Skip to content

Data Loss—It Can Wipe You Out

By Mike Cobb, DriveSavers Director of Engineering

Simple mistakes can lead to horrific consequences when computers are involved.

Just ask the British businessman who, in this story at least, wound up losing everything with the touch of a button. It was the “enter” button on his computer keyboard. And it was a “delete” command that brought everything tumbling down.

The story comes from Slashdot (, a UK website where the troubles of the alleged victim, Marco Marsala, recently came to light after the information was posted on Server Fault (, an online forum for server professionals. The posts have been removed after it was learned the story was not true.

It was all a hoax, attributed to a viral marketing campaign, but the central storyline is something that can really happen. We know. We’ve seen it. And it could happen again. To you.

Here’s the fabricated story:
Marsala operates a data hosting service that is responsible for safekeeping information from more than 1,000 users. So, it’s not just his own data that has been lost. All data from all users is gone.

“All servers got deleted and the offsite backups, too,” Marsala reportedly said.

There is Hope

A deleted file may be recoverable; however, in this hypothetical case, the deletion affects not just one file, not just one computer, but everything that was on any device attached to Marsala’s computer—including the backup files that stored extra copies of his customers’ files in a remote location!

DriveSavers engineers—who have been recovering data for over 30 years at the highest levels of success—would have a chance at recovering deleted data from a situation like this, but only if allowed access to the affected devices as soon as possible after the deletion. In instances of logical failure, our engineers could work on the device either using our remote data recovery service or by bringing the device into our lab.

Deleted files and virtual machines are not destroyed immediately. Instead, the system eventually writes over those items when it needs to store new data. Once overwritten, the original files or virtual machines are lost forever. This is why data recovery engineers should be given access to the system before anything else is done to the affected computer and/or other attached devices.

There can be varying degrees of data recovery success depending on such factors as the type of filesystem used. An evaluation soon after the failure would provide the best idea of how successful a recovery may be.

Single Click, Global Impact

Accurate statistics on global data loss are hard to come by, but a study released last year by the Ponemon Institute estimated the cost to a moderate size company might average $3.79 million, up considerably from just two years prior.

Are you or your business relying on cloud storage as your data backup? While this option does tend to be relatively safe and secure, it’s always a good idea to maintain an additional backup…just in case.

Back To Top