Tales Of Lost Data

Recovery of Overwritten Hard Disk Data

5 October 2005 Linux Forums - http://tinyurl.com/8t7uaop

Hi, a friend of mine just overwrote two months of her PhD thesis with an older version. I know recovery of overwritten data is possible, but wonder if I'd need special hardware to do it. Does anyone know something about this ?

Thank You.

Stolen laptop had PhD research

19 March 2008 Surrey Leader - http://tinyurl.com/9hmtlv4

Thirty-five minutes spent in Langley’s Willowbrook Shopping Centre cost a Surrey woman much more than she had anticipated.

Langley RCMP say that while she was shopping from 1-1:35 p.m. last Monday, someone broke into her vehicle and stole a number of items, including a Mac iBook laptop containing the research she had compiled as she worked towards her PhD.

“All that information was on that computer and she has no back-up file,” said Langley RCMP spokesman Cpl. Brenda Marshall.

Google images of Langley Willowbrook

Happiness is the return of a stolen computer, with data intact

27 May 2010 The Press, NZ - http://tinyurl.com/38sznnh

Never has a man been so happy to see a computer full of data spreadsheets.

Claudio De Sassi's world fell apart when a car containing almost three years work towards his PhD was stolen two weeks ago. De Sassi, a Canterbury University academic, could not hide his joy yesterday as police reunited him with his stolen laptop and backpack.

Thugs steal Christmas, doctoral dreams

22 December 2010 KRQE - http://tinyurl.com/9a5j56f

A tiny television sits where a big screen used to, and a Christmas tree stands with little underneath it...

Even worse than the gifts, the crooks stole a MacBook Pro laptop and a LaCie hard drive.

The hard drive had … her dissertation and nearly seven years of research for her doctoral degree she was set to fnish in a few weeks. Osuna had everything backed up on a separate hard drive in a safe, but burglars made off with that too.

"All I could think about is that all that time is gone, all that effort, everything is gone," Osuna said.

Stolen hard drive contained almost completed PhD thesis

11 October 2012 Wanneroo Times - http://tinyurl.com/bw8nteo

A HOCKING mother has pleaded for the people who broke into her home on Saturday to return a portable hard drive containing her almost completed PhD thesis.

...“They stole two laptops, one of which has my thesis on it, as well as my portable hard drive, which had my back-up on it, as well as a TV and my husband’s mobile phone,” she said.

... The ECU Joondalup postgraduate student said the portable hard drive was worth less than $30, but was priceless to her.

Laptop Stolen From OSU Doctoral Student

NBC4i January 06 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/bmybv9x

...her car was broken into and her chrome Mac book pro was stolen. She has a back-up for all but the last six months of research, but the most important part of the research had happened recently.

Lost Thesis Poster



PostgraduateForum.com > Current PhD Students, PhD Life. 29 September 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/ct5e2no

I've 'lost' my thesis

Yes, I 'lost' my thesis today, at around 12:42pm (thesis RIP), microsoft word couldn't cope with the size of the document and my file got corrupted. I'd removed a small chunk of it and did some formatting to decrease its size yesterday but that obviously didn't stop it happening. After a few hours trying to recover it, I gave in and called for help. I then found out that, even if I'd managed to recover it, it probably wouldn't be the whole document, there could be parts missing, formatting gone awol, etc No sweat though, I regularly back up my work so it's just today's work that's been lost, well morning and lunch really as I spent the afternoon attempting to savage it,-) bit stressful but hey ho, not the end of the world. So for those of you who don't back your work up, start doing it now! And regularly! I can't possibly imagine what would have happened to me if I'd really lost everything weeks before submission...

Saving the data!

AG Daws blog Back It Up 1 August 2011 - http://tinyurl.com/dyntczd

I was busy in the lab one day writing my Honours thesis when the fire alarm went off. I assumed it was a drill. I kept on writing. That is, until the fire warden found me. He said the lab next door was on fire and told me to get the hell outside with everybody else.

I stared at him, then at the ageing Apple Macintosh computer with all of my precious words painstakingly hammered into place with two fingers. (This was before I could touch-type.) Then I looked at the jars of extremely flammable fixative and solvents and God-only-knows-what-else lining the shelves. (This was also before occupational health and safety was given much credence.)

I can tell you one thing—Word’s auto-save feature didn’t give me much comfort on that day. I fought off the fire warden long enough to unplug the computer from the wall and disentangle it from various peripherals. Then I carried the damned thing downstairs in my arms.

That was when I started backing up my work religiously.

Thesis Writing: Backing Up

Making Bones blog, 4 September 2012 - http://tinyurl.com/d7k83z8

I used to transfer my files between computers on an external hard drive. This meant I had all my files on both my work and home computer and the external hard drive. This worked until instead of working on the actual computer and then transferring files between computers I decided it was easier to just keep the most recent copy on the external. Soon I was only using the external and my computer files were a few months out of date. Then, one day, the external got knocked off a table and broke when it hit the floor. The files had to be restored by a technology company for $1600. This, obviously, was not what was meant by “backing up”.

...I do have one special backup method for my thesis write-up. A USB necklace. If the internet dies, my hard-drive gets smashed by a bulldozer, and both of my computers go up in flames, I’ll still have my thesis around my neck.

Laptop stolen through a window

It’s like half of my brain has been removed, 4 June 2014 - http://tinyurl.com/oq3opkw

She said: “It’s like half of my brain has been removed. It’s got five years’ work on it including my teaching notes, which are quite precious. It will definitely hamper my teaching, as I will have to go back and rewrite lectures.

“It also contains notes on my students, on research and human rights, and the book I’ve been working on since 2011, which is subtitled ‘refugee writing’, about refugees and literature.

“I was looking to get the book published next year, but it will probably be 2016 now. I will have to do a lot of the work again.

“While a lot of the work has been saved elsewhere, a lot of it hasn’t, so there’s a lot of archive work that I will have lost.

“The lesson is to always back up your work and not to leave things in your home near windows.”

Mistakes happens everywhere...

Toy Story II Blu-Ray extras

Someone /rm */ing the movie... and the backups having been failing... and recovering the movie from a copy that someone working at home had taken with tem.





When a size command was run on the Toy Story 2 directory, it was only 10% of the size it should have been. 90% of the movie had been deleted by the stray command.

YouTube copy of video: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EL_g0tyaIeE

Top 10 Data Disasters from Kroll OnTrack data recovery



  • 10. Rinse cycle
  • 9. Don't drink and work!
  • 8. Lost in the desert
  • 7. Erase all traces
  • 6. Slippery hands
  • 5. Lost in transit
  • 4. Disgruntled employee
  • 3. Careful driver
  • 2. Sweeping illness
  • 1. Don't ignore blinking RED lights




2008 - can't find...




Armed Robber Stole Laptops At Lark Café Last Night

Ditmas Park Corner, November 14, 2014

A writers group meeting at Lark Café (1007 Church Avenue) was robbed at gunpoint around 8:50pm Thursday night, when neighbors told us a man walked in with a gun and stole laptops from the nine-person group. We confirmed the robbery with Lark this morning, and we are relieved to hear that no one was physically injured.

Replace my stolen MacBook Pro

GoFundMe, September 16, 2014

Right after starting graduate school, my apartment was violently broken into and much of my belongings were taken. Many things were recovered, but one thing that wasn't was my laptop. My laptop had all of my undergraduate work, honors thesis work, and all of my debate work on it. It was my right hand when it came to my college career.

Wits student returns stolen textbooks to UJ student

Wits Vuvuzela, June 3, 2014

Gideon Chatanga lost three years of his doctoral thesis and personal belongings in a robbery two weeks ago but thanks to Witsie Emery Kalema, he now has some of his textbooks back.

Student reunited with her stolen hard drive

Otago Daily Times, Fri, 26 Dec 2014

...The return of the hard drive was made on payment of the $300 reward...