[ISN] How to smash a home computer

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Tue Nov 16 08:36:23 EST 2004


14 November, 2004

An executive who froze his broken hard disk thinking it would be fixed
has topped a list of the weirdest computer mishaps.

Although computer malfunctions remain the most common cause of file
loss, data recovery experts say human behaviour still is to blame in
many cases.

They say that no matter how effective technology is at rescuing files,
users should take more time to back-up and protect important files.

The list of the top 10 global data disasters was compiled by recovery
company Ontrack.

Click 'Yes' for catastrophe

Careless - and preventable - mistakes that result in data loss range
from reckless file maintenance practices to episodes of pure rage
towards a computer.

This last category includes the case of a man who became so mad with
his malfunctioning laptop that he threw it in the lavatory and flushed
a couple of times.

"Data can disappear as a result of natural disaster, system fault or
computer virus, but human error, including 'computer rage', seems to
be a growing problem," said Adrian Palmer, managing director of
Ontrack Data Recovery.

"Nevertheless, victims soon calm down when they realise the damage
they've done and come to us with pleas for help to retrieve their
valuable information."

A far more common situation is when a computer virus strikes and leads
to precious files being corrupted or deleted entirely.

Mr Palmer recalled the case of a couple who had hundreds of pictures
of their baby's first three months on their computer, but managed to
reformat the hard drive and erase all the precious memories.

"Data can be recovered from computers, servers and even memory cards
used in digital devices in most cases," said Mr Palmer.

"However, individuals and companies can avoid the hassle and stress
this can cause by backing up data on a regular basis."



* One user put his hard drive in a freezer, after reading on the
  internet that this can fix malfunctioning hardware

* When tidying up his computer folders, one user inadvertently deleted
  the ones he meant to keep. He only realised he'd made the mistake
  after emptying the recycle bin and defragging the hard drive

* While a large office was being constructed, a steel beam fell on a
  laptop that contained the plans for the building.

* A female user placed her laptop on top of her car while getting in.
  Forgetting about the laptop, it slid off the roof and she then
  reversed straight over it as she set off

Source: Ontrack Data Recovery

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