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Can magnets damage cpu devices?

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  • Can magnets damage cpu devices?

    I cleaned my office today and found a stack of those business magnets on top of a portable storage device (empty). If it did contain files etc.. could they be damaged/erased?
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  • #2
    Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

    Yes!

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    • #3
      Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

      Good question. Answer no. You had me scratching my head for a while. I carry one in my pocket and two in my tool bag with my magnetic screwdrivers which I use both in PCs all the time. I jumped on the web and found the article below.

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/11657..._pc_myths.html

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      • #4
        Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

        Interesting article PMR, Thanks.

        I was more curious then concerned. I come from the 8-track and cassette tape era.
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        • #5
          Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

          Years ago my buddy came home from work to find his then new color tv without a picture, just a swirl of colors on the screen. He brought his five and seven year old sons to the scene of the crime and asked what had happened? The big one looked at his Dad and said"Johnny was going like this to the tv with a big magnet". Seems the magnet made a pretty design on the color tube. Wonder if magnets do the same to a LCD or Plasma screen? Not willing to find out myself.

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          • #6
            Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

            LCD screen, no. Plasma screen, maybe but not likely. CRT screen, yes you can eventually damage it but most TVs and monitors automatically degauss when turned on and some high-end monitors run periodic degauss on their own. If you remove the magnet and turn the TV on and off (with several seconds pause between or else you can trash the HV supplies) it should clear up.

            Magnet + flash drive (i.e. thumb drive) == nothing
            Magnet + hard drive == nothing unless the magnet is stronger than a few Tesla (and even then there might be recoverable data).

            For reference, the magnetic field of the Earth varies between 30 and 60 microtesla. I think the flexible 'fridge magnet is around 0.5 Tesla, maybe less.

            However, stick a flash drive into the field of a NMR detector (10s of Tesla) and you might get some scrambling even with a flash drive. You will also get a very pissed off NMR technician because you can damage the inside of NMR chamber and shift the "sweet spot" of the magnet!

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            • #7
              Re: Can magnets damage cpu devices?

              When you refer to "Portable Storage Device" please tell more. If it did use magnetic media or a hard disk then being in a magnetic field, it could have been damaged as far as stored files go.

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