Whenever our journalistic brethren get to set something on fire and douse it with water, we like to commemorate the moment. Wired's Gadget Lab just performed such a battery of tests on the SentrySafe fire-and-flood proof hard drives, ones we first saw almost a year ago. On one hand, the test went as predicted, but on the other hand, data doesn't seem as protected as you might think.
The tester got a hold of SentrySafe's QA0005, essentially an armour-plated 250GB Maxtor drive. Once it was loaded with a ton of movies, the fun part involved popping the damn thing in the oven to bake away. Not enough heat? It was tossed into the fireplace too, surviving both with ease. (It's supposed to withstand 30 min. at up to 843ºC.) The dunk test was far more impressive than the faucet shot above suggests: The thing went underwater, and stayed there for 12 full hours. Apparently it could have gone another 12.
Fire and water were no big whup, but the tester did have a problem with another potential act of God: The casing definitely wasn't built to be shake-, make that quake-proof. Might want to save the $US400 and buy a backup drive instead, to keep somewhere far far away. [Wired]