Nov 172006

A story from data-recovery experts Ontrack UK’s list of Top 10 data disasters: Ontrack UK – Top 10 List of Data Loss Disasters of 2006:

Beware of Bananas – A customer left an old banana on the top of his external hard drive which proceeded to seep its contents into the drive, ruining the circuitry. The drive would no longer run, but Ontrack was able to clean the drive and repair the circuit board so the drive would spin long enough to recover his data. The banana, however, could not be recovered.

No. 7 on their list was rescuing the data at “a leading UK research university” after a major fire – presumably the fire in Southampton’s data centre in October 2005 (but if so, it’s not clear why this makes the Top 10 for 2006?). Southampton’s Eprints repostitory service was offline for a few days following the fire, a gap in service which was not really up to best practice for disaster recover for online services. (Commercial services like ScienceDirect have full mirrored back-ups that can switch in almost immediately in the event of catastrophic disaster.)

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