Top Data Loss Disasters

Data disasters can happen in the funniest of ways, although losing precious photos, emails and videos from your PC or other device is no laughing matter. Kroll Ontrack are experts in retrieving data and every year they compile a list of top their strangest data loss disasters. We’ve gone back over the last few years to bring you the best and most bizarre cases:

  1. Out with a bang! – A traveller was enjoying an espresso in an airport terminal while waiting for a plane home. He put his laptop case on the floor at the coffee bar but forgot take it with him. The unattended luggage caused a security alert and the laptop was detonated!
  2. Laptop litter box – A woman left her laptop charging on the floor of her house for a few hours. She returned to discover a liquid on the keyboard and a sheepish kitten playing in the corner. It turned out the cat had peed on it.
  3. Buckle up – A woman running late for work placed her briefcase on her car roof while she put her child in his car seat. Anxious to get on the road, she buckled up and quickly backed out of her garage, sending her briefcase, with laptop inside, soaring off the roof just in time for the front wheels to crush it.
  4. Smoking kills – A newly hired security guard was doing his first evening security check in a chemical ingredients warehouse. He’d been told he wasn’t allowed to smoke but tried to sneak in a crafty cigarette after hours. After he sparked up, the fire alarm sounded and set off the anti-fire sprinkler system. All the electronic equipment, including 44 desktops and two servers, were flooded.
  5. In the safe not on the safe – Rushing to get to a business meeting on time, an IT worker decided to put a tape drive on top of a disaster-proof safe instead of inside it. But less than an hour later, the city was struck by a powerful earthquake which left the building – and the tape – engulfed by mud, water and sand.
  6. Be careful what you capture – A freelance photographer found himself caught up in the midst of the London riots last year. Naturally, he grabbed his camera to get shots of the action. But when the rioters saw they were being snapped, they smashed it to try and destroy any incriminating evidence.
  7. Gone fishing – A lawyer was invited by her father on a fishing holiday but thought she could sneak her laptop on board and fit in a bit of work at the same time. Furious that she had brought her computer onto the fishing boat, her dad’s friend threw it overboard. She jumped straight in the water, fully-clothed, and fished it out. In the end much of the data was recovered.
  8. Law trouble – As authorities entered the home of a suspected criminal, he threw his laptop containing potentially incriminating evidence out the window of a 12-story building. The laptop smashed into hundreds of pieces on the pavement. Unfortunately for him the police were able to recover the data.
  9. Safe in the oven – A man hid his laptop in his kitchen oven, thinking it was an ideal hiding place from burglars while he was away on holiday. Unfortunately his wife came home before he did and turned on the oven to do some cooking…
  10. Quest for a quiet life – A British scientist was fed up with his hard drive squeaking, so he drilled a hole through the casing and poured oil into the mechanics. The squeaking stopped, and so did the hard drive.
  11. Hardware Problems – A frustrated writer attacked her computer with a hammer. When the engineers received the computer, the hammer imprint was clearly visible on the top cover.
  12. Baby teeth – Kroll Ontrack received an SD card from a camera with lots of teeth marks on it. The customer indicated a “wild animal” had got hold of it and chewed it. The wild animal he was referring to was his two-year-old son.
  13. Swept away – Watch out when you’re cleaning your house – a Kroll customer’s flash drive was sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. It was so powerful the tracks from the drive were pulled from the circuit board and the connector was torn loose.
  14. Ant invasion – Discovering ants had taken up residence in his external hard drive, a photographer in Thailand took the cover off and sprayed the interior with insect repellent.
  15. Laptops are not waterproof – Desperate for a swim, but reluctant to leave his laptop unattended on a beach, a man put it into a plastic bag and went for a dip – laptop and all. The laptop got soaked and he lost his data.

Kroll Ontrack

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