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Data Loss Happens, But Does It Have To?

Have you ever experienced the frustration, anxiety, and panic that overwhelms when you realize you’ve deleted, lost, or had an important file or folder destroyed? You’re not alone. Through act of nature, computer malfunction, or just plain human error, we’ve all had to face the loss of precious data at some point in our lives. Here are some people who were willing to share their stories.

Lost in Tornado Alley

A late-season tornado took off the roof of our building and flattened those around us. We lost a few cars that day, but what really threw us was all the information we lost regarding those cars. Getting the records for those cars was necessary for not only insurance purposes, but because we had to get back in business since some folks had lost their cars in the storm. We didn’t have a way to get our information back since it was on the computers in the showroom which had been destroyed. As the IT Manager, I had created a protocol for each person on the floor to back up each week, but no one had followed it in months. – Gary, Auto Retail Industry

Winter Melt Down

Our firm was good about creating regular data backups. We stored our archives in the building’s basement, where we thought it would be safe. Unfortunately, one winter, when a pipe burst, the basement was flooded and all of our archived data was lost. – Michelle, Law Firm

Making Memories – Or Not

I had a wedding Friday night and three on Saturday. I had saved Friday and Saturday morning’s events on my computer and went to do the last two of the day. The last wedding went late into the evening, so when I got home I didn’t bother downloading anything and figured I would do it in the morning. Good thing I was so tired. When I booted up my laptop it made a very odd loud sound and wouldn’t turn on. I tried to figure out what I could do to fix it myself and finally went to get help that afternoon. The expert tried everything, but my hard drive was fried. I lost all of Friday night’s and Saturday morning’s pictures. I can’t tell you the panic I was feeling and the anxiety of having to tell newlyweds that their photos were lost. Thankfully, the other photos from Saturday were saved, but this didn’t help me feel any better. – Guy, Wedding Photographer

Teacher Fails the Test

I had just sat down to review my class syllabus and send it to my students. Since the syllabi don’t change very much semester to semester, I figured I would be done by mid-afternoon. Then Harry happened. Harry is my dog who was sitting with me and tied to the table so he couldn’t run off. Catching sight of a squirrel or something, Harry jumped up and pulled the table, which in turn knocked over my cup of coffee right onto my computer. Instantly the screen went black. I tried drying it off but I knew it was toast. Not only did I have to rewrite my syllabus from a much older version, but I lost every lesson and presentation that I needed to teach these classes. – Paul, College Professor

Interview with…

I had spent the morning covering a huge election rally and was so excited when I got back to the studio to cut the piece and get it on the news at noon. What made it so spectacular is that I was the only reporter to get an interview with the candidate. As I was in the edit bay, a coworker asked a question. Normally, I save my files to the backup as soon as I sit down, but I was trying to do too many things at once. Instead of saving to the backup, I deleted the interview from the computer I was working on. It took a split second to realize what I had done and all was lost. – Amy, Television Production

Power Out

I’m part of the Research and Development team for an automaker, responsible for testing the safety, structure, and effectiveness of our vehicles. For many reasons, we have to record and save files of all the tests we do, including uploading analytics as tests are conducted, recording a video of the test and computing the results the analytics provide at the end of each test. A couple days before the two-week holiday shut down, we spent the day conducting safety tests that had to be done before shut down. Analyzing the results of the tests, the power went out and it took a few moments for the backup generators to power up. In that time, we lost everything we had worked on that day, putting us a day behind our already tight schedule. This meant we had to work extra hours – unpaid – those last few days before the holiday. We usually backed up at the end of the day, but didn’t get a chance to since we didn’t know the power was going to go out. – Dustin, Manufacturing


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