Most data loss occurs for mundane reasons, like drive failures and human error. It’s not that rare for people to drop laptops or cameras, either. (Heck, mine came close to having a foot-thick fence post run through it.) If you drop them from really high up, like a helicopter or a mountain peak, you might qualify as remarkable. And by now merely driving over a computer hardly raises an eyebrow: you have to drive over it with an airplane.
Some of these computers and hard drives suffered truly bizarre mishaps, and the funniest cases are those of self-inflicted damage. In 2004, a man tried to flush his laptop down the toilet. Another tried to repair his hard drive by sticking it in the freezer. In 2005, a woman attacked her computer with a hammer. (That was also the year of “The dog ate my memory stick” and “The cockroaches got my laptop.”)
This year’s top ten list doesn’t feature any deliberate computer abuse, though the professor who used WD-40 to stop his computer from squeaking was apparently suffering from academentia. And just why a hard drive should seem like a good place to leave a banana, I don’t know. It’s clear that the reason data recovery experts suit up isn’t just to protect the data.
Of course, none of these things is funny if it happens to you. It’s even less funny if you have to send your drive to a place like OnTrack and they can’t get your data back. So remember: don’t take a hammer to your laptop without backing it up first.