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  • The Indestructible ioSafe External Hard Drive – Ready For Anything?


    iosafe At CES 2o1o, a couple of us Home Server Show guys (Dave and I) had the opportunity to hang out with the folks from ioSafe for a demo of the almost total destruction of one of their new SSD external drives.  If you are new to ioSafe products, their Solo line is a rugged external hard drive that brings disaster protection to the average home user.  Their standard claim has been that their drives are both water and fire proof.  The SSD model adds another special bonus, shock and crush proof.  Really? That is asking a lot of one product.


    Full disclosure: Both Dave and Jim have purchased and own the Solo product.


    The morning started with a limo ride out to the parking lot of Screw Balls Sports Lounge in sunny Las Vegas where the stage was set for the Demo-lition of the ioSafe Solo SSD hard drive.








    For the demo, they would burn (propane fire), flood (in the bucket of the backhoe), drop (from the lifted arm of the bucket) and crush (run over by backhoe) the drive.


    If you want to try this at home, you will need:


    An ioSafe SSD External Hard Drive (any size)


    One Large Backhoe.  The bigger the better


    One Water Truck (a Fire Truck would also work)


    One Burn Box that can withstand a very hot fire


    Couple Propane Tanks (like from your BBQ)


    One Laptop with Digital Camera to take some pictures


    Oven Mitts


    Handy Wipes


    Cable with Clip


    One Cordless Drill with the right bits


    Breakfast and Coffee


    For extra fun, add a reporter from the BBC and his camera guy.




    The demo started with Robb Moore, CEO of ioSafe, backing up some pictures to the drive to prove that the data was real.  If you look closely, you can see Dave and Jim enjoying breakfast!






    Once the data was in place on the ioSafe drive, the fun began.  Robb also took a standard hard drive to show the effects of heat on a normal drive.  It was then loaded into the burn chamber.






    Let’s BURN IT!

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    Robb took a second to measure the temperature inside the burn box.  At one point it reached 1400 degrees and began to burn the hair off of Robb’s hand.




    The fire burned for about 10 minutes.  Once it was out, the hood was removed and we could see a very crispy ioSafe and hard drive that would never spin again.  The drive was moved with an attached cable (due to the heat) from the table to the bucket of the backhoe.

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    To cool things off, a little water was added to the mix.  Oh, maybe a 50 to 75 gallons worth.




    In the end, it rested quietly in the bottom of the bucket, holding its breath!




    So say your house burns down and you have your files backed up to one of these drives.  The drive would go thru the heat from the fire as well as the water from the fire department.  But what if your drive was on 3rd floor of an apartment building that collapses and then is run over by heavy equipment clearing the rubble?  Would it survive even that?


    So the bucket was raised to about 25 feet and emptied.  Ouch! (Notice the breakfast table!)

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    And to make matters worse, it was run over without mercy! (Dave can hardly believe it)

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    Notice that part of the drive is stuck to the tracks!  Robb then finds what’s left of the drive and begins to extract the protected SSD.

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    Ironically, my phone battery went dead right after I took this last picture.  However, that didn’t stop Robb from taking the SSD drive and plugged it back into the Mac.  Amazing, the drive still worked and the files were still there.  It’s always good when the demo works.  This had been their 4th successful demo of the conference and they still have 4 or 5 more to do.  I believe it worked every time that week.


    So it does look like ioSafe can back up their claim to be fire and water proof as well as shock and crush proof (for the SSD model).  And trust me, you can try this at home, just don’t try it with your home!




    A January Press Release states

    prices are $499 for 64 GB, $749 for 128 GB and $1250 for 256 GB. The ioSafe Solo SSD will be shipping in February 2010 and available through the ioSafe website, www.hddfiresafe.com, Ingram Micro and international distributors.

    The ioSafe Solo 500 GB can be found in regular retail channels for $150, the 1 TB for $215 and the 2 TB for $465.  I currently own the 1 TB model and use it to back up all my file shares on my Windows Home Server as well as my PC backups from the same device.


    While it is more expensive than your normal, standard drive, this apparently is not your average hard drive.  Keep that in mind when purchasing or considering a purchase.


    From CES 2010.  Written by Jim Collison with Dave McCabe


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