With festivities now over and a new year officially underway, data recovery expert, Ontrack is taking a look back at some of its most memorable data recovery projects.
2018 was a good year for Ontrack, with the company successfully accomplishing data recovery from a large number of jobs where its competitors failed. However, I don’t think that every data recovery was straightforward. In order to showcase the types of situations Ontrack dealt with last year, below are 5 of its most memorable data recovery projects of 2018.
1. Polar bear Selfie
A year ago, the world-famous Norwegian nature photographer, Audun Rikardsen, was in the Svalbard archipelago (between Norway and the North pole) to photograph sea lions. Setting up his self-timer camera right by a sea lion breathing hole, he waited for the perfect picture. As he waited, a polar bear approached, curious about the camera equipment. The bear sniffed around the camera and triggered a series of pictures before it rolled the camera down into the ice-cold water where it sank 140 metres.
A year later, Audun returned to the same GPS-position and miraculously, he and the team managed to find the camera using an underwater drone. The memory card was miraculously still intact, so he sent it off to Ontrack who managed to save the images.
2. Too hot to handle
A huge fire totally destroyed a customer’s factory located in Fiji, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. An external hard drive with important business data was retrieved out of the ruins. Before Ontrack was contacted, two other “professional” data recovery service providers tried to retrieve data from the disk without success. When the Ontrack engineer finally received the drive, he quickly concluded that the damage by both the fire and the water (used to extinguish the fire) was severe, but not as severe as the work the other “experts” had caused.
The damage to the drive including melted components, contaminated insides and water corrosion. However, the two previous attempts to recover the data had caused even more damage: the dirty platter had been “cleaned” leaving it filthy and badly scratched, and it had been inserted upside down. Despite this, the experienced engineer’s at Ontrack managed to extract the most critical files, which otherwise would have cost the customer both time and a substantial amount of money to replicate.
3. The accident at number 13
A customer in Poland had some bad luck when he went to show some holiday pictures at a party on his mobile phone. While smoking on the balcony, he slipped and his phone fell off the edge – 13 floors down! Recovering the phone from the street, it was in a fragile state, but the team at Ontrack had no problem recovering 100% of the phone’s data.
4. Not amused
Earlier this year, there was a big fire in an amusement park in Germany. The fire severely damaged an important internal data centre and two high-end servers. Over 90 hard drives were sent to Ontrack Germany in the hope that the data on the disks could be saved. The disks were severely damaged, the covers had largely melted, and they smelled terrible. However, the German engineers managed to create a copy of all of the disk files and rebuild the complete database for the client.
5. Unintentionally curved screen
Curved PC monitors have become a big trend in recent years, but having such a display on a laptop is rather unusual. However, an Ontrack customer bent his laptop screen when it got jammed in a car seat. Additionally, the laptop had also been exposed to water, which caused the motherboard to short circuit. The Ontrack technicians got the SSD isolated and connected to an interface specifically developed by Apple. As a result, 100 percent of the data was recovered and Ontrack had another satisfied customer.
For more information about Ontrack data recovery capabilities and services please visit https://www.ontrack.com/au
Polar Bear 1&2: Photos by Audun Rikardsen. All rights reserved
All other pictures copyright by Ontrack Data Recovery
All rights reserved
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.