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What Not To Do With Your Data

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the do-not-put-in-mouth dept.

319

Tiny Tim writes "Stupidity strikes! A data recovery company has revealed the dumbest data disasters it's confronted this year — including rotting bananas, smelly socks and a university professor's foolhardy application of WD-40."

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WD-40??!? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869574)

Excellent! I need a new hardrive, anyway...
http://song-lirics.com// [song-lirics.com]

wow (0, Offtopic)

nixmega (972206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869600)

This article makes me feel weird.

nonsense! (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869606)

Nonsense! I once turned a 5400RPM drive into a 7200RPM drive merely by giving it a good squirt of WD-40. I swear!

Re:nonsense! (5, Funny)

zhouray (985297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869802)

Damn! Now I think of Steve Ballmer every time I see the word "squirt". =(

Re:nonsense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870650)

funny, I always think of something more attractive which has breasts....

Privacy aspect (5, Insightful)

tomalpha (746163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869614)

What's interesting about this story is how easy it might be for *others* to recover your data after you think you've wiped it.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869772)

Very good call. Anybody know of any usefull tools to completely wipe the contents of a drive?

Re:Privacy aspect (5, Funny)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869812)

Yeah - a chainsaw, a garbage compacter and a wood chipper. And a rocket to launch the fragments into space.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869834)

You mean like DBAN? One of the problem with "utilities" is they require the drive to function in order for you to wipe it. And some times you can get a drive working again by just replacing some of the electronics typically found on the bottom of the drive. Taking the platters and putting them on an equivalent drive is probably also somewhat doable. Really though, when your drive no longer spins you have to resort to physical destruction of the platters - and you really do need to be thorough.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869956)

Right, well, I've got a laptop drive that's starting to make noise. It's under warentee, but I'd rather when I send it back that the info is completely missing. Nothing important, but I don't like the idea of the vendor knowing what my finances and the like are.

Re:Privacy aspect (3, Insightful)

tdemark (512406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870318)

I don't think it's the company you have to worry about. It's the person they send your drive to after they refurbish it you should be concerned about.

Re:Privacy aspect (5, Interesting)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870640)

Heh, yeah. I remember when my company bought a hard drive (sold as new, not refurbished) with an ntfs partition on it and a whole lot of personal data. There were pictures of a father and his baby taking a bath. Awww, isn't that sweet?.

I'm pretty sure the person who turned the disk in, if they thought about it at all, assumed that surely the shop would wipe the disk before reselling it. Well, clearly that's not something you can count on.

Re:Privacy aspect (2, Informative)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870406)

dban should be find then. If time is a constraint then you just need 4 random passes over the drive. Personally I like the Gutman wipe with the 27 voodoo passes. Of course it doesn't work on any spare sectors, but assuming there isn't anything that fits on a sector that is critical that should be fine.

Re:Privacy aspect (3, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869964)

When a drive is to be re-used within the company I work for we do a "secure erase" using a utility IT has blessed. If a drive is to leave the company it is wiped with the assistance of a 1/4" drill bit through the platters in at least three places.

A hard drive is cheap. Company data (or potentially incriminating data for those of us at home) is not.
-nB

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870032)

How do they do the drilling on the drives of laptops that get stolen?

Re:Privacy aspect (4, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870664)

With very, very long drill bits.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

Sangui5 (12317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870030)

If the drive still works, Eraser (http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/) is a great choice. Wipe one file or every block device on the machine. Nothing will be able to get it back after a Gutmann wipe.

If the drive doesn't work, disassemble the drive, remove the magnets (to play with later), and apply a combination of sandpaper and a hammer to the platters. Yeah, magnetic force microscopy might still get it back, but who'd pay that much for your mostly worthless data anyway?

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870352)

I've heard that the 3-letter government agencies could retrieve data even if the drive were wiped 80 times BUT I also know from friends who are former hackers turned LEO that they actually don't have to look beyond someone doing a simple format most of the time since people are typically stupid in that regard.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870042)

replace "x" with your hard drive's device

I like to run this (10 times) for a quite secure erase:

cat /dev/zero > /dev/x
cat /dev/random > /dev/x

I'd put it in 10 times, but, slashdot complains

Re:Privacy aspect (2, Informative)

OmnipotentEntity (702752) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870250)

Problem is, if the drive has any bad sectors, that fails and leaves the rest of the drive unerased.

I use badblocks read-write test. It's designed to do stuff like that.

Re:Privacy aspect (5, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870540)

Anybody know of any usefull tools to completely wipe the contents of a drive?

Yes. I call it "thermite".

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869840)

Ten times formatted? No problem - you've just lost the file allocation tables, every other byte is still intact - you end up with a puzzle of data you need to consolidate. I wonder how did they manage to recover data from the bananadisk

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869986)

isnt that only if you do a "quick format"? i thought a full format set everything to 0?

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870606)

My bad... (normal) format in MS-DOS took like seconds for a hard drive. It just wiped out the file table. Now, the format in Windows seems to exercise the hard drive real hard.

Re:Privacy aspect (3, Informative)

atta1 (558607) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870624)

No, it doesn't. All a full format does is relabel all the sectors and erase the FAT or MFT.

Re:Privacy aspect (2, Funny)

PRC Banker (970188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870018)

I don't know how effective this is, but it's how I discard an old HDD, and it's fun! 1. Dismantle (sometimes hard to do) 2. Scrape platters with wire-gauze 3. Put drive plates in a fire for a few minutes, enough to warp a little 4. Randomly punish - skate on concrete, etc 5. Place in water, for a few months (toilet tank) 6. Discard

Re:Privacy aspect (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870456)

You put your hd in the toilet? Are you hoping to make next years list?

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870490)

The fire is probably all you actually need to do. Bonus points for heating it to the curie point, which should randomize the magnetic domains. Curie point is different for different materials... But of course, once all the coating is gone, what's left these days is usually Al or glass, and neither one has magnetic domains.

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

Rastignac (1014569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870026)

All of your wiped data are belong to others ;)

Re:Privacy aspect (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870546)

What do you call easy? You're probably looking at a few thousand dollars to retrieve the data on a drive, if you have to have it done professionally (in a sending it to the lab sense), assuming the owner has at least done a decent job of blanking it (zeroing all the bits or similar). Sure, it's feasible, but it's generally much easier to buy random drives on eBay, as you're almost guaranteed one that someone forgot to wipe before selling...

advert alert (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869622)

waste of time

Re:advert alert (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870394)

waste of time

Yes, you are.

favorite data loss tale (4, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869628)

Someone I know had an important data disc that he used with no problems. Everything was going fine until he decided to get a little more educated about computer commands. He read a statement somewhere that said you need to "format discs before you use them." After reading this, he made sure to format the data disc before the next time he tried to access it.

The perfect secret weapon! (4, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869638)

One customer left a banana on top of his hard drive, which then rotted and seeped through into the device. The circuits were ruined and the drive failed to work.

AHhahahahahaha! the perfect corporate sabotage! Disguised as a janitor in a data center, place the banana inside one of the server cases over the holiday weekend, and voila! Muahahahahahahaha......

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (2, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869750)

In a another, similar article, I read of people noticing a mysterious foul odor that seemed to be coming from one of the office computers. A tech investigated, and found that one of the plastic panels for an (empty) drive bay was a little loose. He opened it and found what looked to be a month-old taco. Seems somebody confused the computer for a fridge.

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (4, Funny)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870386)

Oh sure, like none of us has ever used a computer to heat up some lunch.

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (1)

G-Licious! (822746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869806)

A Banana Bomb [wikipedia.org] would be more effective.

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (5, Funny)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869972)

Is that a banana in your server or are you just happy to see me?

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (3, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870120)

It is known that any given drive will max out on data in time. It would be good to...pear it down...
Thus the users could enjoy the fruits of their labor... I'll stop now...

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (2, Funny)

SpiritusGladius1517 (929800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870124)

What if they have a pointed stick?

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870410)

Shaddup!

Re:The perfect secret weapon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870568)

The banana is kind of a dead-man's switch. You replace the banana every few days. But if you get fired, nobody is changing the banana, and disaster ensues! hehehehe! :)

Great Advertising for OnTrack (2, Interesting)

waif69 (322360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869640)

Although, from people I met over the years, they have a very good reputation for data recovery. At one of the PC Expos in NYC, I remember they had a booth with a computer that was in a fire. They claimed that they were able to retrieve the data.

Ok... (3, Insightful)

aliendisaster (1001260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869644)

according to a data recovery company that has released a list of the most remarkable cases of data loss witnessed this year.
British comedian Dom Joly, presenter of Trigger Happy TV, thought the joke was on him when he dropped his laptop, damaging a hard drive containing 5,000 photos, 6,000 songs, a book he was writing and all of his newspaper columns.
Is dropping a laptop really that remarkable? I think they are just trying to name drop on this part.

Re:Ok... (2, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869892)

No, it's just that they're trumpeting how wonderful dropping a laptop could be toward saving us from being submitted to any more of Joly's dire attempts at humour ever, ever again.

Re:Ok... (1)

tillerman35 (763054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869918)

That guy is such an arfhole. I wish they hadn't been able to recover his data. Would have served him right.

Re:Ok... (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870176)

Depending on the drop, yes it is. The physical parts of a hard drive do not like being banged around and with all the parts of the laptop being so tightly packed, it doesn't take a lot to give a drive a lot of shock, especially if it is spinning. It was because of this that companies (I think IBM [ibm.com] , now Lenovo, Thinkpads were among the first) to provide systems to protect drives by attempting to detect the impending fall and stopping the drive the drive from spinning.

TDWTF has some good stories. (2, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869648)

Re:TDWTF has some good stories. (1)

joerdie (816174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869930)

I think your liky is dead.

That's the reason... (0)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869658)

That's the reason I always use high-quality, industrial-strength bits in all the code I write.

keyboard (4, Funny)

joerdie (816174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869660)

This is sort of OT but when i worked at radioshack, this guy was complaining about his keyboard on his laptop not working properly. After looking at the unit I realized that the customer had been hiding a thin layer of pot under the keys... I didn't "inform the authorities," but I did have a long conversation with the guy about where he should hide the pot.

Re:keyboard (1)

nastybastard (918354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870288)

That sounds like the guy at my office who I thought was capable of cleaning his keyboard. He brought it to me and complained that it still wasn't working.... he had ended up pouring what appeared to be an entire bottle of Windex in it. It was obvious when I took the keyboard from him and it started dripping from every crevice. Sad but true.

Interns (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869670)

My favorite is still the intern who accidentally typed 'rm -rf / home/user' as root. The machine wasn't very important and the data was restorable from tape but it was still pretty funny to see the look on his face when he realized what he had done.

Re:Interns (1)

Robmonster (158873) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869732)

I used to love typing that into a workstation, but not pressing enter.

One user had the habit of clearing the screensaver by hitting Enter over and over...

Re:Interns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869826)

I had a weak day once - I tried to delete the .anything files in the home directories on a file-server-only machine. Guess what I typed in /home:

rm -rf .* ...only afterwards, I realized, that .. is .*, too.

Bad Luck....

Re:Interns (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870088)

My favorite is still the intern who accidentally typed 'rm -rf / home/user' as root. The machine wasn't very important and the data was restorable from tape but it was still pretty funny to see the look on his face when he realized what he had done.

Similar story- once I was looking for a file so I tried to type "dir *.txt /s" or something similar from a DOS prompt, but my fingers typed "del *.txt /s" instead. Luckily I was able to stop it before it went through all of my directories, and undelete most of the files, but it taught me to be more careful in typing.

Re:Interns (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870486)

My favorite is still the intern who accidentally typed 'rm -rf / home/user' as root
I think it's more likely some evil geek told the intern that was the command for "backup" or something.

slashvertisement? (4, Insightful)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869690)

This thing is full of really bad puns and reads like an ad for a certian data recovery company. how the hell did this get posted on the front page?

....and the problem is? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870174)

The story summary said at the outset that it is the experiences of a data recovery company regarding data problems on damaged hardware. So what's the problem? It's not like that such a company is not a great source if you are looking to find out actual data loss/recovery anecdotes. Perhaps if you don't like such information, you should configure slashdot so you don't see "hardware" stories.

Re:....and the problem is? (1)

waxapple (1011943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870438)

I thought it was pretty poorly written too, if I'm being honest. It's got the feel of one of those 'America's most wanted' trash TV shows. "This guy got more than he bargained for when he borrowed his neighbour's car" It comes across as that sort of level of drivvel...

Re:....and the problem is? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870468)

I actually did not care so much about the quality of the article. It's been worth it for the even better stories posted as replies. Like the one about the dead rat PC.

the best tale (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869700)

I had a guy come to me with a laptop and said it would no "Turn on" so i power it up and his drive is not working, and i take the drive out, and take a good look at it, i put it back into the laptop thinking it must be the BIOS or somthing, the as soon as it powered up, i hear a sound that sounded like broken class in a blender! come to find out the poor think had been droped more then 21 times, he thought it could not harm the laptop, goes to show how dumb people are

Re:the best tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869946)

And your lack of ability to form a coherent sentence shows how dumb you are.

Eh... (1, Troll)

penguin_nv (1002939) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869762)

Just goes to show that some people really shouldn't touch technology

Just an advertisment (4, Informative)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869832)

That "article" is nothing more than a commercial for using their data recovery service.

Re:Just an advertisment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870150)

And what's worse, it's not even funny!

STOP POSTING ADS (5, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869940)

"OnTrack claims it rescued the data in all cases. Jim Reinert, senior director of software and services for the company, said it pays to have your damaged hard drive or storage device evaluated because the chances of recovery are good."

This "slashvertisement" crap has gone too far.

Re:STOP POSTING ADS (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870050)

I have to wonder - did /. get paid for this ad?

Re:STOP POSTING ADS (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870626)

By the way how do they recover the hard disk's data?

  For example I've heard a story a hard disk fallen into the sea and they managed to recover some data. How do they do?

My Confession (1)

gmajor (514414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869944)

I have a confession to make. I lost my data due to my sheer incompetence.

One late night, I surfed browsed through my government's website to look for some very important information. After about an hour of searching, I finally found a link to the document I needed. I had 5 other browser windows open, pointing to pages I needed. I thought the link would lead to an html page, but it was actually a pdf.

I merrily clicked on the link. Adobe Acrobat opened up inside the web browser. And to my horror, but not to my surprise, Adobe Acrobat crashed. It stalled IE, so I would have to ctrl-alt-delete and lose my 5 other browser windows, not to mention attempt to find the form again.

Out of frustration, I hit my laptop. Really hard. And the hard drive made a funny sound. A last breath kind of sound. Which it probably was.

I lost everything - work item, personal items. A lot. I had not backed up recently either.

Now I use FoxIt reader. And if a program crashes, I try to keep my cool.

Adobe Acrobat does not play nice (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870038)

It always slows things down, and often has idiotic upgrade messages to wade through. Thankfully, Google often offers HTML translations of PDF files it links to. I only wish they offered this for ALL pdf files, instead of just some. PDF for web content is a nuisance to be bypassed.

Re:My Confession (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870574)

<IE Slam; Firefox 2 Advert>

That's what you get for using IE. ;)

I used to have major issues with that as well, having numerous browser windows open and then having one crash and take the rest down. What I love about Firefox 2 is its ability to resume your session when you start it again, so all of your open tabs and windows will resume where they were before it crashed.

Of course, I haven't had Firefox 2 crash yet...

</IE Slam; Firefox 2 Advert>

Commonly (5, Interesting)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869948)

The most common issue I've dealt with is jr techs deleting user profiles off xp boxes to "fix" something without first determining if there is any sensitive data in "my documents." Yes, generally -- although we tell users to put important stuff on network drives -- there are docs there that carry weight....

I had a HD going bad once, with stuff on it I HAD to get off. I hooked it up and as it clicked and thumped and stopped spinning, I'd whack it with a flash light. This would make it spin and the copy would continue. After 30 minutes of beating it into submission, all data copied off successfully....

I will tell this: one time we had a fire at a site. After all the damage cleaned up, machines replaced, etc., we were working with the maintenance guy who had been involved in the smoke cleanup, etc. The server was pretty messy. We were going to replace it, but he said, "no problem. Got it working." We asked what he did.

He took the thing apart, apparently, and ran all pieces through the industrial dish washer -- all the but the harddrive. He let dry thoroughly, put all back together, and it worked. We were dumb-founded....

Re:Commonly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870466)

Water does not hurt electronics if they are not running usually.

'I spilt a drink on my keyboard'
'put it in the shower rinse'
'dry completely'
'use'

It is 'other things' in water that can cause problems though. As they get stuck in places where a short would occure. Also water can cause a short too, thats why you let it dry. Long term water will rust some things in the computer. But older computers are made of silver, gold, aluminum things that do not rust so easy (or at all). Now copper on the other hand likes rust QUICK. Rust bad. But you usually have a bit of time to get your data.

Re:Commonly (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870580)

I got a free laptop and a free $900.00 Universal MX-3000 remote that way. Both were damaged by smoke in a fire. they were being tossed at a clients home I snagged them and soaked both in distilled water for days, finally ended spraying down the boards, drying and then reassembling.

Both work great, in fact the laptop has been running fine for 6 months now with my daughter using it. (It's a super slow Dell latitude C640 good for a kid only wanting to run simple games like UT2004 or DOOM3)

Washing electronics is not surprising. everything you own has been washed once in it's life, typically during the assembly.. they wash off all the flux from the soldering process, typically with water if the place uses modern water soluble flux.

Advert for a company NOT to go to.. (4, Insightful)

mdobossy (674488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870000)

I like my data to be private, and if I was ever in need of a data recovery company, I would expect them to be professional, and respect my privacy/data.

Here you have a company airing their clients misfortunes all over the net.. and in one case even specifying the name of the individual. Doesn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about how well they respect a client's privacy.

Re:Advert for a company NOT to go to.. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870244)

And you know for a fact that OnTrack didn't get permission from those customers?

Re:Advert for a company NOT to go to.. (1)

mdobossy (674488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870286)

No I don't, nor did I claim to.. in fact, for the guy who's name they specifically mention, I suspect they probably did.

That being said, any company that would feel the need to air their clients unfortunate situations for the sake of marketing (permission or not) isn't a company I personally would want to give my business to.

Part 2.. (1)

mdobossy (674488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870458)

Sorry, my thought process was cut off while posting..

The other point I wanted to make is that we dont know one way or another if these stories were told with permission. So who would I go to with my personal data on a broken hard drive?? Company 1 that is known to blab stories about how their clients lost data (and who may or may not be getting said customers permission)? Or Company 2 who keeps their mouth shut, and just gets the job done.

Mark me down for Company 2.

Re:Advert for a company NOT to go to.. (2, Insightful)

Poltron Inconnu (985067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870548)

I'd highly suspect that they got permission to do so in all cases. The named individual probably even got the service in exchange for the publicity as it mentions they contacted him after reading about his problem in the paper. If there was not a prior agreement then I'm sure there will soon be an article on Slashdot about the lawsuit. Your comment isn't insightful, it's silly. Many companies give away their services or products in exchange for the right to publicize. And considering that your average Joe on the street assumes that a dead drive means all information is lost forever, as the aforementioned comedian did, then I can see why this company would want to shout from the rooftops that their service even exists. People don't look for what they don't know exists. If the company followed your advice their client list would be limited to only technologically adept people and that would rule out the vast majority of people using computers.

How to tag this? (1)

walruz (851125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870004)

I've been wondering how to tag this. It's not a Dupe, it's not a Slashvertisement.. Dupetisement? Duh'tisement? hey.. i like this last one!

N00bkes (5, Funny)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870014)

Thats why I use the Microwaved-Hard-Drive method. It works! Mostly because you can't find the HD amidst the smoldering ruins of the house.

Nothing but a press release. Move along. (1, Insightful)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870024)

Can we at least *try* to avoid posting false news items that are really nothing more than thinly-disguised press releases?

What is "False" about it? (3, Informative)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870064)

"Can we at least *try* to avoid posting false news items that are really nothing more than thinly-disguised press releases?"

Can you please cite the false parts of this news item? If you can't, why call it false?

Re:What is "False" about it? (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870214)

I think the fundamentally false premise is that this story is actually news.

However, at least it's interesting. Everyone loves someone else's disaster story.

Linux could use some improvement here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870160)

The other day I did: "rm *" without doing "cd otherdirectory" first. Aargh. After some googling, I discovered that it is generally impossible, or at least very difficult, to recover deleted data from a journaling file system in a multi-user environment. I had to reconstruct a week's worth of work because I only back up weekly.

Genlee posting on LinuxForums suggests: "I strongly recommend using a journaling filesystem beceause the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. If you have to, create a few scripts to mimick a trash can. Create a dir like /trash(chmod it 1666) and create a script to replace rm. Have it mv the file to trash so it can be recovered later if you need it. Then just create a cron which empties the trash or another script to do it. Or set an alias to rm to "rm -i" so it ask before you delete the file." It sounds like not a bad idea. On the other hand, the lack of an easy-to-use undelete tool for ext3 and Reiser seems like a bit of an oversight.

which one doesn't belong? (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870170)

British comedian Dom Joly, presenter of Trigger Happy TV, thought the joke was on him when he dropped his laptop, damaging a hard drive containing 5,000 photos, 6,000 songs, a book he was writing and all of his newspaper columns.
Is this supposed to be funny for some other reason than that he is a comedian and they managed to incorporate the word "joke"? The others maybe have some "ha, ha! I would never do THAT" appeal, but this one is out of place.

Wireless (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870194)

Not related to data recovery (I guess it is information loss, though). We had a wireless antenna set up that connected our office to the main wireless tower array that provided our wireless access for the town. People start calling saying they "can't get anywhere" (don't you just hate that description?). Anyway, come to find out that either the AP on our building or the bridge on the tower isn't working right.

I go and check the bridge on the tower, and it's fine. I notice the local AP shows no WLAN connection, so I go outside. Now, the AP is on the building behind our building (it's taller); we had rented space to put it there. The owners of the building are an older couple (it's an antique store). I walk into the alley and there's the cable that connects the indoor unit to the tranceiver dangling from the roof, and the guy's up there installing an old TV antenna. Doofus there didn't know "what [this] strange cable was", so he cut it (although he didn't admit it; funny how the cable "cut" itself and was fine until he was up there). So, $80 later it's fixed. We managed to splice the cable back together long enough for the new cable to come in.


We also had a person bring in a PC that wouldn't work. The technician opened the case, and there was a big dead rat in the case. Not a mouse, a rat, nest and all.

I swear, people should have to take a class and get certified to be allowed anywhere near technology. :P

Re:Wireless (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870424)

"We also had a person bring in a PC that wouldn't work. The technician opened the case, and there was a big dead rat in the case. Not a mouse, a rat, nest and all."

I wonder if it was some prank further up the line. How many PCs have a rat-sized hole in them for this to happen? And what about the stench? Did someone have an "Oh, I thought Gateways were supposed to smell this way" excuse?

Re:Wireless (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870552)

It's been several years, so I dunno how it got in there; it was dead, so questioning the rat wasn't possible. I do remember us talking about the funky odor that we couldn't place.

fag0rz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870256)

asshole to oth3rs rivalry. While

Backup? (2, Informative)

PhoenixK7 (244984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870284)

Yet more reasons to buy a cheap external hard-disk and at LEAST back up to that :-)

Or, you can be like me and back up to an external hard disk at home, and a filesystem on a RAID array with a hot spare, and another backup system for that array in a different location!

Backup solutions are way cheaper than paying some person to extract data from a dead drive... even for the bare minimum external USB/FireWire drive that you backup to daily, would save probably like 90% of all accidental damage losses of data, or losses due to random drive failure. Go out and set up your backup solution NOW, not tomorrow :-)

Re:Backup? (1)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870638)

Exactly - why hasn't anyone else made this point. I suppose all of the backed up data disasters don't make good headlines... Man leaves banana on disk... but used his backup!

Freeze your bad hard drives (3, Informative)

jgercken (314042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870290)

I concur that this is a lousy promotional post. Therefore I'd like to make sure everyone knows the trick of putting failed/failing hard drives in the freezer for a few minutes. For reasons unknown to me, it normally gets them running long enough to pull the important data off them. If you're tempted to send a failed drive to a recovery company, try this first.

Re:Freeze your bad hard drives (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870378)

For reasons unknown to me, it normally gets them running long enough to pull the important data off them
I was told that this works if the drive has spun a bearing. Putting the drive in the freezer causes the bearing to freeze into place for a short time. You can copy the data off the drive until the drive warms up and starts giving problems, again.

This is what I was told, anyway. :)

Is it just me, or is this really lame? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870308)

The only thing moderately interesting about this was the WD-40 story. The rest of them are pretty commonplace mistakes.

Did it really matter that the socks were dirty? If they'd been clean, it still would have been inadequate packaging. Is a celebrity dropping a laptop more amazing than me dropping a laptop? A leaky shampoo bottle is a top 10 disaster? If the guy had formatted his drive a 1000 times, would it have made data recovery any more difficult? Food in a computer component is newsworthy? This is just an advertising exec's spin on common data loss scenarios. Hooray for crap stories and corporate pandering.

10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870492)

They recovered data from a drive that was formatted 10 times?

Photography losses (4, Funny)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870722)

I used to work in a camera store. Although not directly related to losing computer data, the ways customers would destroy their cameras and their film were often quite amusing.

One guy dropped his camera into a lake at the cottage. He had read somewhere that once a camera has been immersed it should not be removed from the water. So he brought us his camera in a bucket full of lake water. I think there was even sand.

Another guy had his film (remember that stuff?) with vacation pictures break in the camera, so he couldn't rewind the roll. He did a very intelligent thing. He went into a pitch dark room, and by feel opened up the camera, took out the film and put it into a film container. Would have worked, except that didn't use one of those black Kodak film containers. Instead he used one of those clear film containers from Fuji. When he proudly brought his "saved" film in for processing, we regretfully had to inform him that despite his best efforts, the film was ruined.

Then there was the lady who didn't understand why her night photos of Niagara Falls (taken with a Kodax Disc camera) didn't turn out, because she distinctly remembered that the flash went off. We had to explain to her that if her flash could illuminate all of the Falls from that distance, it would probably kill everybody within 10 feet of her.
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