Monday, May 12, 1997

Ontrack® launches computer evidence services program

Ontrack Data International, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONDI), the world's leading data recovery service, today announced that it has commercially launched its Computer Evidence Services program, a collection of services that will significantly impact the legal and corporate community by facilitating broad, yet targeted, discovery and analysis of computer data evidence. The introduction of these services has critical implications in the areas of employment law, business litigation, and any proceeding where potential evidence has been stored in a computer system.

With a rise in the use of computers to store vital information, the importance of the computer evidence discovery process is becoming more widely recognized. As a result, many lawsuits now include requests for production of electronic documents or electronic media. The ease with which electronic data can be intentionally or accidentally destroyed has prompted some litigants to seek court-ordered seizures of computer equipment at the onset of the lawsuit.

As electronic data is sought more often for its evidentiary value, issues of individual privacy and attorney-client privilege will be a major concern. To both protect confidentiality and preserve the data, Ontrack can make exact copies of computer data, usually in a matter of hours. An additional copy can be made for preservation purposes and deposited with an agreed-upon authority for safekeeping. A second copy (the “analysis copy”) is then searched for key information, which may include such items as creation dates or key words. This can be done without disclosing non-responsive material to the requesting party, thus preserving privileged and private documents.

“Two years ago our data recovery customers began asking us to assist them in recovering data that was to be used as evidence in criminal investigations and civil discovery.” said Michael Rogers, CEO of Ontrack. “By modifying the proprietary techniques, tools, and procedures we had used to successfully perform tens of thousands of data recoveries, we now were able to support a new type of customer with a new set of needs. Since those initial calls two years ago, we have worked with hundreds of civil and corporate lawyers, as well as corporate IS managers, who believed that electronic documents were critical to the outcome of their cases.”

Education is Key to Program’s SuccessOntrack estimates that of all members of the legal community who could potentially benefit from the use of electronic data evidence, approximately 20% of them are not aware that services exist to help them with the process. Another 70% are aware of the services, but have never used them because they do not yet feel comfortable with the procedures and technology involved. The remaining 10% have either used the services or are preparing to use them.

To educate the legal community and promote global awareness of the significance of electronic data evidence, Ontrack experts have begun presenting a series of seminars that provide lawyers with the information they need to feel comfortable and confident using electronically stored data as evidence.

Ontrack Data International, Inc. is a leading vendor of services and software designed to maximize the integrity and security of hard disk drive data. An Ontrack wholly-owned subsidiary, Ontrack Data Recovery, Inc., specializes in recovering lost or corrupted data from any hard drive or alternative storage device that has fallen victim to a hardware or system malfunction, human error, computer virus, natural disaster or computer crime. Understanding that time is critical, Ontrack offers emergency, weekend, on-site and priority service to help users avoid expensive downtime. Ontrack is headquartered at 6321 Bury Drive, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55346, and can be reached by phone at 800-872-2599 (612-937-5161) and via the Internet at In addition to its Minneapolis location, Ontrack also operates data recovery labs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, London and Stuttgart.

Statements in this release concerning future prospects of Ontrack are "forward-looking statements" under the Federal securities laws. There can be no assurance that future results will be achieved, and actual results could differ materially from forecasts, estimates, and summary information contained in this press release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are included but are not limited to those listed in the Ontrack Annual Report incorporated by reference into the Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 1996, under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward Looking Statements.”


Media Contact:

Ben Blomberg, 952-516-3617,