ioSafe Rugged Portable

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to backup my data?

At ioSafe, we suggest a minimum of the "3-2-1 Rule" for backup: Make 3 complete copies of your data, keep them on at least 2 separate systems, and have at least 1 on an ioSafe Rugged Portable or offsite. (Click here for ioSafe's recommended backup software)

Which operating systems are supported?

The ioSafe Rugged Portable is fully supported with Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Mac OS 8.6 or greater.

How do I get the Rugged Portable to work with my Mac?

Your unit was shipped with the Windows NTFS file system. A simple reformat will be needed to work with your Mac.

  • Save any information currently on the disk.
  • Open up the Disk Utility application located within the "Utilities" folder and highlight the drive you'd like to format (The line that contains the Hard Drive size).
  • Click on the "Partition" tab.
  • Click on the dropdown menu where it says "Volume Scheme" and select "1 Partition".
  • Click on the "Options" button, select the "Apple Partition Map" option and click "OK".
  • Click in the field that allows you to name the volume and type in the value you prefer.
  • Verify the volume format is set to "Mac OS Extended (journaled).
  • Click "Apply" and then click "Partition" to start the formatting process.

The partitioning process should take less than 30 seconds. Once complete, the Rugged Portable will mount on your desktop with the name you provided.

Can I use Rugged Portable with my Mac and PC?

The simplest and most effective way to backup a PC and a Mac is to have one Rugged Portable drive for each computer. Although it can be done with one unit, there are some restrictions. Which configuration is most effective will vary between users. Please contact Customer Service for additional information.

I'm trying to register and need a DRS serial number and Activation code. Where do I get these?

The Rugged Portable comes standard with a one year Data Recovery Service. If you purchased a 3yr or 5yr upgrade, additional information should have been included in the box with your unit. If this information was lost or cannot be found, please contact customer service.

Can I simply unplug when I'm done backing up

After using your Rugged Portable drive, always use the "Safely Remove Hardware" or "Eject" feature of your operating system before it's disconnected. Failing to do so can result in premature hard drive failure.

Will the USB 3.0 cable connect to a USB 2.0 port?

Yes, USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. However, the drive will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

What do you recommend for theft prevention?

For Drive security, the Rugged Portable is equipped with a Kensington security slot, which supports a standard Kensington security cable (sold separately). For more information on the Kensington security slot, visit

Does the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) spin down when not in use?

All ioSafe products are designed to continually spin, always waiting for data. Sometimes an operating system or backup program will time-out with an error if it has to wait too long for the drive to spool up from sleep — resulting in no data getting backed up. While we strive to make our drives as energy-efficient as possible, our first and primary goal is to protect people's data.

What if there is a disaster after my Data Recovery Service has expired?

IoSafe's Disaster Recovery Team will always help with the recovery process. However, the $2500 of coverage for the Rugged Portable, or $5000 of coverage for the Rugged Portable SSD, will no longer be available.

Do you recommend encrypting data?

Encrypting data may be necessary to ensure security and integrity of sensitive or classified/top secret information and personal information.

It is important to note that in the event of a data disaster, encryption can make data recovery difficult of impossible.

Can the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) be easily removed and upgraded

The HDD of the Rugged Portable protected and well sealed from water and other potentially hazardous debris. For this reason it is not easily removed. Attempting to remove the drive from its enclosure will void the warranty. To avoid the need for an upgrade in the future, plan ahead. Consider how much data you expect to store a few years down the road and purchase accordingly.

How would the drive withstand an electromagnetic pulse? Or a high voltage electric shock? How about the latest airport security scanners - or ancient and faulty ones? What about just plain static electricity?

Considering the drive is encapsulated in a 100% metal housing, much of any outer electrical energy will travel around the drive and not through it.

The device is not designed, rated or tested for EMP resulting from nuclear bomb detonation as this is very expensive to do.

No matter what the possible data loss scenario, we would perform forensic recovery on the device if required per our Data Recovery Service terms and conditions at your request.

How do you handle recovery of data subject to compliance such as HIPAA, SOX, FERPA, GLBA or NIST 800.34?

If data subject to regulatory compliance is software encrypted on ioSafe devices, there is no security risk in ioSafe recovering the software encrypted volume and returning the volume back to the customer intact as long as ioSafe in not given the encryption keys to the volume. ioSafe should not need the software encryption keys to recover the encrypted volume of data. If the volume is not encrypted and/or ioSafe cannot recover the encrypted volume with our internal recovery tools, we can contract with our forensic recovery partner, DriveSavers, if a SAS 70 Type II certification is required during regulatory compliance data recovery. The data drives can be sent directly to DriveSavers if security reasons require it.

You're in good company with ioSafe