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Disklabs' 10 Most Unusual Requests for Data Recovery

Disklabs Data Recovery Services receive over 50,000 requests per year from clients needing their data recovered. ‘It seems that each year, this list gets more and more bizarre’ says director Simon Steggles.

This year is the first published list of data recovery disasters, showing the client that no matter what you may think, recovery of data is nearly always possible, even from these somewhat extreme cases:

The Disklabs Data Recovery 2006 Top Ten of Data Recovery Disasters

1. ‘My cat urinated on my laptop’ – A Toshiba laptop was sent in to the technicians at Disklabs in the hope that the data could be saved from the hard disk of the laptop which had been urinated on by a clients pet Persian Blue.

2. ‘It fell off the roof of the car’ – A sales person was in a hurry to get to his next appointment, and placed his laptop on the roof of his car, while he placed all his demo products into the vehicle. Needless to say, he forgot the laptop on the roof and drove off. He stated ‘ I was doing about 40mph when I saw it in the rear view mirror’

3. ‘I accidentally drove over it’ – was the reason for having to send the MP3 player into Disklabs. The client didn’t realise that the MP3 player had fallen out of her pocket, and accidentally drove over the offending device.

4. ‘We just sacked the IT manager and he started kicking the server’ – The IT manager wasn’t up to the job of managing the IT department, so it was decided to ask him to leave. The person in question decided that he would be happier if he broke the server prior to leaving. This was achieved by kicking the server until it stopped working, causing lots of data to be corrupted and hardware damage to the hard drives.

5. ‘There was a bit of oil on it?’ What was later found out was that there was oil damage on a laptop computer from a spillage on an oil rig. The oil spilled was a substantial amount, approximately 120 barrels of crude was spilt over this clients laptop.

6. ‘I accidentally threw it out of a window’ – the claim from a student who was ‘messing around’ with his room-mates laptop. Instead of pretending to throw the laptop out of the window, he actually did – much to the dismay of his room-mate.

7. ‘She just got stroppy and snapped it in half’ – This is what we were told by a client whose husband thought she was having an affair. The phone, a Motorola V3 Razor was literally snapped in half by the upset wife. Disklabs only received one half of the phone, and was still able to retrieve all the SMS messages and contacts.

8. ‘The dog has had a go at it’ – a Staffordshire bull terrier took a liking to its owners camera and bit into it. The memory card inside took a bit of damage, and arrived still wet from dog saliva.

9. ‘I was showing my friend how to delete data on the spare hard drive – but I deleted the wrong one’- this helpful client tried to assist one of his workmates and mistakenly deleted the good data and left the data which should have been destroyed.

10. ‘My wife threw my laptop down a well’ – All we can say is that there was a bit of a ‘marital dispute’ and that the excuses given were apparently not acceptable to the wife. Revenge was taken and the husband’s laptop was promptly thrown into a 60 foot well.