Hard drive withstands drops, submersion, shot gun blasts

Six blasts from a 12 guage couldn't destroy the data inside

ioSafe's Rugged Portable hard drive launched at the Consumer Electronics Show this week withstood drops, submersion and even blasts from a 12-guage shot gun.

"It has a full metal jacket and it is machined out of a solid billet of aluminum," ioSafe CEO Robb Moore said.

Watch a video of the shootout on YouTube.

The drive ranges in size from 250GB to 1TB and is priced starting at US$150.

The case is waterproof and can protect the data for up to three days in salt or fresh water at a depth of 10 feet, or 30 feet in the case of the titanium SSD version. The aluminum drive can withstand drops from 10 feet and the titanium from 20 feet.

But the most impressive demonstration of the drive's durability was at a Las Vegas gun range where data was recovered after the drive was shot with six blasts from a 12-gauge shot gun. The outer case was peppered with buckshot but there was no loss of data. Moore never claimed the drive could withstand gun blasts but said the demonstration was a fun way to show its durability.

From the arsenal then came an M16 automatic rifle capable of firing six rounds per second. One shot grazed the case, blowing off the back plate of the drive. If it had hit the center of the drive it would have been destroyed but because it hit only the side the photos Moore had loaded earlier could still be viewed.

The rugged drive has USB 3.0 and FireWire connections. Any model purchased comes with one year of data recovery service. Three years costs $50 and five years costs $100. The service includes data recovery even in cases of accidental deletion, according to ioSafe.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

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