CBL Data Recovery Reminds Those Returning to Fort McMurray From Wildfire Tragedy That Data Is Resilient

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Data recovery specialist has words of caution for those finding damaged digital media upon returning to homes and businesses affected by Alberta and Fort McMurray wildfires but offers up hope that lost data and cherished photo memories can be recovered from disaster.

A burnt hard drive from a data recovery project in CBL's laboratory.

CBL has experience recovering data from hard drives with fire, smoke, and water-damage.

Data is resilient. If you or someone you know finds damaged computers, external hard drives, server hardware, cameras or USB keys - know that they are frequently recoverable.

As businesses and residents start returning to Fort McMurray this week, all eyes will shift to assessing the state of workplaces and homes left when the unprecedented evacuation was ordered nearly one month ago. Emotions will be high as residents sift through ashes of their lives, digital and otherwise. Data is a key part of many aspects of life. Businesspeople can attest to it being the lifeblood of an organization. Individuals know documents, media collections and of course digital photos are stored on devices everywhere these days. While fires, power surges, and other environmental issues can effectively destroy data, it should be known that data is resilient. Not all has to be lost.

As the return and clean-up begins, individuals and business owners will discover a myriad of challenges from fire and heat damage, water damage or smoke damage on devices, computers and environments. Companies will face the task of getting workstations, servers and network infrastructure operational again amidst power issues, inaccessible hard drives and general IT issues. Data backups may have been damaged and do experience failure, but they can be recovered if they have suffered fire or even water damage. Homeowners will likely be focused on taking stock of digital photos and retrieving priceless memories. “Data is resilient,” says Tim Margeson, President of CBL Data Recovery Technologies. “If you or someone you know finds damaged computers, external hard drives, server hardware, cameras or USB keys - know that they are frequently recoverable.”

Getting on the road to recovery can be helped by exercising caution and considering these tips:

  • Don’t assume files on a computer or memory card are lost, even if a hard drive looks terrible or is covered in soot and debris. Have a professional evaluate the device and determine the best path forward.
  • When powering up for the first time, unplug any externally connected devices to decrease chance of complication and then add each device one at a time.
  • If a device appears to have fire- or water-damage, and you know it is the main source of important files, do not attempt to power it on. Take it to a local computer service centre for evaluation.
  • Having a restoration company visit your business or home? Let them know important files are stored on your computer. Extra steps will be taken to safeguard your information and maximize recovery potential.
  • If devices are running smoothly, do a backup ASAP. This will prevent any data loss in case of secondary issues in coming days and weeks.

CBL has extensive experience working on hard drives and computers damaged in fires, storms and other disasters. For more information, businesses and residents can call CBL at 1-800-551-3917 or visit http://www.cbldatarecovery.ca

About CBL Data Recovery:
Established in Markham, Ontario in 1993, CBL Data Recovery is a leading international provider of computer data recovery services for clients experiencing data loss due to hardware failure, fire and water damage, natural disaster, software corruption or human error. CBL employs proprietary techniques to recover data quickly and effectively from a wide array of media including hard drives of laptops, personal computers, servers, RAID arrays and SAN/NAS systems, tapes, and other magnetic or optical media. CBL offers services through its global network of data recovery laboratories, customer service centers and authorized partners.

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