ioSafe hard drive struck by lightning, still works

One of the more interesting events we witnessed at CES was from the hardware vendor ioSafe. The company creates “disaster proof hardware” that is designed to withstand fires, floods, and robberies, and in order to highlight how cool their storage devices are, they attempt to destroy the drives every year at CES. In previous years they have burned, excavated, dropped, and drowned their drives. This year they upped the ante by literally striking the drive with nearly 1,000,000 watts of electricity!

For safety reasons, the demo was not conducted at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Instead, ioSafe bussed us to a remote location where they had erected a huge Tesla coil. They explained that the coil was generating roughly 950,000 watts of electricity and that “Dr. Megavolt” (while wearing a homemade Faraday cage) would be near the coil, directing the bolts of electricity through the drive. They walked us into a nearby Faraday cage and provided us with earplugs for the show because a dead journalist was not the type of press they were looking for.

Before starting with the drive, “Dr. Megavolt” waved various other materials near the Tesla coil, including fluorescent light tubes (that lit up when electrocuted) and large beams of wood with staples in them (that caught on fire when electrocuted). The grand finale was the hard drive, which he held up to the sky as the lightning bolts repeatedly crashed against it.

After a short description of a new product - the ioSafe Solo G3, a fire and waterproof NAS device that doesn’t even need fans – they attempted to connect the slightly burnt drive to the computer. The drive wasn’t even recognized at first. CEO Robb Moore kicked into high gear, emphasizing the fact that ioSafe provides free data recovery with their drives, and after many stressful minutes of work, was able to retrieve the data that was housed on the disk. Moore was quick to point out that the tolerance specs of the drive are not a million watts for a reason, but wanted to point out that everyone should be concerned with backing up their data.

The Thunderbolt drive is not yet available, but is expected to be released in Q2 of 2012.

We recorded the entire impressive event and you can see it in the embedded video. For those who just want to see the lightning bolts from the Tesla coil, the action starts at the 3:47 mark of the video and runs for nearly two minutes.

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18 Comments

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I'm not sure, but I'm going to hazard a guess at ot many people and companies being susceptable to indoor lightning strikes that hit your hard drive whilst it's off.

Lightning hitting the ground near you or a substation are another thing completely, if this is plugged in it WILL blow the hard drive guaranteed if the lightning was powerful enough, overall, this is just marketing, it serves no real-life scenario what-so-ever.

schizo_ said,
The real test is throwing it to the ground while it's spinning.
The one demoed was an SSD, so it would probably be ok

Lightning is way, way more powerful than 1,000,000 volts. In fact it can be upwards to 1 billion volts depending on the type of lightning you're dealing with (positive or negatively charged lightning), not to mention the 54,000°F heat generated. If this was a real direct lightning strike, the drive would not survive.

Lord Venom said,
Lightning is way, way more powerful than 1,000,000 volts. In fact it can be upwards to 1 billion volts depending on the type of lightning you're dealing with (positive or negatively charged lightning), not to mention the 54,000°F heat generated. If this was a real direct lightning strike, the drive would not survive.

Lightning bolt = 1.21 Gigawatts

Lord Venom said,
Lightning is way, way more powerful than 1,000,000 volts. In fact it can be upwards to 1 billion volts depending on the type of lightning you're dealing with (positive or negatively charged lightning), not to mention the 54,000°F heat generated. If this was a real direct lightning strike, the drive would not survive.

umm they are talking about watts, not volts. They aren't the same thing. It's not the voltage that is damaging but the wattage, same reasoning as to why high voltage doesn't necessarily kill you, it's the wattage or amperage that will kill you.

Well, its physics really... the same Faraday Cage protecting people in this experiment protects the content of the HD, right? The casing creates the same effect. Its why the lightning bolt can hit a car and people are not fried inside...

Still, an impressive demo. Tesla coils FTW!

PsyOpWarlord said,
I have a 2TB ioSafe I use as my TimeMachine storage on my iMac. But I got mine when hard drive prices were good.

I'm considering buying ioSafes, which HDD brands do they use?

I'm crazy paranoid about my data...

GS:mac

I've had mine for some time now. Mine had a Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000. I'm not sure what drive they are using now.

Although it is fire/water proof and can be bolted down for security; I still also use a separate drive I incrementally back everything to once a month and store at my work. I always plan for the worst. Theft is still a possibility. Yea I could use an online storage solution but uploading and more so downloading TB's of data is not reasonable when the ISP caps you at 250GB per month.

PsyOpWarlord said,
I've had mine for some time now. Mine had a Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000. I'm not sure what drive they are using now.

Although it is fire/water proof and can be bolted down for security; I still also use a separate drive I incrementally back everything to once a month and store at my work. I always plan for the worst. Theft is still a possibility. Yea I could use an online storage solution but uploading and more so downloading TB's of data is not reasonable when the ISP caps you at 250GB per month.

True that!
Yeah, local redundancy beats cloud redundancy hands down for me, too. At least for backup purposes.

Darn, Hitachi... I'm loyal to Westies and nothing pulls me away from them.

GS:ios

That's extremely impressive! I might think about grabbing one of these hard drives if they're at a reasonable price...