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A recent study discloses it takes 19 days and cost in excess $17,000 to re-enter just 20 megabytes worth of sales and marketing data. Retrieving accounting records is even worse; they require over 21 days of work and cost over $19,000 to re-type. For many businesses, this kind of cost can close your doors. Remote backup service can keep these extreme expenses from hitting your company!.


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Protect your dataHome . Information . Statistics

Statistics about Leading Causes of Data Loss Statistics about Leading Causes of Data Loss

Despite technological advances in the reliability of magnetic storage media, data loss continues to rise, making data recovery more important than ever. On track engineers have identified three trends that are leading to this increase in lost data.


chart-causes-of-data-loss 14% 3%

  1. More data is being stored in smaller spaces. Today's hard drives store 500 times the data stored on the drives of a decade ago. Increasing storage capacities amplify the impact of data loss, making mechanical precision more critical.
  2. Data has become more mission-critical. Hospital patient records. A graduate school thesis. Personal finance and tax information. Payroll records. Users today are storing more information electronically than ever. The loss of mission critical data can have staggering financial, legal and productivity ramifications on businesses and home users alike.
  3. Backup tools and techniques are not 100% reliable. Most computer users rely on backups as their safety net in the event of data loss (a recommended practice). Ontrack research indicates that 80 percent of its data loss customers regularly back up their data, only to find them less than adequate at the critical moment they need to restore them. Backups assume that hardware and storage media are in working order; that the data is not corrupted, and that your backup is recent enough to provide full recovery. In reality, hardware and software do fail and backups don't always contain current enough data.

Leading Causes of Data Loss

Hardware or System Malfunctions (44 percent of all data loss)

Possible Symptoms

  • Error message stating the device is not recognized
  • Previously accessible data suddenly gone
  • Scraping or rattling sound
  • Hard drive not spinning
  • Computer hard drive doesn't function


  • Electrical failure
  • Head/media crash
  • Controller failure

Preventive Measures

  • Protect electrical components by using computers in a dry, shaded, dust-free area
  • Protect against power surges with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
  • Do not shake or remove the covers on hard drives or tapes.
Human Error (32 percent of all data loss)

Possible Symptoms

  • Previously accessible data suddenly gone
  • Message similar to "File Not Found"


  • Accidental deletion or drive format
  • Trauma caused by drop or fall

Preventive Measures

  • Never attempt any operation, like installations or repairs, with which you don't have experience
  • Avoid moving your computer, especially when it's in operation

Software Corruption (14 percent of all data loss)

Possible Symptoms

  • System messages relating to memory errors
  • Software application won't load
  • Error message stating data is corrupted or inaccessible


  • Corruption caused by diagnostic or repair tools
  • Failed backups
  • Configuration complexity

Preventive Measures

  • Back up data regularly
  • Use diagnostic utilities with caution

Computer Viruses (7 percent of all data loss)

Possible Symptoms

  • Blank screen

  • Strange and unpredictable behavior
  • Error message stating
  • "File Not Found" Message announcing virus appears on screen


  • Boot sector viruses
  • File infecting viruses
  • Polymorphic viruses

Preventive Measures

  • Use a good anti-virus package
  • Obtain software from reputable sources
  • Scan all incoming data, including packaged software, for viruses

Natural Disasters (3 percent of all data loss)

Possible Symptoms

  • While floods and earthquakes have obvious symptoms, brownouts and lightning strikes often leave no clues


  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Brownouts

Preventive Measures

  • Store tested backups in an off-site location
  • Install a UPS
  • Don't store critical data in a flood plain




Most small businesses don't have a backup plan that fully protects them.



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