HP Data Vault Giveaway

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I’m giving away an HP Data Vault! Read on to find out how it could be yours.
HP Data VaultBack in January I posted my review of HP’s Data Vault, which is a small business backup and storage server from HP. As a dead simple way to configure backups on your business network without needing to hire an IT guy to provide support, Data Vault shines. It also works great as a solution for sharing music across your business network, which might be a viable alternative to having office bandwidth used up by Pandora and other streaming services. A three-year warranty helps guarantee you’ll have support for your data protection and integration with KeepVault extends Data Vault with online data backup, providing an offsite backup of data in the event of fire, flood, or other site disaster.
The rules of the Data Vault giveaway are simple – post a comment to this entry explaining a data loss disaster. If you’ve ever had a hard drive fail, a digital camera memory card lose your photos, or a soft drink spilled on your laptop keyboard, you’ve got a great story to tell about data loss.
To qualify you will need to use your real email address when leaving the comment so that I can contact you if you are chosen (don’t worry, the email address doesn’t show up publicly in the comment). The recipient of the Data Vault will be selected at random from all people who leave comments on this post.
There are two additional criteria: (1) If the anti-spam software I use to filter comments determines your comment is spam the comment is automatically disqualified. (2) A person may only submit one entry. Entering more than once automatically disqualifies you.
To qualify, you must submit your data disaster story in the comments of this post no later than 11:59 p.m. on 25 April 2010. The recipient will be notified via email sometime after 12:01 a.m. on 26 April 2010.
In addition to giving away a Data Vault, there will be separate awards of an HP Mini 311, Smart Wi-Fi Display, and HP Shirt for the subjectively determined best data disaster stories.
And if you don’t happen to be the lucky person who takes home the Data Vault from this site, keep your eyes peeled for contest announcements coming from:
1) Hardwaresphere
2) Slashgear
3) Geekazine
4) Absolutely Windows
5) Gottabemobile
With that, share your data loss disaster below:

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139 comments

  1. I had a major data loss with some video files I had saved off. I had saved off a bunch of shows after pulling them from my DVD’s so that I could watch them whenever I wanted. Well, my hard drive crashed and it took me another 2-3 weeks to get everything put onto the new hard drive.

  2. I’ve had a hard drive crash on me….. I didn’t have the drive backed up at all. It’s one thing to lose the operating system, but all the updates for the operating system and especially your personal data. :-< Ugghh!!!

  3. I just had a hard drive crash on me last week. I was hwearing a clicking noise, and then the blue screen of death. . I turned oit off and rebooted, and then another clicking noise. I rebooted it 4 more times , and I guess it was giving me a warning to get your files out of there now…before it was too late. I tried it it one more time , and this time there was no clicking noise, just a black screen….with data, where I couldn’t go any further.

  4. I wanted to format my laptop, so i transferred my data’s from my laptop into my 8Gb pen drive. But after formatting the laptop, when i was transferring my data back all my Photos which i kept it separately . some photos were clicked on 10megapixel camera & some were on 6megapixel. All the photos which were clicked on 10megapixel camera were not opening only. they were not showing the preview on any of the software’s. so i lost all the photos. i was not able to get it back. But since i had given one of the copy to my cousin , i was able to get it.

  5. My normal practice is to scan and file into various folders all my bills, checks paid out (personal & business), tax and utility forms, etc. In addition, I file duplicates of all my documents and photos that go into my website. These had been saved in a file named Scanned Docs under My Documents (Windows XP Pro).
    I had normally done a hard drive clone every time I thought I had made a significant enough changes to warrant the 4 or 5 hours it took to shut down my computer to do a clone. I guess I forgot for a 2 or 3 month period.
    One evening I had gone to bed and noticed my computer was going into the normal weekly scheduled backup (not clone).
    The next morning, I saw that over 15 years worth of scanned documents were gone — the file was completely empty. Nothing I did could retrieve the pdfs – restore to a previous time did nothing and using a data loss program used by a hired IT guy did nothing. I was able to retreive years worth of files using the previous clone store in an external HD off site (in case of fire), but the 3 months or so of un-cloned data was lost & had to be re-scanned.

  6. I have always been paranoid about data loss, through hardware failure or by malicious software. I started out by always being sure I had what CNET or other evaluation entity deemed the best anti-virus software installed. Then I became enamored of firewall software and installed ZoneAlarm. To augment my hard drive, I had an offboard external USB connected Hard Drive. One day, both my external hard drive and the computer, both on the same UPS (hint) became victim to a huge electrical hit. I was devastated and could not recover years of work. I now have a home server on a different power line and RAID 0+1 on the main computer as well as periodic external image backup via Symantec’s Backup Exec which I store at a friend’s house weekly. I am backed up in triplicate and still have nightmares. I cannot afford another total data loss so I hope my current scheme works. Pray for me.

  7. Photography is a hobby of mine and I love taking pictures of people/family, flowers, and especially my kids. I do most of the photographing at family events. I copy my photos from my camera directly to external hard drives. I use a laptop that is on a bedside-like desk with rollers, and the external drives are on the same desk, so that I can move between the bedroom and living room. At least 2 to 3 times (different days) as I was rolling my desk between rooms, the three hard drives fell from the desk to the carpeted floor (about 25″ – 30″ inches high). I have not been able to access any of my pictures from the hard drives for months. The lights come on, but I don’t “hear” the drive spinning. It’s too expensive to do data recovery. I’m holding on to the drives in case data recovery will become less expensive in the near future. But I am bummed that I can no longer access about 7 years worth of pictures/memories of important family events, my kids’ precious pictures when they were babies, scanned photos of my parents, and some of my favorite pictures!!!

  8. This was a minor disaster, but a disaster all the same. There is a family feud between my family and another family at our church. I did some snooping around and found some sensitive information that I was not supposed to have access to. I stored it in an unusual place because the other family has physical access to my computer now and then, and there are several ways to get around passwords. Long story short, I forgot to backup said data before wiping my hard drive while installing Windows 7 Beta. Fortunately, I had printed a hard copy at some point. I found it a long time later and was able to confront the other family, to their great surprise! 🙂

  9. i bought my first digital camera at the airport duty free on my way to France for a family holiday, and taught myself how to use it whilst away. On returning to Australia and downloading my precious family photos, I managed to lose some 50 or so pics due to what we think was a power spike. A few months later the same camera, this time with some different happy-snaps was stolen from my car in the carpark of the french language school I was attending.
    I bought a replacement camera and took it overseas the following year, once again to France. My lack of French language skills and pressure to do the job quickly, resulted in me inadvertedly downloading a couple of dozen photos onto the harddrive of a computer in an internet cafe in Paris. (Luckily i had 800 or so other pics that I managed to save correctly to CDROM). On arriving back in Australia i rang the internet cafe and even had a french friend on hand to speak for me. Sadly, the owners weren’t very helpful even though it had only happened two days previously and I could give them the exact number of the computer on which my photos were languishing.
    My skills in digital photography, reading and communicating in French have improved since, but I still get anxious whenever downloading my pictures whether at home or abroad.

  10. I had about 4 years worth of pictures and home video on my home computer when it conked out after a two month stretch of not being booted up. Up until then, I had only been able to back up a year’s worth on some loose CDs and DVDs. It’s not the loss of data which irritates you to no end, but the accompanying memories that you’ve steadily and pain-stakingly built over the years that when it goes down the drain without warning, leaves you a feeling like someone carved up a portion of you and threw it away, never to be recovered.

  11. Six months back, I used a External Storage hard drive to back up my English movie collections. Due to voltage issue, I lost the hard disk along with movies.

  12. We were working on a Linux Box as our web testing server, using it for SVN, apache and such. For some reason, the hard drive decided to crash (quite an agony – huge noise, etc) leaving us with only local copies of the files and another 3-4 days of work to restore all (old) backups. Since then, we decided just a single drive in our most important box is not enough and we opted for a RAID 1 …

  13. Well, I’d cut and pasted all my photos from a school excursion from my camera to my computer. (My dad always likes me to wipe the camera data each time I use it) Well, one day he accidentally permanently deleted the photos from my USB. I was really heartsick after that because I had photos of my best friend who has now moved schools and made new friends (and apparently doesn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore) There’s photos of her on Facebook with her new friends and everything, but it’s just not the same as those photos we took together on that school excursion.

  14. I received a laptop as present after my baby was born. I hadn’t had the chance to really enjoy it. I had just feed the baby and she was calm; in the food induced sleepiness. So I decided to check email. Just as I was finishing the poor thing does a projectile vomit onto my laptop. The laptop was fried. I haven’t been able to use it since then.

  15. My wife and I run a gym together… a year or two ago we were not checking to see if the data back ups of our data were being done by the closing employees.
    Well sure enough winter came around and it RAINED… it rained like it hasn’t rained since Noah’s epic flood! Water got everywhere, destroyed half our paper files… and the water caused shorting out of every single PC! This meant every hard drive was useless… nothing would get them working again!!
    Our data that was backed up had somehow been wiped too, an employee had WIPED the back up instead of BACKING IT UP!!!!
    Our data recovery method meant that 800 people’s information had to be reentered into the system, and for many whose paper files were destroyed too, we had to get all their data from them again.
    It was a nightmare!!! Please please please let us win this back up system!

  16. I’ve had multiple times where I’ve lost data. Not every time has has been bad.. typically it was a work laptop failing, or accidentally dropped. Most of the time I could recover most of the data, but there was one time where lot of my business transactions information was loss to a failing hard drive. It just stopped working and wouldn’t respond. Couldn’t even use a RAW data recovery program on the drive since it was failing hard… Which reminds me I need to go backup some videos and photos now. 😉

  17. My hard disk broke with 160GB of data, most of them not backed-up. The data included the e-mails from the last 6 months and the same amount of reports. I was willing to pay up to 2000 euros for recovery but I was unfortunate that recovery was not possible.
    Needless to say that I now do my automatic backups to three different places. Call me paranoid but I cannot afford losing data or e-mails.

  18. I was using an external Maxtor One-Touch with a cheap firewire card. Through a bus miscommunication, all data was lost, in the middle of a backup. And of course, that was the only copy. Recovery software didn’t do it’s job completely, as every picture had about the bottom 1/20th inverted and shifted about halfway to the side.

  19. My latest loss of data was when my baby son grabbed “interesting object” sitting near the “shinny box” – result – Toshiba Satellite notebook fried. HDD was fired as well but because I did not have all of my data backed up – I had to pay to get data saved.
    The most fun I had with data loss was installing Linux back in 2000 and trying to get it use Windows NT loader… one missing digit and one very important partition was lost. Some math, disk editor session and few guesses later I got it back. I still appreciate “Are you sure you want to do…” questions from MS software 😉

  20. My cat knocked over a drink onto the keyboard of my laptop which resulted in my hard drive going south. Fortunately my entire music collection was on an external terrabyte seagate drive. There are some photos and videos I’ll never probably get back and I still have a number key that doesn’t work but I now have a healthy respect for drinks and cats around my computer

  21. Which one/where to start? How about the one with smoke?
    A long time ago, far, far away, I lost an entire hard drive. I had been in the process of adding RAM (the kind that comes in individual chips – not modules). I had removed the hard drive to be able to access the entire motherboard, but wanted to test everything before I went through the effort of putting everything back together (in case I ended up having to take something out again). I pulled the cables through the case and hooked up the hard drive on the desk. Everything booted fine when I turned it on, but for some reason I decided I needed to go through another boot cycle. At some point I picked up the hard drive, and then put it down, balanced on the frame of the computer – with electrical components in contact. This time when I turned the power on there was a small curl of smoke and the distinct smell of burning silicon (no pyrotechnics though). The hard drive was gone.
    At least there was a happy ending – I actually had a floppy disk backup of the entire hard drive using a piece of backup software named after a large cat (Cheetah maybe?). The backup spanned three boxes of 5.25″ floppies, but allowed for individual files to be selected for restore. There was a “catalog” on one disk (can’t remember if it was the first or last) so it wasn’t necessary to go through every disk to restore just one file.
    Jim

  22. My worst disaster was when my daughter brought her pc for me to do a wipe and reload of the os. She loves taking pictures and had hundreds of them on her pc. She was in a hurry because she had to get back to college, so I decided to quick format a spare external hard drive that I had and then copied all of her data to it. I usually check to make sure that all of the data copied, but this time I didn’t. I went ahead with the wipe and reload and when I patched in the spare drive – there was no data. I tried several utilities to recover it but it was gone. I felt terrible. She was able to recover most from social network sites but I’m sure some were lost forever.

  23. About six months ago, i decided that it was time to update my hard drives with new ones. The ones i had were getting a bit small, so i ordered two 500 Gigabyte ones. I stayed with the Maxtor DiamondMax Ultra range. I had never had any problem from this make in the past and was looking forward to the extra space that they were going to afford me.
    When the new drives arrived, i duly transfered all of my business data that i had accumalated over the past four to five years and was very pleased with the extra speed etc. Things were fine for about a month and i decided to format my old drives and gave them to a friend to put
    in his machine.
    Imagine my horror, when i got up a few days later and booted my PC and my new drives refused to boot. I contacted Seagate (who were now the owners of the company), via a Skype call and was notified that there was a bug in the firmware of these particular models and to send them back for reprogramming. This i did immediatly, to find that the data could not be recovered. They had managed to hard flash an update to the firmware, but all my data was lost.
    What could i do, i was totally at a loss. Since then i have managed to collect a lot of my business stuff again from the sites that i purchased from, but still lost thousands of pounds worth of data.
    Thats life i supose.
    Vince

  24. Oh my God… I remember a couple of years ago that I had a 2TB NAS unit and the controller card controlling the two 1TYB drives in it failed, leaving the RAID useless. Of course, it was RAID-0. Anyways, I digress. The drives was filled with music and high definition video archives, all of which I lost! 2TB worth!

  25. 3 months ago I was hit by a combo of a malware that was not removable by the available fixes and/or repair software of the day AND by the death of a cheap old backup hard drive that decided to die during a restore of the data. I lost tax data and legal proceedings. Some of it is in print so I will have to rescan and some of it are in my sent folder in my email. Unfortunately some will never be recovered again. I definitely need a more reliable backup solution.

  26. My data loss story:
    Two months ago, I awoke to the sound of smoke alarms; walked down the hall toward a family room that was supposed to be dark. It was glowing like an open fireplace. My house was on fire. A 50-year old piece of fabric covered Romex had failed and shorted out. We had minutes to get out of the house with the dogs and the clothes on our backs. I was able to resist the temptation to go back in to get this or save that. I later discovered that I had less time than I thought. If I had gone back in, I wouldn’t be writing this today. While the fire did not burn everything, it subjected everything higher than 3 feet off the ground to 1500 degrees. Computers were sagging plastic on the desks and everything was covered in the toxic soot and smoke that comes from burning all the plastics that are so essential to modern life.
    Not willing to give up, I extracted the hard drives from the machines and gave them to a neighbor who was able to mount them and get them to spin up to effect a partial transfer to an external hard drive before they spun themselves into total failure. Family pictures that weren’t digitized and hanging on the walls were toast. Software install disks and manuals were melted or burned. Books, notes, music, movies were gone. Printers, scanners, USB ports, battery backups, all the things for computer workflow were just little blobs of plastic draped over sheet metal.
    After two months, I am about 75 percent back to working normally. Fortunately, we live near a volunteer fire company that arrived in only 4 minutes and I had a great insurance company which settled equitably and quickly. We didn’t lose everything and with a lot of cleaning and hard work, we will recover, rebuild and move forward.
    Lessons were learned that day. Someday you WILLl need to rely on offsite backup; and you NEED to change your smoke alarm batteries twice a year and test them monthly. Fire proof safes work. You need to rethink what should be in them.
    For my part, I now have a deeper appreciation and understanding of what is really important to me.

  27. Out most recent data loss disaster involved “cleaning up” before “doing a backup”. Shortly before taxes were due, my wife finished the taxes and decided to try an on-line backup service. Since it was taking a long time to copy a lot of large image files that were created by a scanning project, she decided to “clean up” a lot of the extraneous .tif files. Somehow during this process she also “cleaned up” the tax files, along with all previous years of tax files. Because of some late changes to our return last year, it turned out that there was no backup of the earlier return’s source files, only the ones that were deleted. The intention was there, but the manual execution caused major problems. Lots of opportunity for lesson’s learned, and a mandate for a new home backup strategy.

  28. 19 years working in IT I’ve heard of many and have experienced a few data loss disasters.
    Professionally, one major disaster, at least in terms of career limiting possibilities, was when the CEO of a mid size company lost the contents of his laptop HD while on a trip overseas. The LT was overnighted to me, and an Engineer and I used low level recovery tools to retrieve about 90% of the data. Consequently we got funding for a backup automation solution shortly thereafter.
    Personally I’ve had the occasional drive go out that I hadn’t gotten around to back up but the biggest one for was a SD card while on vacation. It failed in mid-trip and of course I didn’t bring a spare. Back home I was able to recover the photos and will have to live by my own memories for the 2nd half of that trip.

  29. I used to have a regimen of backing everything up to Iomega Jaz disks … which was a wonderful thing until I had a problem with one of the Jaz drives. It had gotten a bit noisy, but I didn’t think anything of it until I realized that the drive was killing all of my disks … and my data along with it! I saved some stuff but lost *tons* of stuff … I now use redundant backup!

  30. WHEN I WAS NEW TO THE PC i lost everything twice due to viruses /hackers i really dont know since i didnt keep up with it all that much back then….but all the music and precious photos and one of a kind art that i had is gone forever…..

  31. We use external hard drives for storage of our personal datas. More than a year ago we moved to a new subdivision and most houses are still on construction. One of the things i setup first is the computer and after plugging the external hard drive I’ve heard a circuit explosion and there’s some smoke coming out. God! that burned of our 2drives. Lessons learned: always have avr with surge protector.

  32. I have had two data-only hard drives fail in the last two years. Both happened only a couple of months apart. I lost much of the work that I had been saving related to a new church we were starting. With the state and federal government tightening the reins on churches, I could not afford to just forget it. Fortunately, I had copies of the work saved on the main hard drive in one PC, and I was able to bits and pieces of it back together and saved and stored on the data drives. I have a old Gateway server that is still running after 10 years, but it is limited and full. There’s not much else I can do with it. The drives that failed were USB drives connected to the server and were only data drives. However, I lost 500+ gigs of data that took forever to rebuild once the new drives were in place. Needless to say, I am duplicating everything now in case of failure. It is not fun, but it has to be done to protect me.

  33. A couple of years ago, my husband’s laptop completely died. After that I religiously backed up my computer to an external hard drive. My diligence lasted about 6 months, and then I got lazy and stopped backing up. Of course, that’s when my computer (which was over 10 years old) bit the dust – taking with it over a hundred pictures I hadn’t backed up. That was a sad day.

  34. I’ve been computing for 35+ years, and have yet to see a reliable backup. Rather, it’s the restoration of data that’s been faulty, no matter the medium–floppy, tape, digital discs, HD, Internet. One incident: “We don’t support Microsoft’s newest upgrade of their Windows version so our drivers for your tape system won’t work. We will try restoring your data for $400+.” Another joy was that a raid system failed because the HD controller was defective. My personal worst was recently when an Internet backup failed to restore after I upgraded my own PC. The data was more than 80% scrambled. I could go on. Safe to say, depending on only one or two backup techniques is insufficient.

  35. I had a RAID mirror fail on me. Thinking I knew what I was doing, I re-established the mirror. Unfortunately, I’d told the RAID firmware to re-establish the mirror AND write zeros to it – and it held My Documents for the last six years. Oh, well…I’ll be more careful next time…

  36. I was working for a moderate sized company. The server room (which housed 30 servers and a small SAN) was undercooled and the existing AC equipment had been erratic. I’d been pushing for thermal monitoring equipment but had been consistently vetoed by management.
    One day the AC failed completely. It was just fortunate that I happened t be working late and happened to make a trip to the men’s room, which was adjacent to the server room. As soon as I entered the hall which led to both I could hear that all the device fans in the server room were running way too fast. By the time I opened the door, I discovered the temp was over 112 degrees and rising.
    Needless to say, several servers were totally slagged. And I had to take the Oracle servers down hard to prevent further physical damage, which Oracle doesn’t like at all.
    Eventually we didn’t lose any data, but everything was offline for over 48 hours while equipment was replaced, logical errors corrected and backups restored. That counts as data loss in my book.
    The good side of it all was that we did get approval to replace and enlarge the AC and to deploy environmental monitoring!

  37. We were running out of space on our DVR so I bought a large external drive for it. It ran fine for about a year then just started to fail and finally died – of course it was at a time when it the drive was very full… so we lost hours of our favorite TV shows, never to get them back. Yes we probably watch too much TV. 😉

  38. I arrived into work one morning (i’m ‘that IT Guy’), i usually start the day checking my e-mail only to be presented with a network timeout error… i tried to remote into the firewall – FAIL. So i stumbled all the way down to the server to find it had a BSOD, turning it off and back on done nothing.. as soon as it got to the loading windows screen we had a BSOD.
    So i unplugged it and dragged the heavy beast up to my room, only to find the Hard drive had some errors, it wouldn’t even let me scandisk without it failing.
    luckily i had everything backed up… or so i thought. We use ISA Server and i forgot to backup our access rules which effectively controls every aspect of our network. The company that installed the ISA no longer exists.. at this point i thought my job was on the line, it would be impossible for me to rebuild ISA – crippling our network.
    I resorted to buying another SCSI drive – reinstalling WINDOWS *2000,LOL* and i some how managed to scan the broken drive and fix the errors from the new drive.
    Now i have ISA backed up and have learned alot more about servers. It was a stressful couple of days but i got the job done.
    Since then i have been super paranoid about backing up but only have a portable LACIE drive, this would be perfect!!

  39. I remember it well… It was Aug 2005 I had purchased a new Dell in Aug 2004 – with a 2x500GB RAID 0 — for the system drive!
    I wanted a really fast and big system drive – I was just going to put everything there. This was back when Dell didn’t warn you about doing silly things like a RAID 0 system drive. Things were going a long fine, I got everything loaded that I wanted – things installed and configured just right. I was probably only using 20% of the disk space I had. I had backed up the system a few months earlier and thought it was time for another backup – I had lots of important stuff on this drive my household and business finances most importantly, saved email, music and photos, etc. Well I didn’t have another spare drive with enough free space so I deleted my first backup and I was just about to start the new backup when one of the drives in the RAID failed!!! So now I had nothing! No financial data backup at all was the biggest issue. I HAD to get this data back.
    So I won’t make this too long I’m summarize the rest:
    I tried a few things since I didn’t thing the drive was physically damaged and I could see data when I used a tool to just look at sectors of the drive but nothing I could do would get it back. So as much as I hate to pay someone else to work on my computers I brought to a long established computer repair place locally – lots of what they initially tried I had already tried. Then I went away and they worked on it some more. I few days later I get the call – they can’t fix it!
    So I bring it back home, I start looking at data recovery services — they price my the size of the disk and the fact it was a RAID make it even more – I think the lowest price I got was $5,000!!! Not wanting to go that, I started googling data recovery programs in more detail now. I eventually found two programs called allowed me to recover all my data! They were: GetDataBack for NTFS and Raid Reconstructor. I had to use both of these. Plus even though I only had about 200 MB of actual data, in order to even try the restore I had to have a scratch disk and a restore disk of the same size 2x500GB (and they didn’t have 1TB drive at this time yet) so I had to buy 4 500GB drives and enclosures for them.
    So I recovered the data!!!!!! After, it was a non-RAID system drive for me and I had all those drives left over for multiple backups. I also now sync all my important data to another computer between backups.

  40. A short time ago, I was working on a large project for my employer. I had been backing my laptop to the company network diligently, but on the day before a short vacation our network had went down. While on vacation my laptop hard drive failed, upon returning to work I found out that my backup files on the network were gone and had to be restored from tape backup, which was two weeks old. I lost two weeks of work on a project that was due in a week. That following week was a busy one trying to rebuild my project.

  41. I was working away on my computer when I suddenly heard a terrible grinding noise. It was the hard drive. The computer shop could recover some of it but I lost about a month’s worth of Quickbooks data that I had to re-create. I learned my lesson about backing up…

  42. Sometimes you do your best to backup and it’s not enough. But then a ray of sunshine comes through. I had a computer crash and the operating system had to be reinstalled. Well, there goes everything! I pulled my backedup files, went through the computer, and found that some files were still missing. They also weren’t on the disk in the camera as it had been cleaned. I found my second SD card, and there they were. This reminded me that even with backups, you should have a second backup in another location just in case of primary backup failure.

  43. About a year ago, I decided to put together a web site to start selling my photographs. I spent $500.00 hiring someone to desogn the web site. Like an idiot, I put it on my hard drive to test it first. I also had over 5,000 photographs on my hard drive which I had been meaning to back up. When my hard drive crashed, I took my computer to a local repair shop and they were supposed to have copied my photographs and web site design but “forgot” to. I lost everything as the hard drive was completely trashed and none of the data was recoverable. I had to start over from scratch and now I always back up my files on CD. However, I still have to get my money together to get the website designed.

  44. In my office there are two desktops which supply all the main computer power for both my personal computing and my business. One of these is the mission critical unit. The other unit was experiencing problems with both of the hard drives. While on an out of town trip I called a PC repair service to replace both of the hard drives. I explained that the offending computer was tagged with a yellow Post-it note with the words “bad HD”. I also told them that nothing on that units hard drives was information that I needed to recover. I had backed it up to the other unit before when the hard drives started to act up.
    The service promptly showed up and replaced both hard drives and since they wanted to get my business in the future they also gave me a new backup hard drive at a 75% savings. As was their practice they physically destroyed the replaced hard drives to be sure no one could ever recover any information from those drives.
    One big problem, the Post-it note had fallen off the computer and a person who shall remain nameless and did not know what “bad HD” meant had put it back on the wrong computer. I lost the mission critical information and the backup. It took three months of very hard work to get back 70% of the lost information. The rest will never be recovered. I then knew that I needed a better backup system then just a second hard drive. But oh the pain to learn this lesson.

  45. My wife’s computer recently blue screened and I could not recover any data as the hard drive refused to allow access to any files no matter what tools I tried. It gave no warning of imminent failure and we lost many photographs and docs.

  46. Losing data is always a pain. It happen to me twice, the first time was my entire computer. The hard drive failed on me and at that time I never actually bother doing any sort of backup. I learned the hard way. I lost every single byte that day. Music, work/school documents, photos, everything. Now I own 2 computers (one desktop and one laptop) and I do backup regularly (minimum 1 per month). However, I never actually backup my email. I have a few accounts and for some reason, I lost a few folders last month. They just disappear. Today, I found out that I had done a export of my emails last year to change email grabber. So I lost 1 year of email… now I do a complete hard drive clone per month and I backup my email regularly. I always learn the hard way.

  47. I have 9 year old system that over the years I hadn’t been real regular about backing up data. A couple of years ago, I began to feel the need to do something different a far as backups were concern. I purchased an external 500GB hard drive, did a full backup of data, photos and other items, plus subsequent partials for the next 8 months. Thought I was safe, but disaster fell, the hard drive failed, appears to be a hardware failure according to the manufacturer’s website, so all is lost.

  48. Picture this! The night before a graduate school exam. One test determines the entire grade. It’s an open book/notes exam. In the wee hours of the morning, I finally get everything organized on the computer in an outline form and I hit one button (to this day I don’t know what I did), an in an instant everything was lost. This is my data loss disaster and I will never forget it.

  49. We have an aging fleet of Dell GX270 computers. The Maxsor harddrives are beginning to die off one-by-one. Everything is working one day, and the next…nothing. A lot of people have lost there email files so it is not a happy day when one of them dies.

  50. I have had several external usb hard drive enclosures fail. So I stepped it up a bit and bought a Synology NAS server, thinking it would be less likely to fail. I was wrong…all of our pictures and my entire music collection was being backed up to that server, and one day I could no longer read or write to it. After contacting tech support at Synology, it was determined that I remove the hard drive and sent it in to them. About two weeks later, I was informed: Good news! they were able to recover the data. I got the hard drive back and put it back in the server and was puzzled by the fact that I was accessing someone else’s data, someone named Larry, and I was now the owner of all his divorce papers and personal correspondence. Needless to say, Synology was anxious to have that drive back, and they never did find MY data. I have since stopped buying Synology products. 🙂

  51. I recently lost my hard drive on my main computer for my business. I had great bakup plans for my data, however not my programs or settings.
    It took me over a week to get a new hard drive installed and running even close to what I had before the failure. I learned a valuable lesson that data is not the only thing that needs protecting.

  52. While on vacation with the family I chose not to leave my laptop in the pop-up camper because the teens & young adults that were in the site next to us knew we had a laptop. I carefully hid it in our van as we went to the zoo. It was a sickening feeling to come out at the end of the day and find that the car had been broken into and the laptop, along with a lot of less valuable items, were gone. A year later I am still trying to recreate information that I lost.

  53. Back in 2003, I purchased MagicJack and used it on a laptop(Dell 6000 Inspiron) while on a network from comcast. The gateway was installed on an NIC connected Master computer(Dell 8400 Dimension) and while in a long distance call to Kansas(I’m in Baltimore, Md.) the whole sytem crashed. It took cable(their modem,router) weeks to get a remnance of the internet/network back up and I lost ALL the files and records due the need to reformat the drives many times over. I paid cable their charges but refused to pay for that month, and won, and never used MagicJack again and never looked back.

  54. Late last year, I had an internal primary drive become unbootable. I have 99% of my family photos and videos on a secondary internal drives and then backed up to external USB drives. I also use online backup (Carbonite and Mozy) for those secondary drives. Generally, I felt pretty comfortable and confident about my backup plan. One major thing I overlooked, however, was my Outlook .PST which, for some reason, was stored on the drive that crashed. It had many years worth of emails that are vital to my home-based business. After purchasing a data-recovery product for about $80 and scanning the drive for 4 solid days, I was able to recover a fairly recent copy of the .PST file and get the majority of the data I needed. The messages were all mixed up into meaningless folder names, which was a major pain, but the messages were almost all there so I wasn’t going to complain.
    For anyone reading this: stop and do a mental inventory of everything that you store on your computer and ask yourself, “How significant of a problem would it be if I instantly lost that file today?” Then take action TODAY to prepare yourself for the inevitability that a hard drive WILL fail. Use an online backup service like Mozy or Carbonite. Setup SyncToy to backup all your contents from one drive to another. Or, win this giveaway and configure your data for backup so a NAS.

  55. My main PC, with all important data, started locking up. It was random, & as the drive was fairly new, I attributed it to some new software installs. After a few rollbacks~ same thing. Then, next day, no boot! Lost the drive in BIOS & panicked. Booted with an UBCD I’d only recently put together with recovery software. As luck would have it, it showed in BIOS & via the UBCD, I was able to get 95% of the data off & ported to an external drive (took hours!). The drive was never detected in BIOS again…

  56. The hard drive on my desktop failed a couple of years ago. Although I’d done a few backups, I wasn’t in the habit of keeping a good backup schedule. Most of my lost docs could be recreated (or weren’t really needed anymore), but I lost all the pictures of our first grandbaby. That was a terrible loss since we had only made a few prints. I try to do a better job backing up my most important data now. We’ve added a couple of laptops into the mix now, though, so that adds to the challenge!

  57. I am a musician, and had 50 songs recorded with Pro-Tools Many hours of hard work. Than my grandaughter came running to me showing me she didn’t use a sippy cup, and her half-full cup of strawberry kool-aid went flying onto my portable hard drive. Ruined with no back-up. I’m slowly learning…

  58. After months of collecting and rationalizing ten years of radiology doctor’s reports distributed over a few secretaries PC’s at a hospital (and cleaning up as i went along), the PC I had been working on crashed. My intention was to backup the (large) folder on another PC on the hospital network but the sharing was not working and I put in an urgent request for this to be rectified. The user who normally uses the PC called in the hospital IT department without my knowledge. Their policy was to save user data on a separate disk space and re-install windows. The techie saw a folder on the desktop and deleted it to clean up the desktop. He thought it was a shortcut!!, and deleted the entire only existing record base. Disaster.

  59. I HAD A HDD CRASH And lost everything on my pc luckly i had a clone of my hdd made with acronis 10 i took out my old hdd and slipped in my cloned drive and voila my pc was back running like before.

  60. After 15 years in software and technology, I began a new career as a financial planner with a large company. They replace their laptops every few years, and so I needed to back up my data (I digitize every scrap of paper) prior to the laptop swap. I backup to a few disks, send back the old laptop and go to move the data to the new laptop and – BANG! The backup disks are unreadable from the new laptop. Oh, but I’m smarter than the average bear and I’ve made a back up to an external USB drive. I plug that sucker in and — BANG! The drive isn’t recognized by the laptop. Now I’m getting desperate and I take the drive to some local data doctors and they can’t get the data off the drive either – corrupted. I’m devastated. Now, I’m still going through client files to digitally capture past data and reviewing more robust storage and backup options for my business. Is the HP Data Vault the product for me? Do tell.

  61. Students at my university lose a lot of USB flash drives. At one point last year, I lost my USB flash drive; since it had all of my papers (including a few which hadn’t yet been turned in) and a good bit of code on it, it was a real blow. For over a month I visited the campus Lost and Found religiously, sorting through the dozens of lost USB drives there on an almost daily basis on the slim hope that mine had been found that day. A few weeks after I’d finally given up all hope, I received notice from the Lost and Found that they had my drive. Apparently, when I lost the drive the finder unscrupulously started using it– and then lost it himself after two months! Luckily, he hadn’t deleted any of my files from the drive, and though he’d left a bunch of files on it, it would have taken some detective work to figure out who he was. Since a lot of my files had my name in them, rather than doing any detective work the campus Lost and Found contacted me when the drive came to them.
    You may say “Wait- that isn’t a data loss story, that’s a data found story!” However, that particular drive and the data thereon are lost again, though this time I’m pretty sure it’s just among my stacks of papers and such here at home (hurrah for disorganization!). Since I had started using another drive while that one was lost, losing it again wasn’t such a big deal; the new one has a sturdy keychain loop and hopefully will be harder to lose attached to my keys. But my experience and repeatedly sifting through the bin full of drives at the campus Lost and Found have certainly convinced me that I and thousands of students like me at my university need to give some serious thought to backup strategies.

  62. I was doing my family genealogy, had gone back several generation, and in doing so found out a lot of things about my distant relatives. Guess I should have protected against lightning, because my whole computer, drive and all were fried. Three years of research down the drain!

  63. I recently had a flash drive that contained about 6.2 gb of very important backups fail. It was already inserted in a USB port, and was bumped sideways by accident. The laptop involved did not recognize it after that, and both desktop PCs likewise. Apparently, a connector in the flash had been damaged. I finally bought a USB hub, and by carefully inserting and ‘twisting’ was able to connect to this flash drive long enough to retrieve most of the data ( connection was still being lost). Now, I backup my backups on two flash drives… and treat these otherwise tough devices a little gentler!

  64. Imagine getting ready to put on a show for a packed house. For a small venue, having over 100 people waiting for you is a packed house. You have worked day & night for the past 2 years getting all of your Karaoke onto the computer. Making sure your library is right, making sure the graphics are all clear & readable, making sure the program you use works with the TV system of the club, etc. Then, 15 minutes into the show, everything dies. The songs, the programs, the whole hard drive takes a nose dive.
    Worse yet, you didn’t bring the over 700 cd’s with you, nor the karaoke player that you had been using for the past 4 years. Everything had worked fine for the past 2 weeks, so why carry all the extra items. Try carrying over 700 cd’s. Very, very heavy.
    Well, that’s what happened to me. It was fixing to be a GREAT night. In fact, my Father-in-law was there to see our show for the first time ever. After being in the family for 18 years, I wanted to impress him on this night. But then the disaster hit.
    The ONLY redeeming factor in all this was that we only lived 3 blocks away. I had to get home, quickly, and get the cd’s, player, wiring etc. Get back to the club & get everything hooked up and working. But that still took about an hour. By then most of the people had left, including my Father-in-law.
    He passed away just over a year ago, never having the opportunity to see our show again. That’s probably my biggest regret. Not that the other people had gone, (they would come back another time), but my Father-in-law couldn’t.
    Now, I have everything on 2 different hard drives, CD back up & DVD back up. But once again, it has taken over 2 years to accomplish. I always have everything with me for show now, I just leave it in the van unless I need it.
    While I’ve never had a problem quite that bad since, I always wonder.. “When will it happen again””?
    I am wanting to have everything on hard drives, at one central location & access it from where ever I’m at to save on the wear and tear of transportation. But, I need to KNOW it is going to be secure & not fail on me.
    I try not to repeat mistakes. I try to learn from them and go on from there. But some mistakes, or problems that hit you, you will regret forever in your mind. And these regrets are hard to overcome.

  65. My worst data disaster was after shooting photos at a 3 day softball tournament. I came home from the tournament, downloaded all the photos from my memory cards to my computer. I then went into my software to cull through and delete the bad ones. I accidentally had selected ALL the photos from the 3 day tournament and hit delete. Poof! Gone.
    The worst part was that I hadn’t followed my normal procedure. I had deleted the files from the memory cards right after downloading them, and I hadn’t backed them up to an external device before I started working on them.
    So I lost about 2,200 photos . Photos I could never get back…..

  66. Word has got out to my neighbors and friends that I can accomplish magic with file restores. My secret is R-Tools, but I don’t tell them that. Well, a week ago I got a call from a mother in panic. Seems they had just returned from a cruise, and her daughter had pushed format on their digital camera, wiping all the data. She was panicked and worried that all was lost. Well, thanks to my little toolbelt of data recovery software and techniques, I was able to restore each and every photo for them. And afterward, I taught them on proper storage and archiving techniques to decrease a later occurance. But I realize, as do they, that sometimes the user just gets in the way! (no blame on the daughter, she just didn’t know what she was clicking on)

  67. My worst experience was several years ago, when I was in college. I had downloaded a keygen (or something shady like that) from a warez site. I ran it and nothing seemed to happen. I figured it was just a bad download and went on to something else for awhile. Well it ended up that it was a trojan and it was sitting in the background deleting all the files from my computer (including the system folder). Needless to say, by the time I realized what was happening my computer was hosed and I had lost lots of project files on top of having to spend a lot of time rebuilding the system. Oh to be so young and foolish. 🙂

  68. Those USB cables they always give with external hard-drives are never long enough… Especially when you roll over a little with your laptop on you and connected to your external hd to watch it slowly topple onto its side and begin making a noise similar to a helicopter. All your precious entertainment gone (the same morning you were too lazy to get out of bed to find out the delivery was your new 1tb hard-drive, twice the size of the one I’d go and destroy later on that evening!!!)

  69. Over a year ago, I had a Gateway GM 5260, with XP MCE 2005, to fail to “reboot” due to a missing file. I used my grandson’s PC to search for troubleshooting procedures. The majority said to “clean it out” and reinstall. The others talked big bucks for possible data recovery, no guarantee of success, but expensive. Having images and data filed that were relative to a possible law suit, concerning a house we bought, I felt that I had no choice, but to do what it cost to save the data. Weeks ran into months and I received a phone call from an old customer that said he had heard about my problem and that he felt his son could fix it for me. He had been so satisfied with his automotive repairs at my old shop that there would be no charge. His son was 14 and had their basement full of computers. His training came from what appeared to be a personal library he had acquired. His explanations and conversation was more thorough than IT people 2-3 times his age. He said that he had 3 ahead of me, but that he would have it within a week and would call if there was a problem. Four days later, he calls and says that it’s ready and ask if it would be OK to remove any unnecessary programs, utilities, etc. that I wasn’t using or didn’t need and I could get it the next evening. Everything was saved and it ran better than when I bought it. He did say that the problem I had was a bit detailed to solve and that most techs don’t want to spend the time to do so. He also insured me that it would be best to move the important files/data to an external hard drive.

  70. I kept up my files for my computer that i use for all my documents to a portable hard drive and it worked for years and then one day i just did not work and i had not backed the files to my other hard drive so i lost the files. i have several backups for this but had just not kept up with it so i had to made new templates for rents, etc. My old files were on a back up but not the new. something we don’t think about is to update our backups because it goes down when you don’t do it. Now i work off flash drives and then back up to my hard drives. On my main system my computer totally crashed and we lost everything and i found a data restore company who was able to restore 90% to a CD and i have been fairly good about checking my daily back ups and then i started to check my tape to change it and it was stuck and a day later RI experienced a major flood and our power was shut down for several days. Our back up device had died and we are backing up via FTP until a new device comes in. it seems as good as you are with back ups it is always on the day you forget that the problem happens and you lose data.

  71. There’s no discounting personal stupidity! I had a notebook computer on which I had every article I’ve ever written in my entire computer freelance author career – from the very first, now somewhat embarrassing yet published article, to article and columns on which I was proud to have my byline. I had decided that I needed to back all these up (the notebook was my sole storage) and was going to drive from work to the electronics store to purchase a backup solution. Halfway there, on the highway, someone pulled up next to me and was waving at me. They had a kid in the car so I pulled over, and the lady told me that a bag on top of my car had fallen off onto the highway. Yep – I put my thin notebook bag with my computer on the car hood while digging for my keys, and forgot it was there. Somehow I got on the highway before it fell off. I drove back and saw it on the side of the road – and someone had obviously driven over it. 100% loss. As was my entire history of my writing career – first drafts, ideas, first published article, etc.

  72. my worst disaster story was 2 years ago when i used to have a desktop that ran on xp. I was a college college student so my life revolved around my computer, my school papers, portfolios, and everything i had worked for. then one day a thunder storm came in and blew out the power, and once the power returned, my computer didn’t. The power outage blew something out in my computer and everthing i had worked for in the blink of an eye had disappeared

  73. I had data loss disaster about 3-4 years ago,
    when my 80GB portable hard-disk fall-out from my backpack,
    my backpack wasnt zipped to the utmost. 😦

  74. It was a fine, long day at work, while listening to my boss rambling about his parking fines and whatnot, I noticed that there was a little catchy ticking sound in my computer.
    I panicked and prepared for the worst, slowly unscrewed the panel and there it was, the click of death. My palm shoved right up into the tyrant’s face and told him to rant later, with my left hand tapping on the keyboard while the other was keeping everyone off my back.
    I carefully took out the drive, all my photos, memories of my beloved family that is now gone, the speech I have to give next week to inspire volunteers for a donation drive to support the terminally ill’s expenses, pretty much everything else all wiped out with just those few clicking sounds.
    I even lost my appetite over this issue, and was fumbling in the office for the whole night, no showers, but just coffee and my cat. The skies were beautiful outside, and being a sentimental person, I’d always spent an hour or two stargazing at the rooftop deluding in my own fantasies, but now everything else didn’t matter, not even sleep.
    The hard disk was a 5 year old, 80GB hard drive from Hitachi, and this baby cost me about a hundred or so back then. It never failed on me for the past few years, while my colleagues always seem to need me for a quick fix in their cubicle with similar issues of “OMG WHERE IS MY WINDOWS” thing.
    I gently probed the few points on the hard drive logic board, the power was at a steady rate, the connectors were fine, but what could be wrong?
    I thought again and had it sent to a clean room facility for further analysis, and since my friend was a technician in one of those fancy places, I had him to open up the disk and see what could be done.
    Apparently, the disk was fine, the data were there, but the actuator (little piece of metal that constantly moves about in the hard disk reading/writing things) arm was mysteriously clogged, and each time the drive tries to access a particular area, it just clicks endlessly.
    He transferred the platters over to another enclosure of the same model, and there I was, happy again and still owed my friend a bar tab till today.

  75. nobody know when this disaster will happen. including a very expensive brand new device that you just bought and you use it only for 5 minutes after you format it,then puff bad sector full filing your monitor..just pray a lot that your device will work perfectly just like everybody suggest you about that brand..

  76. My Worst Disaster was actually last year. Unfortunatly, there was a power surge and smoked both my laptop and the computer I built for backup. When I went to see what happened to my backup computer, My Hard Drive was burnt out and wasn’t able to run. I even had to run a recovery for my HP laptop due to the outage. I couldn’t even get my essay that was due the day after!

  77. Until recently I was outsourced third level support for HP. We were moving across the building to new desks so our IT department made local shares on the network for us to upload our email archives and documents. This was the ONLY time we ever had backups (realize this was my employer and not HP’s policy). I was the most senior person on my team and had been their the longest; many answers to many issues were only in my emails and documents. I went to a meeting during the move and when I came back I found my new computer didn’t have my emails on it. I let the IT person know that the import of my archive was unsuccessful. She had already wiped my old computer and deleted the backup off the network, everything was lost!

  78. I write music and edit video with my partner in California.
    I have been working on a rock opera score and editing video
    for the background for a little over a year. Hundreds of files sorted into scenes blended to fit the music. All files were stored to my storage drive
    daily. I went on vacation turned everything off unplugged my PC and my storage drive, locked up and left for two weeks. When I returned my house was open and almost everything of value was gone. No one had come by or notified the police. I advertised and offered a reward no questions asked. I know it’s out there somewhere.

  79. Working with another computer and needed desk space so slipped the laptop under the corner of the desk . It protruded just enough that a corner of the machine was exposed and just unlucky enough that someone walked by the desk and stepped on the corner of the computer (the hard drive of course) – this laptop had not been backed up and that’s the rest of the story…

  80. My hubby is not the tech savvy one of the family, but his heart is in the right place…
    Christmas morning 2 years ago he decided that he was going to get me a new computer desk, after everyone was asleep he took it upon himself to unhook everything… label where it went so he could have it perfectly displayed when I awoke in the morning.
    Hours later I woke up to him sleeping on the couch on top of the kids Christmas stockings, everything was set up brilliantly… except my sub woofer… which was right next to my hard drive… the hard drive that had been completely erased because of the giant magnet in my sub. Hubby learned an important lesson about magnetic media that morning. Lost some pictures and video that was important, but with all the thought he put into it how could I be upset… even though I had to install windows on Christmas morning… lol

  81. I’ve had hard drives fail, but I always had back-up so it was tedious but not that bad. My worst failure was the memory card from my camera. Half way through a trip down the Oregon coast, in between cancer treatment programs, in mid-video the camera locked up. All my photos of the trip, were lost, and no-one else had taken as many or similar things. The photos were like a personal log of my feelings and I was heartbroken. Now I download photos daily.

  82. I was on a business trip in the city of Montreal a few years ago. The meeting broke for the day and they had their first large snow storm (over a foot of snow) during the meeting. As I was walking across a parking lot to get to my hotel (wearing leather bottom shoes), I slipped, did a summersult and fell. I landed on my

  83. A couple of years ago I was at a meeting in Montreal. When the meeting was over for the evening, Montreal had its first snow storm of the year (over a foot of snow). While walking through a parking lot to my hotel, I slipped, did a somersault, and landed on my computer. I was wearing only leather sole shoes.
    When I was finally able to get up, I went to my hotel room to continue reviewing my notes on the computer for the next day meeting. I could not boot the computer at all. My hard drive and all its information was gone. I called Dell, only to find out that my computers warranty was over by 4 months. They said I could buy a new warranty and they would replace the hard drive. I said yes and they sent me out a recondition hard drive. I couldn’t believe that. Anyway I went to the computer store and bought myself a connector for the laptop hard drive to an IDE cable. I attached the drive to a desktop and used a recovery program to get back what ever data I could, since I did not have a backup.
    Boy did that change my life. I now make backups as well as images of my hard drives.
    AND YOU SHOULD TOO!

  84. Like most users who have used computers for years, I have experienced data loss after a hard drive crash. This is the kind of thing that only needs to happen once before you realize tha trebuilding your data is no alternative to having copies somewhere else. My incident happend because a workstation in my office was running a critical application that no one was aware of. A former employee set up an overnight process to run on a workstation. When he left, no one was responsible for that workstation and we did not realize critical data was being processed there until it crashed. We had to send the drive out to a recovery facility and pay hundreds of dollars to recover the old drive. Needless to say, we then looked at all workstations, moved all critical infrastructure to servers that were backed up.

  85. I am University Student with a high aim to earn a doctorate in Computer Science. I almost always take back-up of important documents (like programs created, Bookmarks, projects etc..) on Data Safe Online and on external 500 GB just incase of unavailablility of Internet. But since this year; from January i.e.; I brushed off the backup process since for me at the time it became a mere time-wasting process which never yielded any results.
    The Worst Data Loss situation happened to me last week. After returning from a trip with friends I decided to upload all the trip photos and videos online for everyone to view and as such I placed the laptop on desk with a cup of hot coffee placed near it. But when I returned to my room, I accidently bumped the desk and BAM. Next thing I saw was my lovely Laptop lay on the floor with a large crack running on the screen and its screen flicking to black and then back to upload screen; if that was not enough when I saw that Laptop was about to fall I tried to catch it but being a bit clumsy I ended up knocking the cup of hot coffee on my already injured Laptop.
    Thankfully my Dell Laptop was under the 1 year Accidental Cover. I immediatly called up the Dell Call Center and had them send me the new Laptop. It arrived last Thursday but when I checked the HDD from the Dell Walk-In Service center it was confirmed that it is damaged beyond repair. I lost priceless amount of memories that were stored on my laptop in the form of photos and videos. Lots of documents and program that were either being in work or had been completed by me.
    I learned the hard way that data backup is something that every computer user who has important data on their hard drive cannot live without. In this incident I lost all my documents, projects and hundreds of songs, videos and photos. My Professor after hearing this told me something that I will never forget ever, he said, “Your Data is your Life. Protect it!”.
    I would advice everyone to take a moment to think of all the important digital files on you Laptop and ask youself if it is worth investing a little of your time and money in a back-up solutions that will save you from disasters.

  86. I’ve experienced some great data loss stories in the past fifteen years. The most disastrous happened to a local small bank. They had their data backed up using all the required retention schedules. When the server failed, they didn’t stress. When they attempted to recover the backed up data however, they discovered that although their backups said they were “successful” – the data was not backed up properly. Due to Federal Regulations, the bank had to employ temporary workers to re-enter tons of data. The cost was insane. I heard talks of suing the backup software company – I don’t know what happened. I always test my backups after learning from their costly mistake.
    Second story – a good friend was working on reports that were due at the end of the quarter for his business. Although I always tell my friends the importance of backing up (and VERIFYING) their data – he, like so many, was not backing up his data. As luck would have it, his hard drive died just days before his reports needed to be turned in. An expensive attempt at data recovery failed. My friend spent a week trying to re-create all his data. His reports were late. To this day, he backs up his data every night.

  87. We use to own two Huskies. I was bad and didn’t clean the computer, well the build up of dog hair and dust cooked the motherboard and computer. Lost not only data but also the computer.

  88. Puff – 750GB of storage gone like that! This all happened with my MyBook Essential 750GB USB HDD. I plugged it in as i normally do into a USB hub that’s connected to the Advanced Mini Dock for my Thinkpad T61. I heard a slight pop and then saw some blue smoke coming from it. I immediately plugged it out but couldn’t get it to work after that. I called WD about it and they were nice enough to replace the drive but all the data was gone 😦 I have been wanting to build a NAS for the longest time but people online want crazy prices for a old pentium 4 machine! Winning this would certainly void the need to build my own 🙂

  89. Here is mine. A year ago next month I was visiting with my daughter and her new husband in Northern California. Of course I took my video camera to record every minute of the trip, as my daughter is 2 months pregnant with her first baby. They are also in a new home. My wonderful daughter is looking radiant, so very happy about the prospect of the new baby. My son-in-law is beaming.
    Here I am recording every minute of the trip. He talking to the baby, she singing to the baby. We take a trip up to Lake Tahoe, it is absolutely beautiful. I get a shot of everything. My son and daughter are beaming. I get some great shots of them both looking absolutely like the two happiest people on the earth. There is one I can still picture today, still fresh in my mind. My son is talking to the baby, my daughter is looking ecstatically happy. It is the MOST natural, most beautiful shot I have of my son and daughter. One week later my daughter loses the baby. One month later I lose the shots on the SD card! I am beyond belief and completely crushed. I do know what I can do to get those precious pictures back. I am still trying.

  90. I have an older solution which is dog slow and does not always connect. I always have a lot of data, my wife is always confused by the locations. Please help.

  91. In the 1980s I owned and operated a computer store. We sold custom IBM clones. The store was called Computer Junction. We were in business for nearly 10 years. One of my customers was an Accountant. One day she brought in her PC for service. The hard drive had crashed. I explained that I could have her back up and operating quickly, but that I would need her backup to restore her data. Of course, the “trout look” that she gave me told me that she didn’t have any backup. It turned out she had 3 years of Accounting data for all of her clients on the hard drive. I ended up sending her failed hard drive out to OnTrack Data Recovery. Several weeks and several thousand dollars later I received multiple CDs in the mail with nearly all of her data intact. I had her back up and running the next day. Of course she was two weeks behind with her business.

  92. my biggest data loss happened almost 8 years ago.just bought a new pc and decided to put all my photos aand music on it.my photos were in the thousands and my music i ripped from all my old vinyls,so it all took me about 6-8 months,the job was never completed.my 2 kids also shared the pc and then one day as i was fixing some settings that one of them had changed,the hard drive just went bust on me.i took the hard drive to several people to try and recover my stuff but it was no good…it was all gone.i’m now in the habit of doing back-ups,and i’m still adding photos to my collection, along with my music and video clips.you can never have enough extra storage !!

  93. The disaster happened in 09. The computer wasnt back up and the Ice Storm hit. We were out for 13 days..no electric! and no Backup!

  94. Last fall our primary PC had a hard drive failure – of course the one with the family photos, years of tax returns, our emails with the family, contact information.
    I mounted it a stand alone enclosure, where it continued to click loudly but hung on long enough for me to transfer at least 90 % of the information we needed. This HP Data Vault looks like it would really have helped us.

  95. Beware Raid0. Back when SATA hard drives were starting to hit the consumer market I bought a pair for a computer I was building. Unfortunately when I set it up I chose raid0. After accumulating data for a couple of years and several minor crashes the drives crashed hard. I spent several months trying to recover the data to no avail.

  96. I have worked for over 20 years in LAN administration. I have had servers crash, hard drives die, and misc. hardware problems. A year or so ago, I installed a Windows Homeserver at my house and set up the backup to automatically back up all three or four desktops and laptops on my home network. One day my wife’s hard drive died, and I used the Windows Homeserver CD to do a bare metal restore of her laptop. It worked perfectly!! I was thrilled that it was so easy to restore an exact duplicate of her hard drive, and she was thrilled as well.
    Jeff

  97. This would have been great in 2002 at that time I lost a hard drive and lost all data going back to 1990 in both email and files.
    The greatest loss where my email address some still have not been fround.

  98. Well, I’ve been quite fortunate as far as data loss over the years, but I did have a 160GB drive that was about 4 years old at the time (about a year ago) that eventually ended up losing me some data. It was a drive that I had partitioned multiple times, resized partitions, moved partitions, merged partitions, deleted partitions, etc. You get the idea. I wasn’t having any problem that was noticeable in Windows XP/Vista/7, but eventually when I tried to do a clean install, I was getting partition table errors. I could have just deleted partitions and fixed the problem, but I had a large partition with a ton of data and no where to copy it to. So, I was trying to fix the drive with the in-tact data partition. Eventually, some of the data was corrupted/lost and I opted to buying a new SATA drive.

  99. A long time ago we were trying to put DOS onto an apple computer. It seemed simple. Install the software. Return the computer. Be a hero. This favor was for the president of our company. Being a PC person I did not know that you could not connect peripherals to the Apple computer (this is a long time ago) while it was on. Zap and a puff of smoke. I can remember the moment even now. My heart started to pound. I sent the computer to a computer store to get it fixed. By the way, I had not backed up the hard drive. They reloaded the operating system to find the problem and they wiped out the hard drive. Bad move. Everything was wiped off the hard drive. In time the company was laying off personnel because of the bad economy. I am not sure if this had something to do with my getting let go. If it was, can you blame them. I couldn’t. It pays to back up. It may even save your job.

  100. Years of managing data centers have made me paranoid; my philosophy is that any file that’s important — meaning that it would be inconvenient or worse if lost — should exist in two or three or four different places. And I have never had any disasters of my own — but I can’t say the same for some of my clients, friends, or students.
    One case in particular: I was teaching a college-level class in web page design. The students were required to build three small sites for their projects, amounting to the bulk of their grade for the semester. One of my students had all his project files on a USB flash drive — and nowhere else. At one class, he mentioned that he was having intermittent problems accessing the files — apparently the contacts were going bad. I exhorted him to make copies of the files while he could still get to them. But he didn’t, and before long the flash drive was a write-off. He never did turn in his final project, and that was a major factor in his flunking the course.

  101. I’ve had hard drives fail on me a few times. Sometimes, it was clear that the drive was going to fail soon, so I was able to get a new drive and copy everything. Three times, the drives just failed without warning. When that happened, I recovered nearly all important files because I kept copies on both my desktop and laptop computers.

  102. I take quite a few pictures on my mobile phones of my kids, etc. because I always have my phone with me, but I don’t always carry a digital camera with me.
    More often than not, the pictures may stay on my phone for a while before I find the time to transfer them to my computer. After a long day of doing yard work and being outside all day, I left my phone out on the front porch when I came inside for the night.
    Needless to say, we had rain that night. My mobile phone was soaked the next morning when I found it and of course the data on the memory card was destroyed. Those were some priceless pictures of the children that you can’t re-create that I won’t be seeing anytime soon.
    I am much more careful about where I leave my phone and how often I bring them over to the computer from the phone now.

  103. Once upon a time I used a Simpledrive 250GB external HD. I had it just about full of videos, photos, old school stuff I wrote as a kid, silly stuff but what I felt was important anyway and misc. stuff. Then one day it just failed to recognize and didn’t work anymore. Let me tell you, one of the few things that really hurt is that feeling when you’ve just lost years of stuff. It is like losing a part of yourself.

  104. When I had my first child 8 years ago, the hospital told us we can use their digital camera to take pictures. They would then upload the pics to a website we could share with family and friends. We thought this was a great idea since we had family that lived far away & we only had a 35mm camera at the time. We used their camera to take every picture of us after our baby was born. The gave us a log in & code to access the pictures when we got home. Well there were no pictures to be found. I was so upset & angry to not have pictures from this very special time. The hospital could not offer us any help with the matter.

  105. I’ve had quite few, but I guess the worst was when I lost my whole arsenal of sotwares, nothing fancy about how it got lost…I had a blank moment and accidentaly pressed delete…ouch!
    Professionally, our server went down and i had to fight tooth and nail to restore the data piece by piece to get the latest info, coz my last backup was a month ago…I’ve learned my lesson

  106. My 5 year old son has the right attitude. We changed the batteries in his Vtech Kiddy Zoom camera at the weekend (as we have done loads of times with no problems) & when it came back on it was empty (no back up of course), the camera isn’t functioning properly now anyway so I think it’s faulty. My son said “maybe it’s lost the photos to make room for more.” He wasn’t that bothered, his mum and me were though!

  107. More years back than I’d really like to remember, I was a Computer Operator on shift when we’d play computer games on the Operations Manager PC after hours (then only a new technology and the only colour one I’d seen).
    One night I’m clearing a diskette to save a new game onto and didn’t reconfirm what drive I was on (something I’m very particular with nowadays) before entering the infamous DEL *.* and pressing enter…
    Just before daybreak I’d recovered the missing system files and the Operations Manager walks in and comments “Bad Night?”.

  108. I have worked as a s desktop tech for many years. I have replaced drives that failed many times but always liked the challenge of trying to recover the data at all costs. In one instance where a drive was clicking loudly on boot up (a dreaded sound) i was able to recover the data by changing out the controller card with a like model from another hard drive. I don’t see this solution posted much and it really is lucky if you have the resources to get another controller card from the same model drive, but its worth a shot.

  109. Recently, I replaced my 500BG hard drive due to logical disk failure or bad sectors. Several weeks ago, I notice my system experiencing lock ups and sluggishness when running some of my programs. I thought that it could be due to not enough memory or disk swapping. Just before my hard drive failure, i also noticed erratic loading and running of programs eg. from slow to fast. I tried looking at system logs but could not identify the problem.
    I installed a HDD smart monitoring program to analyze the drive. The report indicated some problems but the drive was reported as normal. However, when i tried to run more comprehensive tests, the test never finished and was aborted. I decided not to risk it and bought a replacement drive a few days before the drive failed. I thought i had time, but how wrong i was. When i finally decided to make a backup, it was too late. All my important data was gone in an instant. I was devastated. All my important files, videos, email, contacts, music, accounts had disappeared for good. I made the mistake of letting the drive gradually slide into a dangerous but working state while remaining non decisive in backing up and replacing it.
    I wondered if it was a logical drive failure, maybe bad sectors or such problems. I did not take action on the tell tale sign like a noisy drive, files being unreadable and general slowdown of my pc. Most of the data i lost are unrecoverable and irrepaceable like photos of my kids and special family gatherings as well as contacts of friends & business associates.
    I have learnt important lessons. Alway make backups of your data and do it regularly with a reliable backup program. Finally, move quickly when you notice a problem with the drive. Repair or replace it immediately and don’t wait till its too late.

  110. Those that back things up are those that have lost…I know someone who has a small business that does multiple backup and even backups off-site. That is what he does to his business computers. His home data is another story. After three plus years of adding photos and tax info, his hard drive died. He called me to see what I could do. I ask him where was his backup…well its just my home computer so I don’t have a backup. So close to $1000 later he has gotten back most of his data. The moral of the story use data backup on all machines. I have helped setup 3 WHS machines and this OS makes backing up a breezy….

  111. A few years ago I bought a WD hard disk. I had made more than a 1000 photo’s during a festival and promised a lot of people I would put the photo’s on my website for them to download.
    I promised myself to make a backup but forgot.
    You can guess, the hd crashed and I lost all the pics. The store where I bought the hd gave me a new one because it broke within a year time. As you can imagine I was very sad I learned the hard way . MAKE A BACKUP (now I do have a hd pure for backup).

  112. Last summer my wifes hard drive started to sound like a Zip drive, the click of death, and eventually died. I was not concerned since all her data was on a different drive in the pc. Everything went downhill from there. After hurrying through the setup options on my XP cd, I was suprised as to how slow the hard drive was formatting. Yep, I selected the wrong drive and was formatting over all her music, pics and college papers.
    This story does have a happy ending however. We have disk recovery software at work and I was able to recover all the files. Now we keep a USB external drive in a small safe and I run monthy backups of all our data.

  113. I took a trip to Washington, DC to attend a government leadership summit. During the whole Conference, I took many pictures of the many places we visited and of the various speakers. Well, this once in a lifetime chance came around when our group stumbled upon a group of senators and other legislative chairs. We thought it was awesome, so we introduced ourselves and told them we were from the summit and they accepted us with open arms. So after talking to them for about 30 minutes, I had my camera in my hand and thought we should take a picture to show off how cool we were with these high officials. One of the assistants took pictures of us with my camera because I was the only one in the group who decided to bring mine. So we go back to the summit happy of what had happened and everyone is giving me their emails telling me to please send them the pictures we took.
    Well when I finally got back home, the first thing I did was sit at my computer and started downloading the pictures. I used the built in feature of the Windows Picture Manager to download the photos, little did I know while the pictures were supposedly downloading they were being erased off my camera. The process looked normal with the file transfer so I thought nothing was wrong. When the photos finished downloading I looked for them on my computer and they could not be found ANYWHERE. I started panicking and found a little reprieve knowing the pictures were still on the camera. When I looked they were also deleted on the camera. I spent the whole next day looking through my computer for the pictures and they were NEVER found. I even resulted to a file recovery software that did not work for the pictures on the camera. To this day, I still do not know how the pictures where deleted on both my computer and camera when “downloading” was in progress. Everyone is still in amazement that the awesome pictures we took are gone.

  114. So many customer stories, but a personal one. Two siblings from NZ went on a tour of Spain, France and Italy and took lots of photos on one main camera and 4GB SD card. When the first got home, there were no photos on it!! After much panic on their part (scared of the other sibling!)!, I made many image backups of the SD card and tried a number of applications to recover the photos. Finally recovered *most* of the photos using a combination of PhotoRescue and Stellar’s PhotoRecovery. Moral of the story: never trust technology to look after your important stuff.

  115. I was in Norway on vacation and had been taking pictures constantly. I was backing up every evening to storage on my friends server. The last day I didn’t take the time to backup the photos from the day before (which I spent in Oslo) because I thought I could just put them on my own computer when I got home. I switched to another memory card but unfortunately my first memory card grew legs and was never heard from again.

  116. My wife has taken gigs of pictures since my daughter was born 6 years ago. One folder accidentally got deleted from an external hard drive, and it was rough sweating it out waiting on a file recovery software to download and recover the pics before the wife discovered what I had done. I now dump new pics to a special folder on this external drive until I have enough to fill a DVD and I keep a copy of them on a jump drive in the glove compartment in my car. When I have enough for a DVD, I burn a copy and take it to work. I store it in my file cabinet and delete the other set on my jump drive. After that, I move the pics in the special folder to the folder that houses all my other picture files and start again. If the house burns down, I have a copy at work, if the jump drive is lost, I have a copy on the external hard drive.

  117. Last summer we took our 8 year old to Disneyland and took a TON of pictures. We had recently bought a new camera for the occassion and since I hadn’t gotten around to buying a second battery, yet, we brought along the old camera as well and we each carried one, taking pictures with both. Thank goodness, because after taking the card out of the new camera and putting into an card reader to transfer the photos it became corrupted and most of the pictures from that camera were useless, even after trying all kinds of file recovery utilities. It sounds like the problem might have been using a newer SD card with an older reader. Having half the photos on the other camera was a lifesaver.

  118. About ten years ago, thieves broke into our home while we were away on vacation. Along with many treasured items of immense personal value, they stole two computers. Fortuitously, they left behind our weekly backups (on floppies), so I was able to recover about 95% of our data. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of current backups.
    Shortly thereafter, with our new computers, I set up a LAN with an external 160GB hard drive configured as Network Attached Storage. The NAS was then concealed elsewhere in the house. A simple batch file was created to back up all new or changed data from each computer every night into separate folders on the NAS, with the result that I have essentially mirrored data (always less than 24 hours old). The backups are totally automatic, and give great peace of mind. About once a month I create new folders on the NAS and then delete the old ones to purge copies of files that no longer exist on the computers. Since setting up the NAS, I have restored or migrated data about 6-8 times.

  119. Personal story – had an error on my primary hard drive while I was gone. That coincided with a failed power supply. I noticed that the computer wasn’t powering on so picked up a new Power Supply. Hooked it all up, primary HD wasn’t recognized. Tried all sorts of tricks before I realized that the partition tables were messed up. I ended up switching the order of the hard drives and trying to find the right utility to fix the partitions. Finally found one utility (Partition Doctor, I think) that allowed me to reset the partitions and recover most of the data. The only files I couldn’t transfer off were some videos for which I still have the original tapes so no loss there except time. Still, that was potentially pretty bad as I’d had a lot of miscellaneous files on that drive. I’d moved my docs/pics off before that time so those were good.
    Shortly afterward I invested in a subscription to Crashplan for my home PC and started the backup process. I like the small peace of mind from knowing my files are being backed up off-site. (And I’ve tested the recovery as well.)

    For Outlook, I have a habit of Shift-Deleting my items so they bypass my Deleted Items folder. I’ve made the mistake sometimes of hitting Shift+End+Delete which highlights pretty much all messages in the folder, then proceeds to delete them. Grateful that recovery was enabled on the Exchange server so I could get the items back, but definitely a moment of panic going to “Inbox Zero” without meaning to.

  120. Last four years, I received a 2.5″ laptop hard drive from my aunt that it seems unusable. Out of my curiosity, I tried to revive the hard drive because I was thinking if there were files needed to retrieve. After searching the internet for any software that will do data recovery, I successfully retrieve the undamaged files and at the same time I convert the hard drive into an external hard drive(HD). I made it into an external HD because I noticed some crackling sound inside the hard drive while troubleshooting. It was said in the source in the internet that was the sign of hard disk failure. What I learned about this experience is to backup important files in the hard disk regardless of its health…

  121. A few years ago I woke up to one of the worst nightmares, a computer crash. I went into the “study” where my computer is located and switched it on. This is my normal routine in the morning have to check the email and other blogs (wink,wink). I normally flip it on then do some other stuff before it loads. I noticed that it didn’t boot up and then I opened up the case and the harddrive wasn’t doing anything. It had just died without any warnin at all. I was one of those people that thouht that it couldn’t happen to me. Now I back up to a small hardrive so that this will not happen aain.

  122. I bought carbonite because constant virus attacks require me to wipe out the hard drive. After the first back up, I wiped out the hard drive. When I restored all my files, I accidentally deleted my restored my pictures and replaced it with the new my pictures file, which was empty. Yes, I deleted it from the recycle bin.
    I was in a daze from reinstalling everything back to my computer and it was a stupid mistake. Nonetheless, I lost about a year and a half worth of pictures. It wasn’t the carbonite, it was my idiot mistake.

  123. Hurricane Katrina, 2005. My Firm’s office was 1 block from the beach, in fact some news outlets were using the slab for their broadcasting equipment. I lost over 10 years of family pictures and personal files, as well as countless hours of work and a couple hundred CDs. Not a fun time to think about. I now rip all my CDs into MP3 and save them on external drives. Live and learn.

  124. I’m a UT Radio-Television-Film Senior specializing in editing and visual effects. This year I have been deep into production of my thesis film Codes of Awakening, but met with a series of disasters. As a dutiful editor I have kept three separate backups of my footage. In a single weekend I lost a brand new External Hard Drive and, in an entirely unnrelated event in a different location, my brand new graphics-engine PC refused to turn on. With two of my backups eliminated, I quickly ran to my last line of defense. Luckily the footage was still there so my project is going well. But in the meantime I lost all of my project files and organization (the only thing I backed up was the raw footage for emergencies like this). It’s been a tragic month, and as always it happens at the worst time for projects. Let us all be thankful for backup solutions!

  125. My digital camera had lots of pictures that I took last summer in 2010. I had all types of pictures. I was going to use these pictures to make scrapbooks and to document the various things that I did over the summer and I was going to make photo books for my family members. Well that did not happen because I dropped my camera in water while I was in the ladies room at a local retailer. I had the camera in my purse (which was open–don’t ask why) and was putting my purse in a spot (located behind the toliet–this is where you are suppose to put your purse so it could be safe) to hold my purse. Why did I do that, the purse flipped over in the toliet and my camera was soaking wet. All my pictures were ruined. Also the same day I dropped my cell phone in a cup of tea. Talk about having a bad day. I think I need waterproof electronics, if there is such a thing.

  126. I totally blamed my data loss incident on my friend. Couple months ago, I was at the school library working on my English paper, an essay that I have worked on for a while. Being a good buddy that he was, my friend approached me from behind, slapped my back forcibly and yapped,” Whatcha workin” on, brad.” Unbeknown to him, I was drinking my hot mocha at the time. Well as you know it, his action unleashed the demons swirling in the cup upon this poor helpless little soul that’s my laptop. For the first time in my life, I was pissed!!! I didn’t punch him like a sandbag or anything, just screamed at him for a minute for two. If we were alone, I might have flayed his skin off. But with so many people watching, I had to subdue my Wolverine blade and behaved like a civilized earthling. Fortunately, he knows a thing or two about computers. So he was about to fix it. However, I still had to rewrite the three pages that I didn’t save.

  127. I have experienced several data loss but the most memorable one was my first time. I got hit with a virus!!! I know what you are thinking. No, I wasn’t watching porn or anything remotely close. I foolishly opened an email attachment without checking to make sure there’s no virus because I thought there’s no need since it was sent to me by one of my friends. Yes, he did it on purpose. His cousin told him to infect my computer because his cousin thought it was me who stole his girlfriend. It was a mistaken identity. There was another guy named Chang. Luckily for that other Chang, this Chang received the brunt of the damage. Oh don’t worry, it wasn’t a big deal. The virus just erased my whole freaking hard drive along with all my personal documents that I have amassed over the year. I did manage to get them back after forking over $100 to the Geeksquad. And guess what he said to me after I told him about this madness? “That’s what you get for having the same name as that deucebag.” Man, if only I go back in time and get my parents to give me a different name. Then I wouldn’t have to experience the joy of mistaken identity for two more times and counting.

  128. Back even before hard drives, I had a bunch of programs I had written in BASIC for school on an Atari computer saved on a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk. The disk had become corrupted and I could not read any data from it. At the time, no one ever thought about keeping backups. So, suffice it to say, I had to rewrite all the programs.

  129. My home computer died in December last year. It had two internal drives and so I haven’t managed to get any data of either one.

  130. I have been bitten twice by power supply failures that have rendered my hard drives useless. This is very frustrating in the fact that they wre OEM power supplies and on battry backups. I guess it shows that Murphy’s law always wins.

  131. About ten months ago when I was back home in Singapore to stay a couple of months due to my mother’s health situation, I had my laptop as always with me, whenever I go back there. While there, I continued as I always have done, to continue creating more and newer recipes using the opportunity of being able to obtain authentic, local available as well as seasonal Asian ingredients. Along with that I attended many local culinary events, ending up with journal notes and photos.
    There were also personal trips to update my information of various accounts, those of medical provider, government and finance agencies. I was staying at my younger brother’s who has two teenage daughters. The older niece was bent on getting a laptop and after we went around shopping for the appropriate models, we decided that the next weekend we would go pick one up at the promotional fair in town. Since her desk computer was out of commission and apparently she had to get some project paperwork sent before the weekend, I let her use my laptop. My sister-in-law was not about to pay another few hundred bucks to get the desk computer going. Reluctant as I was, I didn’t think anything could go so terribly wrong as things did.
    To cut a long story short, I lost all I had on my laptop since it resulted after three days of trying to fix a non-booting OS which kept giving the ‘NTLDR NT loader not found’ loop. To this day, she couldn’t tell me what she was doing before she shut down prior to the non-booting scenario. Unfortunately, I did not have my own set of repair utilities which I’d left here in America. Even if I had my recovery CD, it wouldn’t have been any better since it would only have installed the OS in its factory pre-loaded state.
    Needless to say, my biggest loss were my personal culinary journal notes, recipes, photos and notes, on top of the emails and saved e-papers from all government and private agencies where I’d updated my personal finance, medical, government and other matters.
    Well, I did get my laptop back into shape but if I could, would love to be able to store all my desktop and laptop data somewhere easily available and safe.

  132. Last summer, my girlfriend and I went on a vacation for couple weeks.When we returned, we found our apartment in a total mess. Clothes wereeverywhere. One of the windows was broken along with a bunch ofutensils. And pretty much all electronics were missing. My girlfriendand I do have a habit of backing up our data in external hard drives.But that time, it was no help because they were stolen as well. Sothere’s nothing we could do other than suck up the misfortune andstart all over again. Nowadays, we back up our data online as well asoffline. Just in case something like that ever happens again.

  133. Well I am working on IT industry where taking backup of data is extremely important. Couple of months back we figured out a horrific loophole in our back up process. If any one of here worked on IT then they probably know that usually IT department take back up on daily, weekly, monthly basis. Same case is with our company too. Our company has SLA with client that they will keep the clients data for last 5 years. It works like that we have certain number of tape drive devoted to daily back up, some tape drives for weekly backup and same for monthly and annually backup. We take back up from unix file system. Clients backup system was designed to take backup daily in daily tape drives from unix file system. Client’s Unix file has retention period of 15 days. Weekly tape take back up from daily backup tape file every week. So we are covered for week. Similarly we take monthly back up every month. But we found out that monthly tape was taking backup from file system instead of weekly tape. Since we have unix file system retention period for 15 days so we lost 15 days data in monthly backup process. We found out this loop hole when client request some data from 2 years back and data was not there. Our client would have sued our company for not following the SLA (Service level agrrement) but since our company took over the project from some other company and we haven’t designed this process and haven’t touched that since we took our project. So client got agreed to not to sue our company. So whether is IT, corporate world back up is extremely important. I know the lucky winner will be chosen by random draw even then i am writing this big story. The reason for that to tell you importance of back up in real life. If i win HP datavalut then i want to use it with its full potential as I am IT professional and i know how take maximum benefit out of it.

  134. When my first major data/HDD crash occured I thought I was OK because I had built an external HDD and saved important data to it. When I reformatted and reinstalled my OS and then attempted to reinsall my backed up data, I was horrified to learn that I had used “short cuts” to transfer the data to my external HDD, and of course, the original data for the short cuts was lost in the crash and so was all my data! Hard lesson learned.

  135. It’s an eerie 2am in the college of civil engineering study lounge. My friend was furiously typing her last few paragraphs on her thesis, after working for more than 12 hours nonstop. Then, the unthinkable happened: the screen went pink and didn’t respond. My friend thought I played a joke on her since it was April 1st. As tempting as it was to play along, I immediately took action.
    Suspecting a virus I cracked open the PC case. After yanking the hard drive out I placed it in my external hard drive case and booted up with my partition program. I searched for hours in a cold sweat while my friend paced up and down the room. Bingo! At 4:30am I successfully located a set of auto recover word files and transferred them to my laptop.
    Nothing feels better than saving your friend’s 200 page document with only hours before it’s due.

  136. This story of a data disaster occurred to a family member. But, from it I learned a valuable lesson. Now I am trying to figure out how and where to start backing up my system. One of my wife’s uncles has retired and is now an amateur photographer. He has thousands of images of birds of prey and other local birds. He has been saving his data to an external 320gb hard drive. About a month ago, I received a phone call from him asking for technical assistance. When I asked him what happened this is what he said, “Well… the drive made a clicking sound and then just stopped working. Can you do anything?” My response to him was that obviously since we were talking on the phone that there wasn’t much
    troubleshooting that I could do. He agreed to bring it to me the next morning.
    When he dropped the drive off, he explained that he had been trying to access some images for a magazine submission and needed the images, if at all possible, as soon as possible. Now, I need to explain I am the family “geek”. I am not a computer professional. I have been using computers for years and I have always been one of those people who have scoffed at the idea that I would be impacted if I experienced a data disaster. I have always said…”If my system crashes then I will just start over.” But, after spending days and nights helping the uncle recover most of his images, dealing with the renaming of the files by the recovery software, rebuilding the folder structures were destroyed and just the general inconvenience of the whole process…I think I have been extremely naïve and (fingers crossed here, dash of salt thrown over my shoulder, wood knocked on…. very very lucky).
    But, now I am faced with quite a dilemma. I was not very smart with the setup of my system. I have three hard drives that are each partitioned. I have so many files, digital media, documents (kids school work, copies of my college history, years of work related data, records from the wifes foray into a home based business). I don’t even know where to begin. I need to setup a true network storage environment so that all of this data is backed up.
    Boy, even writing this has felt daunting and now that I read what I have written I am still feeling quite overwhelmed. I might need to go get some anti-anxiety medications to help me get through this. I hope I win. But, if I don’t win, thank you for giving me the opportunity to face an issue that I have been in denial over for so long. Good luck to all the entrants.

  137. Several years ago, I had this crazy data loss experience that left me utterly bewildered. Never in a million years would I believe, prior to that incident, such event could ever happen to me. It all started on a Halloween night. My friends and I were heading home after an evening of partying like there’s no tomorrow. Midway, we got attacked. What? How? As we were passing through an apartment building, a bunch of kids thought it would be fun to throw eggs, tennis balls and water balloons at us right from above. It might be fun for them, but definitely not us. At that time,I committed two major mistakes. First since I was at the rear end of the group, my best tactic was to turn around and take a different route. Instead, I chose to scamper ahead and thus get to enjoy the blast of my life. My second mistake was in the way how I protect my head. Like any logical human being, my top priority when under attack from above is to, as I take cover, protect my precious head because I need it to plot up plans for world domination. Instead of just wrapping my arms around my head, I used my backpack, which would be a fantastic option if it didn’t happen to have my laptop in it. When I got home, my computer suffered couple dents and a little bit of wetness. After drying it with my hair dryer, the laptop was still usable and it was good. I was happy.
    However, that happiness didn’t last long. A week later, I woke up to the sound of the fire alarm because my laptop was on fire! On fire! Boy was I lucky! That night, I had left the computer on as I have done it very often to download a game. I guess the little wetness had turn my super computer into a mere mortal that couldn’t handle the pressure of being on all night. Poor little guy. I only have time to think about this in retrospect because as the fire was raging on, I was busy saving my asst. I really suck at multi-tasking. After the event of my life, I was left with a burnt table, darkened wall, a surcharge from my landlord, and of course a fried laptop. All those things that I have accrued over the years and that my laptop spent countless nights downloading were gone. Because I had never had any data loss prior to that, I didn’t back up anything at all. And believe me, I had a great time amassing all those files again. Haven’t you heard that the second time is always the charm? And there is another good thing that comes out of this incident. I got to stimulate the economy by buying a new laptop and an external drive. However, my pocket said otherwise.

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