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Survival Stories

Interesting, difficult and sometimes controversial data recovery and business continuity stories from the Kroll Ontrack clean room and beyond.

“Cracked” Samsung SSD Controller Encryption

The pitfalls of automatic hardware encryption of fast Samsung SSD hard drives have been fatal for three senior staff members of a reputable audit firm. When the laptops of the managers were booted again after crashing, the three built-in Samsung SSDs of the 840 PRO Series were no longer recognised. Important customer data, unavailable elsewhere, were impossible to access. In view of this disaster, the only way out was to …Read More

Fire-damaged Hard Disk Drive from Private Island Fire [16 images]

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When a fire ripped through a British businessman’s private island (we can’t name him, but we’re sure you can guess who it is), several of his hard drives were caught up in the 200ft-high blaze.They contained crucial data that he needed to recover. Every disk from the Raid array was damaged by fire. Corrosion from the water used to extinguish the fire also damaged the disk and made the recovery …Read More

When a data centre data recovery becomes disaster recovery

When a customer loses most of their data centre to water damage, it is nothing to take lightly. We received an emergency call just like this recently. An enterprise level company had a burst pipe which flooded and physically damaged portions of their data centre. We immediately went to work. The situation The customer sent us 10 cabinets with a total of 1,400 drives. These were a mix of several …Read More

A breakthrough recovery? How data survived the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

Jon Edwards has seen his share of disasters. As a senior engineer at Kroll Ontrack he’s recovered data from devices that have been through the worst of times. Floods, fires, car wrecks- he thought he’d seen it all. But nothing could prepare him for what was to become his most famous and challenging task- salvaging data from a melted disk drive which had fallen from the sky six months prior …Read More