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Dramatic cloud-to-ground lightning flashes with four strike points in Tortolita Mountains, Southern Arizona, USA Danita Delimont—Gallo Images/Getty Images

Google Lost Data After Lightning Hit Its Data Center in Belgium

Aug 20, 2015

Despite the popular saying, lightning does strike twice, or even four times — as it did at a Google data center in Belgium last Thursday, causing problems for the next several days and leading to permanent data loss for a small percentage of unlucky users.

The problem began when the facility lost power briefly during one of the late-summer thunderstorms common in the area. That caused problems with reading or writing data for about five percent of disks in the data center. Most were fixed but data on .000001% of the center's total disk space was lost. "In these cases, full recovery is not possible," the company said in a statement.

Google accepts full responsibility for the incident and says it is making upgrades to prevent something like this from happening again.

Google's new self-driving prototype car drives around a parking lot during a demonstration at Google campus on May 13, 2015, in Mountain View, Calif.
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Google X: Google’s most ambitious projects, such as its self-driving cars, often begin in this secretive research departmentTony Avela—AP
Google's new self-driving prototype car drives around a parking lot during a demonstration at Google campus on May 13, 2015, in Mountain View, Calif.
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A Google Fiber technician gets supplies out of his truck to install Google Fiber in a residential home in Provo, Utah, January 2, 2014. Provo is one of three cities Google is currently building and installing gigabit internet and television service for business and residential use.
A logo sign at the headquarters of Google Ventures, in Mountain View, California, on December 31, 2014.
a contact lens Google is testing to explore tear glucose.
Google Ventures
Signage outside the Google Inc. headquarters in Mountain View, California on Oct. 13, 2010.
Google X: Google’s most ambitious projects, such as its self-driving cars, often begin in this secretive research depart
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Tony Avela—AP
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