Friday, September 19, 2003

Ontrack offers free data recovery assessments to hurricane Isabel victims

As clean up begins, damage to computer data may be uncovered

MINNEAPOLIS – Sept. 19, 2003 – File corruption and data loss often occur when it's least expected -- as a result of a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster. Yet even if business plans, financial spreadsheets or important emails are “lost” or appear to be “gone,” they are most likely recoverable if the appropriate steps are taken from the outset. Kroll Ontrack Inc., provider of Ontrack Data Recovery products and services and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroll Inc. (NASDAQ: KROL), is offering free data recovery assessments to those companies and individuals who are at risk of losing data due to Hurricane Isabel.

“The tapes and hard drives in hurricane-damaged computers often contain vital information needed to restart a business, continue corporate operations or maintain personal finances,” said Jim Reinert, Director, Ontrack Data Recovery. “If the damaged computers are not handled properly, valuable information could be lost. Ontrack’s technology allows us to recapture data that has been corrupted or seemingly destroyed due to natural disasters like hurricanes.”

Rain and seawater harm the data stored on hard disk drives, tapes and other storage devices in two primary ways. First, they cause electrical damage, which makes data inaccessible to the user. Secondly, when computer media is submerged in water, water may leak through the protective seal of the hard drive, spreading dirt and other contaminants onto the storage area. When users find their computers submerged in water or buried under rubble, their first course of action should be to contact a professional data recovery service. Users should never attempt to operate, clean or dry a system exposed to water. Ontrack Data Recovery operates data recovery labs equipped with clean rooms expressly for that purpose.

Ontrack recommends that computer users fearing loss of their vital information review the following tips before assuming that the damage is permanent:

  • Never assume that data is unrecoverable, no matter what it has been through;
  • Do not shake, disassemble or attempt to clean any hard drive or server that has been damaged;
  • Never attempt to dry water-damaged media by opening it or exposing it to heat - such as that from a hairdryer;
  • Do not attempt to operate visibly damaged devices;
  • For mission critical situations, contact a data recovery professional before any attempts are made to reconfigure, reinstall or reformat.

After a tornado hit Jackson, Tenn. earlier this year, Josh Hart, CIO of Aeneas Internet and Telephone, looked to Ontrack for help in recovering important customer data off of hard drives and tape backups damaged by the storm. In the September edition of CSO Magazine, he says “We found the tape on the fourth day after impact, but it was so waterlogged that we couldn’t extract anything off of it. Only after we obtained help from Kroll Ontrack could we extract data, and we got it off hard drives that we plucked from the mess.”

Data recovery products from Ontrack are available for both businesses and personal users. Residents in the affected areas interested in Ontrack's free data recovery assessment should contact Ontrack via their Web site at or by calling 800-872-2599.

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack Inc. provides Ontrack Data Recovery services and software and electronic evidence solutions to help individuals, companies, law firms and federal agencies quickly and cost-effectively recover electronic information. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroll Inc. (Nasdaq: KROL), the world's leading risk consulting company. Formerly known as ONTRACK Data International, Inc., Kroll Ontrack operates as Kroll's "Technology Services Group," one of five businesses dedicated to providing clients worldwide with practical, integrated solutions to mitigate risk.

Media Contact:

Ben Blomberg, 952-516-3617,