The Five Stages of Data Loss

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross documented the five stages of grief that a person goes through when faced with death. I also have spent long hours researching the stages of loss, be as it may, for data and unfortunately, I forgot to document it. However, based on the stories I’ve heard from friends, I have concluded that data loss is rather similar to Ms Kübler-Ross’ observations. The stages are remembered by the acronym DABDA for denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. And here is how they relate to backup.



DENIAL — My data cannot be gone.  I must have put it on another disk.  Damn, maybe I had it under a different name. No…well, let me try to find an older copy. Grrrrr.  Maybe it is in cache?  I couldn’t have lost my data, IT sucks.

ANGER — Computers!  I hate these things.  They never work.  It was spouse’s fault. She is always distracting me when I try to make copies.  Ugh, I wanna smash this thing with a hammer!! Why didn’t IT buy me better stuff!! Those cheap bastards…


Resulting in something slightly Office Space-esque.

BARGAINING — Oh, dearest IT man, please find my file.  I know you can do anything, you are probably the best IT guy in the entire state. I’ll do ANYTHING if you get me my file back.  I swear, I’ll never get mad at IT again. Just please, please find my files. Couldn’t you send it to some high-tech, lint free lab and recover my information?! I’m good for the money, I swear I am!
DEPRESSION — That’s it. I’ll probably get fired. I’ll be working nights and weekends for a month to recover from this. I’m such an idiot.  It’s all lost. I knew I should have done backups.  Why didn’t I listen when they told me!

ACCEPTANCE — OK, it is gone, and it is my fault.  But I learned my lesson. Time to start picking up the pieces, walking door to door for hard copies, searching every email account and buying new applications and software. This time, I will back up locally and to the cloud.  And I will check the logs and alerts every day to make sure my backups are working.


Nothing left to do today though, but get drunk and start the recovery tomorrow.