Re: Informal poll on whether you've ever had to do something like this
I was paid (not enough, really) to maintain a Windows 98 desktop machine with a copy of a bankrupt company's financial data and the client on which to run it. It used a proprietary database so there were few alternatives outside of exporting all data via ODBC into ... what?
This particular desktop was "repurposed" at one time as the game machine for the CFO's eight-year-old daughter; but then returned to commission when he discovered that all newer machines failed compatibility with the financial software. So this particular "business" machine had something like unicorns and pink cotton-candy clouds as the screen background. I thought it all-too-appropriate for the former company.
I dutifully maintained the system for my monthly fee (confiscatory and an abuse of authority, really) until the day they ignored my invoice. After 30 days aging for my monthly invoice I unplugged "My Little Pony" or whatever it was, and took the whole thing out to the local gravel pit where I further "decorated" the exterior of the machine with 12 gauge holes from my favorite pump shotgun.
As a polite shooter, I picked up all the pieces, put them all in a box, and took the box to my local electronics recycling center.
I thought for years what I might reply should anyone from "Deadbeat, Inc." call me for financial archives. After a decade, I forgot; until today.
Still, I made some humorous and spirit-lifting coin on the technical fears and legal requirements for a former company. Three and something years. Maybe more.
Today they'd upload the data to an online service and wait for accounting to forget to pay the bill.
Hey. Maybe I need to get into online storage. Pity. Too late.