Hello! In one of my earlier videos I took
this ancient desktop computer and put a big magnet close to it. The computer didn’t like it but a lot of
you liked the video and asked for something a little more modern. So in
this video I will let the monster magnet meet this laptop. It’s not state of the
art but I won’t ruin something I like. This laptop is falling apart and runs on
Windows Vista… It really is time to put it out of its misery. Before we bring out
the magnet let me just run at check disk to see what state the HDD is in. *Sigh*, isn’t this just classic Vista:
Windows need your permission to continue. I clicked on it.
How much more permission do you need? Well, it looks like this hard drive is in
good shape. No problems or bad sectors found. Before I bring out the monster magnet
let me just show you what a small one can do. Just in case you’re not
familiar with the power of neodymium magnets. This barely visible disc magnet
will hold 1.25 kilogram so imagine what this monster will do…
This is a 6×2″ neodymium magnet. This is not a toy, please do not copy
what I do in this video. You can lose fingers. Here is the first magnet again
just for size comparison. Let’s get ready for a meeting
between this magnet and the laptop. First, I find the most basic safety equipment: thick gloves and safety glasses and read the tips for safe handling just for good measure. These
include warnings about putting magnets close to laptops and computer hard drives.
Hmm, interesting. Let’s see what could happen. Before the test I put a CD with
some royalty free music on. Just for the laptop to have something to work with
when the magnet is closing in. OK, here’s the magnet at a distance of 1½ m from the center of the laptop.
Usually I would never go closer than 2 m to a computer with this magnet.
My camera is around 4 m away and zoomed in. The laptop seems to be
unaffected though. After this test I ran a check disk again.
Still no problems so I went closer. 75 cm from the center of the
laptop and I even tried 50 cm from the CD and HDD on the right side of the laptop. No visible reaction but there was a new noise
when I ran the check disk after the 50 cm test. It turned out to be just the cooling fan so the magnet may have misaligned something in there.
The hard disk seemed to be OK. Unlike the desktop I have tested earlier
this laptop has an active protection system that shuts down the hard disk if motion is detected. This can protect the read-write head of the hard disk
from crashing into the platters if you drop the laptop. So I tested if this system was
detecting the magnetic field. The answer is… no. The hard disk was running.
At this point I was tired of seeing no reaction so I decided to go for no mercy.
I will now go as close as it takes to get a reaction. Which turned out to happen quickly… It went into sleep mode. This turned out to be
because the magnet had activated the lid contact a distance
so the laptop thought the lid was closed. And it was set up to go to sleep mode in this case.
With that option turned off I tried a final time… After a horrible grinding noise the CD
popped out and I thought it was time for a check disk but there was a problem…
The mouse pointer and on-screen display was frozen. Even with an odd white bar across
the screen. So I removed the evil magnet from the room and brought the camera closer.
The laptop wasn’t responding and suddenly media player closed down and
the protection system said it was disabled? In the settings it was still marked as
enabled and when I clicked on it… It disappeared? Uh oh… Are you dead? Oh, come on… Please? OK! We’ve got life. Uh oh! No, no, no, no, no… Come on, you can do it. Oh dear… It doesn’t look good… Obviously the laptop had had enough.
Maybe a restart would help… After a few seconds I heard a sound you
never want to hear. The hard disk could not boot. Oh no… Most likely the magnet caused
the read-write head to crash into the platters since these mechanical
drives have extremely low clearances. But on my video with the desktop computer
a lot of you suggested the newer type of drive that has no moving parts and
doesn’t store information magnetically. The solid state drive or SSD for short. Could this really survive a meeting with the
big magnet? Many people seems to believe it so lets revive the laptop with a
new SSD and install Linux on it. Alright, with the laptop back in business
it’s time to try to destroy it again. Since the magnet covers the screen
in the test I have hooked up a second LCD screen for a better viewing experience.
With this SSD-based system I’m going all-in from the start. Here we go! Woops. Apparently the CD-drive
is the most magnetic part of this laptop. At this point I have no idea if the
laptop is still working but I’m not going to baby it, so I continue –
including spinning the magnet directly over the SSD. This changes the magnetic
field going directly through the SSD when north and south poles are switching places. Finally, I will sweep the magnet over the laptop a few times more to make sure
everything has been close to the magnet. Well, I think we can agree
that I have tested it enough now. Time to see if the laptop is still responding. Looks good! The SSD is still recognized by the system so
I can run a check disk which is called a ‘SMART self-test’ in Linux Ubuntu. This also requires a password so maybe Vista wasn’t so bad after all…
I don’t miss it though… The results are in.
The SSD is OK. The conclusion of this experiment is
that a HDD will crash close to a strong magnet but an SSD will likely survive. Still, you should not try this at home. The cooling fan and CD-
drive are making bad noises and I can’t guarantee that you won’t lose data if
you put a magnet close to your own computer. In my next video I’ll take apart the 2½” HDD and look for visible damages and see if
it looks like the hard disk of a desktop. Feel free to subscribe or you may miss it. And remember to click like… if you did like. Thanks for watching.