Press Coverage: When Disastrous Data Loss Hits the Technically Savvy

Savvy Chick




Unfortunately not all of us are the most “tech-savvy” of individuals, and when we encounter computer problems we turn to our “techy” friends who seem to fix our digital woes at the click of a button. But, there are things that even the so-called experts can’t handle. Data Loss!

Most people don’t think about data loss until it happens. Nearly 46 percent of computer users lose data every year. A dead drive can be a result of many different things including physical failure, corruption, human error, water damage and the list goes on and on. According to a recent study by Google, disk drives over a year old have a one in ten chance of failure each year. That being said, 50 percent of drives will fail every five years. It’s statistics like these that further demonstrate the importance of regular backups and knowing your data recovery options if your drive should fail.


Mat Honan, senior writer for, lost his digital life after an epic hack hit in 2012. Two hackers started off with one password and gained access to all of Honan’s digital information.  Then for kicks, the hackers remotely wiped all of the data from Honan’s MacBook, iPad, and iPhone through cloud-based services such as iCloud, Google and Amazon. Luckily, Honan knew other tech gurus who advised him to turn his devices over to DriveSavers (, a professional data recovery service provider, to recover his data. And it worked! Honan received the vast majority of his photos and personal files. It was an emotional process, but he was able to piece back his digital life. Honan has since put together a backup plan, realizing that when you control your data locally, and have it stored redundantly, no one can take it from you, at least not permanently.


Sal Cincotta, an international award-winning photographer, learned an important lesson after his personal hard drive crashed causing him to lose 477,000 critical files. Cincotta had a career in technology prior to becoming a respected photographer. Like many tech savvy business owners, the business computers were meticulously backed up. His clients’ images and files were safe and secure at all times, but his personal laptop was off the radar. When Cincotta’s laptop stopped responding and he lost access to emails and business files on his computer, he panicked. “I had my life on that machine,” said Cincotta. With his work on hold, he quickly realized that he could lose weeks or months worth of productivity if he didn’t get his digital life back. He knew better than to try to fix the drive himself, so he asked for help at an Apple Genius Bar who then recommended he call a professional data recovery provider. Over 98 percent of his data was returned. Cincotta may have a few more grey hairs after it is all said and done, but he also has many more procedures in place to ensure data loss doesn’t happen to him again.


Everyone has heard of Toy Story 2. But, did you know that a huge portion of the film was accidentally deleted with no back up!

The chief technology officer was working with a team on the film when Woody literally started disappearing from the screen. The entire film was disappearing in front of their eyes. Without knowing why, a quick and smart decision was made to pull the plug from the main server in an effort to stop additional files from being deleted.

Why did this happen? Ever heard of the RM (remove all) command? Basically the command deletes every file below the current directory within seconds, which is what happened at Pixar. That command was accidentally being run at the root level of the Toy Story 2 project. But, pulling the plug from the main server was not enough. Over 90 percent of the film went missing, and the 2,000 frames that had been backed up were faulty.

In a think tank to determine how to salvage the data, the technical director, who was a new mom, copied files over to her local network so she could work from home. Nervously excited, she went home with the team to retrieve the server. Everyone held their breathe as the system rebooted. The fate of Woody and Buzz relied on whether the server held the files needed to revive the film. Fortunately, the team had most of what they needed and were able to pull together the entire Pixar community to compile thousands of files. Over 76 hours later, Woody and friends were back in action. After a weekend of high blood pressure and sweating bullets, the Pixar team learned a true lesson in the importance checking high profile backups.

Original Story Posted Here