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Hard drives that can survive fire, drowning

Maxtor and Sentry have teamed up to create an uber-drive.

Sentry Group

There are at least two reasons that waterproof hard drives were inevitable. First, portable storage devices started down this path a long time ago, so the idea must be a popular one. Second, people apparently view their hard drives with more affection than in the past, when it was a necessary but boring utility.

But we never imagined one that could survive 24 hours under water and temperatures of 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, as Maxtor and Sentry Group claim their new "Fire-Safe" line does. The products are basically hard drives sealed in battle-ready safes, but we're not ones to quibble if they work as billed--protecting the disks from thieves as well as the elements in sizes ranging from 80GB to 160GB.

If they follow the career of their little USB friends, however, they might have to get a lot tougher.