HDD crashes prevail as the most common cause of data loss according to a recent global survey. An overwhelming 72 percent of those surveyed noted that their most recent data loss came from a desktop or laptop hard drive, followed by SSD (15 percent) and RAID/virtual services (13 percent), showing that data loss impacts every type of storage from the consumer grade up to the enterprise level.

While HDD shipments are on the decline according to IHS iSuppli Storage Market Tracker Report, they are still expected to outpace SSD shipments three to one in 2014. There are simply more hard drives in circulation because they are cost effective and manufacturers have perfected their design and production. As a result, HDDs comprise the vast majority of the data recoveries we address.

When asked about the cause of their most recent data loss, 66 percent (compared to 29 percent in 2010) of the 1,066 surveyed across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, cited a hardware crash or failure, followed by 14 percent claiming human error (compared to 27 percent in 2010). Software failure ranked as the third most common cause of data loss with 6 percent.

Looking at individual response segments, laptop and PC crashes prevailed as the leading cause of data loss among both businesses (71 percent) and home users (72 percent) respectively and SSD device loss ranked second, accounting for 18 percent of data loss cases for home users and 10 percent for businesses.

Storage media fails regardless of type; it is just a matter of when. This fact, coupled with the fact that HDDs are still the most prevalent drive is why HDD crashes have and continue to be the most common cause of data loss.

To avoid such a failure, one should regularly defrag their computer, check its storage capacity, and run antivirus software as well as hard drive monitoring software. Beyond good health practices, businesses and home users should have working redundancies, such as a backup device or service in place, and continuity plan that is current and accessible in the event of a loss.

What is at stake? Among businesses, 27 percent said their most recent loss disrupted a business process, such as prohibiting them or their company from actually providing a product or service to their customers. A further 15 percent admit to losing personal data from their business machine contrasted with 7 percent whom acknowledged losing business-related data from their home machine.

As the data storage evolves, so do the numbers of places we store it. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that critical business data is at stake among both company-owned and personal devices. Since data is key to how we function in both worlds, accessibility is critical.