.
952-949-4017
tskiba@ontrack.com