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Bizarre ways to land yourself in a data disaster

Madura McCormack | Dec. 3, 2012
Kroll Ontrack reveals list of top 10 data loss tragedies for 2012, ranging from cats to cars.

We've all heard from that one unlucky friend whose smartphone met an untimely demise through drowning or who somehow managed to wipe their hard drive, usually followed by cries of anguish from all the precious data lost.

Now meet Kroll Ontrack's list of top 10 data disasters of 2012, a mix of unlucky to just plain sad.

The list compiled represents global customers of the data recovery company Kroll Ontrack.

10. Cat-astrophe

A woman placed her external hard drive on her dirty laundry pile and carried the basket downstairs. Deciding it was a good spot for a nap, the family cat parked itself on top of the pile resulting in an obscured hard drive.

Unbeknownst to the woman's boyfriend, he shooed the cat off and dumped the pile straight into the washing machine. Clothes and hard drive were sparkling clean afterwards.

9. Why work and alcohol don't mix

A graphics designer about to complete a 3D logo job decided to unwind with a drink. Placing the drink on the table while admiring his work, the designer managed to tip over the glass. The computer caught a sip, sending the data to the place where memories go after a drunken night.

8. Caught between a rock and a sandy place

Accidentally deleting data off a computer is stressful enough, what more a company situated in the middle of the Gobi Desert who wiped a VMware machine clean.

7. Incriminating evidence

Thieves doused an Australian pool and spa shop they robbed with hydrochloric acid to erase any evidence, subsequently corrupting the shop's computer and point of sales terminal. The company managed to salvage data from the acidic and rather pungent machines.

6. Slippery hands

Instead of dropping it into a pool or bathtub, this company found a more innovative way to send an iPad to its death, as the device containing important drilling data plummeted off the side of a Nigerian oil rig into the Atlantic Ocean.

5. The wrong way to create a thinner iPad

Laying down his bag to rest his shoulders while waiting for the bus, a business professional received a thinner iPad that morning. Not realising it, the bus driver mounted the crosswalk and into the path of the bag. You could say the business professional was rather crushed about the death of his tablet.

4. Disgruntled employee

A fired employee decided to take revenge on the company by logging onto the network he still had access to via free wi-fi at a fast-food chain. Several terabytes of deleted data and a burger later, the ex-employee had had his fill.

3. Technological road kill

Realising he had parked badly after exiting, a driver closed his car door and proceeded to correct his vehicle's placement. While re-parking the driver felt something under the wheel. That something was the camera he unknowingly dropped. Who says memories live on forever.


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