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What happens when my IronKey self-destructs?
Reference Number: AA-03318 Views: 51516 Created: 05-15-2019 01:56 PM Last Updated: 05-15-2019 01:56 PM 13 Rating/ Voters

All IronKey devices (S100, S200, D200, S250, D250, S1000, H300, and H350) permanently self-destruct after 10 consecutive incorrect password attempts. The Enterprise versions have the option to have a different count set by your IronKey System Administrator. The Basic versions have the option to be configured to perform a reset rather than self-destruct. The Personal versions have no options. 

Self-destruct means the flash memory is erased, the AES encryption keys are erased, and the IronKey is permanently unusable; there is no way to reset the device or use it again once the self-destruct has been performed. 

Displayed are ample warnings about incorrect passwords and device self-destruction. Each incorrect password attempt will display a warning indicating the remaining number of password attempts. Additionally, after every 3 consecutive bad password attempts you must remove the device and re-insert it. 

The last password attempt displays at least 2 very distinct warning messages stating this self-destruction is permanent and there is no way to recover an IronKey once it has self-destructed, and the action will void the hardware warranty.  The IronKey limited hardware warranty covers hardware manufacturing defects only.  Devices that have self-destructed are not eligible for replacement. 

If you have no means to recover the lost password there are only two recommendations:

  1. Hold onto the IronKey in the hopes the password will be remembered.
  2. Let the self-destruct run and dispose of the IronKey.

If you've used the Secure Backup utility included with every S100, S200, D200, S250, D250 IronKey device, then you can restore your backup to a new IronKey of any of these models. Please review this procedure in the appropriate User Guide for your specific IronKey model and version.

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