Can airport X-Ray damage macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fel10, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. fel10 macrumors 68000

    fel10

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    Feb 2, 2010
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    Woodstock, GA USA
    #1
    Sort of a noob question, but I'm going to DC this Saturday and I was wondering if I take my Macbook Pro or my iPad, can the X-ray machine at the airport damage my electronics? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

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    Mar 15, 2013
    #2
    No, it's fine, improper handling or loss/theft is your biggest concern.
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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  4. meddlingmittene macrumors newbie

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    May 24, 2015
    #4
    It will be fine, and millions of travelers have their computers x-rayed each day.
     
  5. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #5
    To begin, it's not like you have any choice. Laptops get X-rayed or they don't go on the plane, and ditto for their owners, most probably. And don't worry, the X-rays won't harm your Mac. Mine practically has its own frequent flyer account.

    What can harm a computer is using one with a conventional rotating hard disk drive at altitude. The thin air means a thinner than normal cushion of air between the heads and the spinning disk, and the constant vibration and jostling means head-slap can and does occur. Using a laptop with a conventional hard disk is, in my experience, a great way to reduce the life of the disk drive. SSDs have no such issue, of course.
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    While that is true if you are climbing in the himalayas or other very high mountains, all modern planes are pressurized so you don't have to worry about the air getting thin enough to cause any problems.
     
  7. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #7
    Probably best to not have it running during take off though. Ears don't pop for no reason.
     
  8. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #8
    They still ask you to turn off large devices like laptops for takeoff and landing anyway.They allow small devices up to tablets to be used, but not laptops.
     
  9. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #9
    Incorrect, at least for most commercial laptop disk drives likely to be used by this audience. The flying height of disk drive read-write heads is in the range of a few nanometers today, and the flying height of typical head designs is reduced by about 30% at 10,000 ft altitudes-- enough so that operation at that altitude is unsafe. Cabins of modern airliners are usually pressurized to the equivalent of about 8,000 ft. That's not outright unsafe for disk drives, but it does reduce their heads' flying height, which impacts the drive's longevity and susceptibility to catastrophic failure. Here's an informative and fairly recent technical paper on the topic that's publicly accessible: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0s99v5xz#page-17
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #10
    The last time I flew everyone was required to shut off their electronic devices. Did something change within the last 10 months?
     
  11. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    Depends on the country and possibly airline. For all of the domestic flights I've been on in the past year or two, I don't remember exactly how long it's been, for small electronics you just have to have them in airplane mode. When you are flying internationally then the regulations of the country you are flying to may make it so you still have to turn them off for takeoff or landing. I believe the airlines are still allowed to require you to turn them off if you want, but in the past year I've flown Southwest, American, United, and Delta and they have all just required airplane mode.
     
  12. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    They're only pressurised to 8,000 feet equivalent (or less in newer aircraft), which is getting up towards the maximum operating altitude of spinning disks.
     
  13. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    It won't hurt but you must watch someone who handle your stuff from stealing them. Enjoy your trip today!
     

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