When the sea reclaimed New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, hundreds of lawyers saw their computers and networks submerged. Rebuilding law practices entailed Herculean efforts to resurrect critical data stored on the hard drives in sodden machines.

Hard drives operate within such close tolerances that a drop of water or particle of silt that works its way inside can cripple them; yet, drives aren’t sealed mechanisms. Because we use them from the beach to the mountains, drives must equalize air pressure through filtered vents called “breather holes.” Under water, these breather holes are like screen doors on a submarine. When Hurricane Katrina savaged thousand of systems, those with the means and motivation turned to data recovery services for a second chance.

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