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Photos: Rescuing data from fire, water, 12-storey falls

The golden rule for data recovery after a disaster is don't blunder in…
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By Shelley Portet on
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1 of 5 Kroll Ontrack

The golden rule for data recovery after a disaster is don't blunder in…

Ever thrown your laptop out a window or left your PC in a burning building? Probably not. But more prosaically you might have spilt a drink on your mobile or even dropped it down the lavatory. However severe the scale of your hardware disaster, you might be surprised how much data can be recovered from even the most profoundly damaged kit.

Kroll Ontrack data recovery told silicon.com it performed about 50,000 recoveries globally last year across a range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.

The firm rescued data from the circuit board shown above, which had suffered fire damage to the memory.

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2 of 5 Kroll Ontrack

Data can be recovered from a range of surprisingly severe incidents, including a hard drive that had sunk 200 feet to the ocean floor, the remains of which are shown above.

Kroll Ontrack gave silicon.com a few other examples of damaged hardware from which data had been retrieved, including a laptop that was thrown out of a 12-storey window and a laptop that had been submerged in a river for two days following a flood.

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3 of 5 Kroll Ontract

Kroll Ontrack describes the period immediately after damage has occurred as the golden hour, because the action people take in those 60 minutes can determine whether or not data can be recovered.

Further data loss can be caused after the incident, usually when users attempt to open a casing, remove hardware or tamper with essential components.

The picture above shows a shattered hard drive.

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4 of 5 Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery

Phil Bridge, managing director at Kroll Ontrack UK, said in a statement that people should not rely on data recovery but should take precautionary steps.

"With so much irreplaceable and confidential data at stake, it is crucial that people take better steps to safeguard their data, for example, by ensuring data is properly backed up, and that the backup media and technology are regularly tested," Bridge said.

The photo above shows a scratched hard drive.

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5 of 5 Kroll Ontrack

Physical damage and natural disasters are the most common causes of data loss, alongside power surges, overwritten data and viruses.

The server shown above was damaged in a fire.

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