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Technology Disasters-Post Your Story

It is that time of the year again. Not Halloween, Thanksgiving, shopping season, or the holidays, it is the season for the Top 10 Data Disasters from Kroll Ontrack.  As I gather stories and collect votes internally, I cannot help but reflect on some of the technology disasters I have heard from friends and family.  For example, “I washed my cell phone in a pair of jeans” or “I had my laptop open on the airplane and the guy in front of me slammed his seat down and broke my screen” and “my phone fell out of my shirt pocket while picking candy up at a parade.”  Since we take our technology everywhere with us, a lot of strange and/or tragic things tend to happen to it.  I know I have heard several stories from accidents to sabotage.  Have you?

I have the added benefit of working in customer service for a cell phone company in college, so there are a lot of stories I can share.  One tip when carrying your cell phone, don’t carry it in your shirt pocket.  I have heard several stories of phones ending up in water that way.  I had one guy who was washing his car and his cell phone fell out of his pocket into a bucket of soapy water.  Living in Minnesota, I received several calls each winter of cell phones falling into ice fishing holes.  No one that I know of has been able to retrieve their phones from the icy water.  As my husband tells me, “You are either fishing, or phoning, but you can’t do both.”

Whether it is minor or major damage, lost data or not, we all have stories or have heard stories of the disasters people have had happen to their technology.  We want to hear your Top Technology Disaster Story. Look for this post on our Facebook page and add a comment with your story.  Feel free to add a photo too, if available.

We will take all of your stories and do an internal vote.  The top 5 stories will then be posted to this blog and our Facebook site next week so the world can vote on the top story.

5 Responses to "Technology Disasters-Post Your Story"

  • Rafael Silva, J.D.
    4th November 2013 - 5:18 pm Reply

    This “problem” is pretty easily solved. There are now waterproof phone cases good up to one meter depth for thirty minutes.

  • Rafael Silva, J.D.
    4th November 2013 - 5:25 pm Reply

    I have been recovering data for clients for easily over twenty years. My biggest shock was attending workshop at annual meeting of American Academy of Forensic Sciences and hearing from NIST that they could not recover “lost” data from Macs. Shocking because I’ve been doing it for long time. Also shocked to hear from government forensic “experts” that CEOs want to view & edit (?) financial data on Macs. Don’t know what private sector experience they have, but that is beyond ridiculous.

  • Rafael Silva, J.D.
    4th November 2013 - 5:28 pm Reply

    OK, I have one more “shock” for you. At that annual AAFS meeting, I asked for show of hands in workshops of how many attendees had actually read the 2009 NAS Report on forensic science. The result of my “unofficial” poll – less than two percent. That should shock everyone.

  • Amber
    3rd February 2014 - 5:40 am Reply

    Ugh…electronics and water. The thought makes me cringe. I’m sure that you’ve heard A LOT of different disasters!

  • David P
    25th August 2014 - 5:16 pm Reply

    Here is my story of a recent emergency file loss and recovery. Nothing fancy, but it may surprise you.

    I recently moved my business location, including a Windows 2003 small business server with an important SQL database file. When I got to the new location, my HP server’s RAID1 system failed and would not boot. I looked into recovery options, and called various experts on RAID data recovery. I knew RAID1 was mirroring, and it should be easier than most other types. I called and got 3 quotes, the lowest being $750 to $5,000 (we recover data). I explained this data was worth only about $300 to me, as I had an older backup, but would like the latest. They said to sent it in for free, and they would do it if it was easy to recover. So I sent it in, and they got back a few days later saying it would cost $1700 to recover since it was so complex. I refused, and asked them to return it, and they did by Fedex ground. So since I had little to loose, I decided to try myself. I had 2 SATA hard drives, mirored, so I plugged one into a Windows 7 machine on a spare SATA bus, and installed the power cable. I booted, and Windows insisted on running CHKDSK on the drive, so I let it ride. After a reboot, the drive was visible under Windows 7 with no special software, and I got the files I needed directly off the file system using Windows folders and the usual copy techniques.
    Wow. That was complex “we might recover data if you pay enough”!
    I hope this helps others with similar such situations. RAID1 is easier than most to recover, and CHKDSK may be all you need.

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