‘Undetected drives’ continues to be the main reason for data loss

Written By: Ontrack

Date Published: August 15, 2022

‘Undetected drives’ continues to be the main reason for data loss

Epsom, 4 May 2016: Today, KLDiscovery launches its third quarterly data loss index (DLI) that reveals one-in-four (25 per cent) data loss scenarios are due to storage devices appearing to be unrecognisable or undetected1. More than one-in-ten (11 per cent) experience data loss from the device failing to power on, just over ten per cent lose data because of users dropping their device, and over nine per cent lose data due to deleted files.

The index covers individual disk assessments from countries as far afield as Poland, Romania and Senegal between January and March 2016 and is developed from the analysis of anonymous data collected through KLDiscovery’s data recovery self-assessment tool. This unique self-assessment tool helps individuals carry out an initial check on their device and receive first line advice on what to do next. Scenarios cover damage caused by fire, liquid, physical knocks and malware/virus infection.


Create pie charts
  Cause of data loss Percentage of respondents
1 Undetected drives 25%
2 Not powering on 11%
3 Dropped device 10%
4 Deleted Files 9%
5 Corruption 7%


The top reason for data loss in mobile devices was deleted files (33 per cent). Liquid damage, the top reason for the past two quarters has taken a notable decline. Liquid damage now only accounts for 15 per cent of data loss in mobile devices a drop of 7 per cent from the previous quarter.

Phil Bridge, Managing Director at KLDiscovery, said: “Accidents happen, but the worst thing for any individual or business to do is panic. No device is fool proof and our customers are often surprised with the data we can recover, even when all is seemingly lost. When data loss occurs, it is important to consider the options and information available before acting. Retrieving data from a faulty device, for example, could lead to further data loss, an undetected device and warranty voidance. KLDiscovery’s self-assessment tool is an excellent starting point that can equip users with helpful information that can point one in the right direction.”

KLDiscovery’s most recent DLI highlights that over two-thirds (70 per cent) of data loss instances happened on laptops or external hard drives. The number of instances attributable to external hard drives remained similar, up two per cent from 32 per cent last quarter. The occurrences of data loss on laptops, however, has declined by ten per cent, down to 36 per cent this quarter. Devices utilising tape remain a very small percentage of the reported data loss (2 per cent).

Originally launched in the UK and accessible worldwide, KLDiscovery’s data recovery self-assessment tool is now available locally in Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Since the launch of the local language versions, the number of assessments more than doubled from last quarter (from 1,036 to 2,226), with demand for the tool particularly strong in Germany.



DLI by country
Create column charts
Country Cause of data loss %
  1. Undetected drives
  2. Dropped device
  3. Liquid damage


  1. Undetected drives   
  2. Deleted files
  3. Dropped device


  1. Undetected drives
  2. Not powering on
  3. Dropped device


  1. Deleted files
  2. Undetected drives
  3. Corruption


Looking at results from the countries in Europe with the highest incidence of assessments, the top causes include undetected drives, dropped devices, not powering on, liquid damage, deleted files, physical damage and corruption. Undetected drives, where whole drives seem to disappear from the device, is one of the most common issues for users in all countries analysed. This may be caused by failing hardware or voltage fluctuations, and highlights the need to run regular backups for your data so that information is not at risk of loss.


KLDiscovery Ontrack Limited, Nexus, 25 Farringdon Street, London, EC4A 4AB, United Kingdom (see all locations)