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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