Ten things not to do with your data

Like put your hard drive in a sock...

Like put your hard drive in a sock...

Deaths at the hands of bananas, smelly socks and WD-40 are some of the unusual fates to have befallen innocent hard drives, according to a data recovery company that has released a list of the most remarkable cases of data loss witnessed this year.

One customer left a banana on top of his hard drive, which then rotted and seeped through into the device. The circuits were ruined and the drive failed to work.

The banana was also ruined.

Another customer, failing to read the warning signs, managed to reformat his hard drive not once, not twice, but ten times before he realised there was some valuable information he needed.

Another customer decided his broken hard drive could be packaged and sent to the company in a pair of dirty socks. The data recovery company - OnTrack - said the smelly clothing failed to provide the necessary protection during shipping, which resulted in more damage to the drive.

British comedian Dom Joly, presenter of Trigger Happy TV, thought the joke was on him when he dropped his laptop, damaging a hard drive containing 5,000 photos, 6,000 songs, a book he was writing and all of his newspaper columns.

Security from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more...

A is for Antivirus
B is for Botnets
C is for CMA
D is for DDoS
E is for Extradition
F is for Federated identity
G is for Google
H is for Hackers
I is for IM
J is for Jaschan (Sven)
K is for Kids
L is for Love Bug
M is for Microsoft
N is for Neologisms
O is for Orange
P is for Passwords
Q is for Questions
R is for Rootkits
S is for Spyware
T is for Two-factor authentication
U is for USB sticks/devices
V is for Virus variants
W is for Wi-fi
X is for OS X
Y is for You
Z is for Zero-day

And a university professor appeared not-so-clever when he heard a squeaking noise from the drive of his new desktop and decided to open the case and spray in some WD-40. Although successful in stopping the drive from squeaking, this was largely because he had also stopped the drive from working.

Employees of a global telecommunications company had a tall tale to tell their bosses after they dropped a laptop computer while working from a helicopter in Monaco.

Also, OnTrack says it happens every year, but people continue to leave computers and hard drives in the path of moving vehicles. This year alone, the company recovered data from a laptop that was run over by a people-carrier at the airport, and several external hard drives stuffed in a backpack that was backed over by a truck.

After returning from the airport from his dream diving holiday in Barbados, one man discovered he couldn't access any of the snorkeling photos he took on his new 'waterproof' digital camera. It seems the camera wasn't as waterproof as advertised.

OnTrack claims it rescued the data in all cases. Jim Reinert, senior director of software and services for the company, said it pays to have your damaged hard drive or storage device evaluated because the chances of recovery are good.