Could your hard drive survive this? If it’s an ioSafe, yep.


As a firefighter I guess I was the obvious choice to review the ioSafe hard drive which sells itself as the first and only external hard drive that is both water and fire proof.

The company includes a one time, no questions asked recovery process.  If you are unable to recover the data off the drive after a disaster you send it back to them.  If their experts are not able to recover the data they send it out to a third party recover service.  Finally, if that service is unable to recover your data ioSafe will spend up to $1000 on the end user’s behalf for data recovery with a forensic recovery company like Ontrack or DriveSavers.

In order to test the drive in a real wold scenario I decided to enlist the help of my fire company.

Did the ioSafe survive our real world torture test?

Click on to find out.

ioSafe sent me their 500 gig external hard drive to test.


Here’s what they say about the drive.

The rugged desktop ioSafe Solo hard drive brings disaster protection to a price range that everyone can afford. With capacities from 500GB to 1.5TB, the ioSafe Solo can safely protect precious digital family photo albums, MP3 music libraries and days of video memories. For business, the ioSafe Solo hard drive is a great way to protect customer databases or to secure regulated information including patient records (HIPAA, Sox, etc) or credit card information (PCI regulated). Businesses use the Solo hard drive as a backup and storage device, no longer worrying about data loss from moving computer tapes and files offsite. Like other ioSafe disk drives or storage systems, the Solo hard drive is for Mac or PC and uses patented technology including FloSafe air flow cooling, HydroSafe waterproof barriers and the DataCast fire safe insulation.

The drive arrived in a large box and included a power cable, USB cable and owners manual.


On the back of the drive there is a note that informs you about registering your drive to take advantage of the ioSafe recovery process.


The drive’s tank like specifications are as follows:

  • Fireproof to 1550° F for ½ hour
  • Waterproof to 10 feet of fresh water or salt water for 3 full days
  • USB 2.0 Interface — Plug and Play for any PC, laptop or Mac computer
  • Patented Air Flow Cooling ensures hard drive reliability during normal day to day use
  • 3 Year Warranty & $1,000 Data Recovery Service
  • Upgrade to 5 Year, up to $5,000 per disk
  • Bolt-down the ioSafe Solo or cable lock for greater security and theft resistance

Since I use a Mac as my main computer I decided to use it to erase and format the drive.

Picture 1

I then copied some of my iMac’s home directory onto the drive.  This included my family pictures, movies, important documents etc.

Precious items that under real world circumstances if lost would be devastating.

Picture 2

I ended up copying about 50 gig of data to the drive.

Picture 3

In order to test the drive in a “real world” scenario we decided to place it in the middle of a car fire.

The following video details the test itself and the process of removing the drive afterwards, inserting it into a new housing and firing it back up to recover the data.

We also recorded the entire test via a TIC (thermal imaging camera.)  The video below shows the temperature in various areas during the test.

A thermal imaging camera (colloquially known as a TIC) is a type of thermographic camera used in firefighting. By rendering infrared radiation as visible light, such cameras allow firefighters to see areas of heat through smoke, darkness, or heat-permeable barriers.

I don’t know what to say about the results other than WOW!

The video really does speak for itself.  The ioSafe simply works as advertised, plain and simple.

For any piece of electronic device to survive what we put it through is nothing short of amazing.  We’re confident that the iosafe drive would survive in a typical house fire as well.

All my data safe and sound after this!



I keep important documents in a firebox in my basement.  If you want to insure that your precious digital documents are safe during a fire, flood or other disaster there’s no reason not to get yourself an ioSafe.

You can learn more about the ioSafe by visiting the company’s website.

M.S.R.P. – prices start at $149

What I like – does exactly what it says it will do.

What I don’t like – not a thing.

Special thanks to the Ludwigs Corner Fire Company, especially Chief Devin Guth, for allowing me to conduct this test.

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8 Comments on "Could your hard drive survive this? If it’s an ioSafe, yep."

  1. Joel McLaughlin | August 5, 2009 at 9:39 am |

    Wow. Most extensive review yet on something like this.

  2. cindyloegering | August 5, 2009 at 9:58 am |

    Impressive. Talk about a great firewall! Worth checking out for great protection against fire. The video was amazing demo of high tech at work.

  3. Excellent review, Larry!

    Anyone want to do a test at their company with a fire followed by the sprinkler system while the unit is operational? 😉

  4. Ludwigs?!?!? Like in Pa, right up rt100? I’m right around the corner from you in Chester Springs. I would have loved a heads up that you were testing this, its always cool to see a car go up in flames for science or a quality hard drive review.

  5. Larry Greenberg | August 5, 2009 at 6:34 pm |

    Nice parityodd – I actually live in chester springs as well!

    Small world.

  6. @xerophytes Show him/her some links instead:

  7. @crazytechdude And check out Larry G's video too:

  8. Thanks to @lgreenberg for the great review Be sure to see the video from his last review Stunning!

Comments are closed.