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.