As flood waters filled their basement, Larry and Nancy MacLennan hastily moved their computer to the first floor before evacuating. But the water continued to rise, eventually filling most of the two-story house and submerging the computer for hours.
For the next several days the family worried about the damage to their Minnesota City, Minn., house. When they remembered that the computer held thousands of photos, including some about 70 years old, the MacLennans feared those precious files were lost forever.
But their daughter, 35-year-old Jenna MacLennan, had heard that data-recovery firms now sometimes find data on extremely damaged hard drives. Within days, engineers had recovered all the MacLennans' files.