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Causes of data loss

In Blog by Administrator

Why have you lost your data?

Businesses cannot afford to lose data, especially smaller ones. 58% of small businesses are not prepared for data loss, and 60% that do shut down within months. A study performed by Ontrack showed 84% of companies have experienced data loss as a result of avoidable errors.

Drive Failure

All hard drives will fail eventually. Some drives are more likely to fail than others, but on average a mechanical hard drive will last three to five years.

Mechanical failure in drives can be caused by various occurrences, ranging from dropping your drive on the floor to water damage from floods.

Human Error

“Whoops” moments are the #2 cause of data loss, from the mistakes that cause the data to be deleted in the first place, and the (more serious) ones that render that data irrecoverable.

The biggest mistake is continuing to work on a server with missing data. This can cause important areas of the server necessary for the recovery to be overwritten, which can corrupt the missing data and render it irrecoverable.

Not knowing where data is stored can also be a problem in the event that a recovery is required. This can make a recovery an extremely complex process.

Finally, having outdated/no backups can make the loss of data more likely. With an outdated backup, it is likely that the backup data is the wrong data, and the correct data is permanently lost.

Viruses and Corruption

Various surveys have stated that viruses cause around 4-7% of all data loss. Large ransomware attacks can be much worse, but large outbreaks of these aren’t extremely common.

Software corruption can cause a significant amount of data loss, ranging from software crashes to registry issues, which adds up to a significant problem if you don’t back up any data that is at risk from these.


The most important thing to take away here is back up your data if you don’t already. This is the best way to protect against almost all of the main causes of data loss.

Sources: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/causes-of-data-loss-and-some-statistics/ https://www.ontrack.com/blog/2019/01/14/key-mistakes-that-lead-to-data-loss/