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What Is Data Loss?

July 17th, 2012

Data loss is generally characterized by one or more of the following:

  • The inability to access any data from a previously functioning computer system or backup
  • The accidental deletion of files or the overwriting of data control structures
  • Corrupted or inaccessible files due to abnormal device operation or damage

Among other causes, data loss can be attributed to system or human error, adverse environmental conditions and device failure:

  • Human causes of data loss include intentional or accidental deletion or overwriting of files.
  • Virus damage, operating system or application software bugs, or failed upgrades may also cause data loss.
  • Common physical causes of data loss include power loss or power surge, overheating, electrostatic (“static”) discharge and any kind of physical damage to the storage device or medium.
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