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‘Disappearing Drives’ Top Reason for Data Loss

A full quarter (25%) of data loss scenarios are due to storage devices appearing to be undetected.

According to Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery’s third quarterly Data Loss Index (DLI), undetected drives, where whole drives seem to disappear from the device, is one of the most common issues for users in all countries analyzed. This may be caused by failing hardware or voltage fluctuations, and highlights the need to run regular backups for the data so that information is not at risk of loss.

More than one-in-ten (11%) experience data loss from the device failing to power on, just over 10% lose data because of users dropping their device, and over nine percent lose data due to deleted files.

Meanwhile, the top reason for data loss in mobile devices was deleted files (33%). Liquid damage, the top reason for the past two quarters, has taken a notable decline. Liquid damage now only accounts for 15% of data loss in mobile device, which is a drop of seven percent from the previous quarter.

“Accidents happen, but the worst thing for any individual or business to do is panic,” said Phil Bridge, MD at Kroll Ontrack. “No device is fool-proof and our customers are often surprised with the data we can recover, even when all is seemingly lost. When data loss occurs, it is important to consider the options and information available before acting. Retrieving data from a faulty device, for example, could lead to further data loss, an undetected device and warranty voidance.”

Kroll Ontrack’s most recent DLI highlights that over two-thirds (70%) of data loss instances happened on laptops or external hard drives. The number of instances attributable to external hard drives remained similar, up two percent from 32% last quarter. The occurrences of data loss on laptops, however, has declined by 10%, down to 36% this quarter. Devices utilizing tape remain a very small percentage of the reported data loss (2 percent).

Looking at results from the countries in Europe with the highest incidence of assessments, the top causes include undetected drives, dropped devices, not powering on, liquid damage, deleted files, physical damage and corruption.

Photo © Pavelk

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