Every year, all around the world Ontrack engineers receive a large number of data recovery cases. Some of these cases, with the right tools and necessary experience, will be easy enough to overcome. However there are always some cases which will prove tricky for even the most experienced engineers.
In 2017 our engineers had to deal with many challenging data recovery scenarios due to the devastating effects of several natural disasters. Our US team – with the help of their colleagues around the world – assisted many customers affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Ontrack donated $500,000 USD in recovery services and was on location to help those affected by these storms. In Australia, Cyclone Debbie was the strongest tropical storm to hit Queensland in 6 years causing widespread flooding and water damage.
Check out some of the most challenging data recoveries our experts encountered last year including cases from these natural disasters and more:
5. A business located in northern NSW was totally inundated with flood water as a result of Cyclone Debbie. The damage to the office was catastrophic. They retrieved their server backup from the muddy water and sent it to our Brisbane office. After cleaning the dirt and residue and drying the internal disk drives, the engineers were successful in reading the disks and recovered the vital information for their business. This was a massive relief for the client and saved them many months work reconstructing documents and files from scratch.
4. A hardware failure is a common issue our engineers see on a daily basis. However when clean room engineers in our Australian office opened this customer hard drive, they weren’t expecting to find one of the two platters had shattered. The clean room engineer was successful in obtaining an image of the intact disk and a number of photos were still able to be recovered.
3. Recovering data from fire damaged media is always a challenge and in some cases, depending on the size and proximity of the fire, recovery might not be possible. In this case an Australian customer’s two drive NAS was badly charred by fire, and contained critical business data. Luckily for the customer, our enigneers were successful in overcoming the damage and recovered all data from the two disks inside.
2. Around August 25th, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas as a Category 4 Hurricane. The hurricane subjected the region to speeds up to 210 km/hour and some area had to cope with severe floodings in the following days. One of the affected Texas residents asked Ontrack to help recover data from two disks that had been underwater for almost 3 days. Both drives were shipped to our US office and within 3-4 days, both drives were recovered 100%, with the data copied to new external hard drives and shipped back to the customer.
1. Meanwhile over in Europe, Austria to be exact, we received an external hard drive from a customer who explained that after his baby jumped on the hard drive, the drive was making noises and was no longer being recognised by the customer’s computer. Fortunately the baby wasn´t successful in destroying the entire drive just by dancing on it. Ontrack engineers managed to recover 1 Terabyte of data, with only a small number of unrecoverable files. The customers critical data – baby photos and other precious memories – were returned on a new external drive only after a couple of hours.
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Michael Nuncic is Marketing Communications Manager at the German Ontrack Data Recovery office in Böblingen for more than 5 years. Highly experienced in computer, network and software topics, he is a professional editor for blog and technical articles for almost 20 years now.