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The dog ate my data

Every so often I get sent a press release that isn't especially newsworthy but is interesting nonetheless. Ontrack, a data recovery firm that deals with people who have managed to lose vitally important work or other files of sentimental value, sent out a mailshot today about some of the more ludicrous tales it has heard this year.

One involved a USB key that had been left sticking out of one poor chap's PC. His dog mistook it for a chew toy – it was left covered in teeth marks and a hole that went completely through it. Despite this, Ontrack says it was able to recover all the data.

USB chew toy

Some people have only themselves and their idiocy to blame – another man decided to take his hard drive to bits when it malfunctioned. He gave up halfway through (typical male) and sent it to Ontrack. Every piece in a separate envelope.

And sometimes it's a person's temper that is to blame when it comes to data recovery. A frustrated writer – believe me, I can relate to this – attacked her laptop with a hammer. When the Ontrack engineers received it, the hammer imprints were clearly visible on the top cover of the laptop.

Now I've had a few disasters in my time, and I'm not always thinking straight. But this press release read like the Darwin Awards of data. What I want to know is: have any of you had any similar experiences? A moment of sheer frustration or stupidity that you're prepared to own up to? Or perhaps it happened to a 'friend'? We'd like to hear your stories.

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