The Queensland floods have devastated many businesses, and as business owners return to their offices to find water logged computers and potentially lost data and financial records, we asked Kroll Ontrack, a data recovery specialist for tips to prevent potential data loss from their computer hard drives.
“While some companies use remote data backup services or had ensured that their backups were completely safe, some consumers may have been left with submerged computers and no backups,” says Adrian Briscoe, General Manager Asia Pacific, Kroll Ontrack.
To help those who are flood affected and facing the possibility of losing valued data, Kroll Ontrack advises the following:
1. Do not attempt to power up equipment damaged by water. If water has infiltrated the hard drive or electrical components, electrical power can leave the hard drive unrecoverable and be hazardous to anyone handling the hard drive.
2. Do Not Dry the Hard Drive. Whenever media is damaged by water, the first instinct to remedy the situation is to try and dry it out. However, the contaminants contained in water are often not visible to the human eye and will damage the media irrevocably. Residue left on the hard drive platters and circuit board corrosion will need to be treated by in-lab professional engineers.
3. Keep the hard disk wet until you get professional help. Although it sounds paradoxical, keeping a hard drive wet aids data recovery. Kroll Ontrack recommends placing the hard disk in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent it drying out until professional engineers can dry the platters and other components in a sterile environment.
“Never assume that data is unrecoverable, no matter what it has been through,” says Briscoe. “Amongst the most remarkable case histories is NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia hard drive which plunged into a lake after travelling for 39 miles through space. Kroll Ontrack engineers managed to recover 99 per cent of the information stored on the drive.”
Kroll Ontrack is offering all those people affected by the floods a free hard drive consultation and evaluation plus a heavily discounted flat fee of $850 per hard drive for desktop, laptop, notebook and external hard drive recoveries. The usual price for this service available through the company’s Ontrack Data Recovery solutions service (www.ontrackdatarecovery.com.au) can range up to $2,400 per drive.
In addition, Kroll Ontrack is offering a 20% discount on recovery of servers, Storage Area Networks (SANs), VMware and tape media.
Kroll Ontrack has also established a special toll-free flood relief hotline for affected IT users. The number to call is 1800 782 259