“I’ve owned six portable USB hard drives over the past 10 years, and all six of them have failed unrecoverably. Is it just me, or is there a wider problem out there?” Mike Elgan asks. As prices have plummeted over the last few years, the USB hard drive market has exploded. More and more users are counting on these drives to add extra space or backup to their current drive. But these drives don’t protect from many of the items that would kill the main computer—fire, flood, theft, etc. And judging by the 170 or so responses to Mike, he’s not the only one that has lost a hard drive or two.