Fact or fiction: keeping your cell close to your laptop can damage the hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by roisin and mac, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    hi guys,

    I've been told by a guy at the local apple store that carrying my cellphone too close to my macbook could damage the computer (I think he specified the hard drive). When I asked 'how close' he said the outer pocket in my bag was probably not quite safe enough, so I've been carrying the phone in my own pocket or hand ever since, with the MB in my bag.

    But frankly I'm kind of sick of this, especially since I have no idea whether it's true or why it's so if it's correct (and I don't really have pockets--it's summer and all my clothes have hardly any pockets on them, what there is is for my music player). So I wanted to ask you:

    a) is this true, partially true, or just a crock?

    b) if true, why does it happen?


  2. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
  3. macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2007
    Could be semi-true, becuase if your cell phone has magnets on it (Most do) can hurt the hard drive, but it would need to be really close to the computer.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Let's not forget that the MacBook has a magnetic "latch" on the side of the computer where the HDD is housed.

    HDDs have to be exposed to very strong magnetic forces to become corrupted. I'd bet good money that setting a HDD on my 12" Polk subwoofer wouldn't have any affect on it.

    The signal coming from the cellphone isn't much different than the bluetooth and wifi signals coming out of the Mac itself.

    I'd have to say that this is definitely false.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2008
    The only magnet strong enough to damage your hard drive are found in laboratory degaussers.
  6. macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Seriously, at first blush, I though the thread title was "Fact or fiction: keeping your cell close to your lap can damage the hard drive?"
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    Would a phone on vibrate next to your laptop hard drive area do any harm?
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    robbieduncan + italiano +
    Okay*dusts hands*, all settled, thanks for the advice everyone! I thought it was a load of pish myself, but it still nagged, so I decided to post here more to get confirmation really. And especially since last night (see here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=492769 ) I'm in a slightly overprotective mood when it comes to the macbook ;)

    what the heck is a laboratory degausser??! lol

    *wolf whistle* you gotta dirty mind you do! (or is that just me lol)

    on an off-topic note, I've been meaning to tell you since a few days, I just couldn't find the right thread to do it: I love your new avatar (new right?). It always gives me a larf to see the pissed-off rat! Do you have him somewhere bigger? I'd love to slap him on my desktop, I'm sick of what I got right now and this would be just the ticket!
  9. JNB
    macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    No, but a cell phone set on vibrate on my lap certainly would improve my mood...
  10. macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
  11. macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    And what about magnets used at wrecking yards to pick up several tons of steel:rolleyes:.

    Seriously though if hard drives where sensitive to a cell phone then they certainly would not have lasted in desktops all of those years sitting next to CRT's. Especially print shops with multiple 20+ inch screens. Nor would any have survived on a Naval vessel with all of the radio and electromagnetic forces bouncing around all over the place.
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hehe, yeah. I have NO idea how t came about. I was just there with my cell in my hand getting shown how to do the bluetooth thing by one of the guys there, then the other walks by and goes, 'oh don't forget not to keep that too close to the machine' lol

    Good point.

    heh, another one for the dirty minds society lol

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