Laptops In Airports

CubaTBird

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 18, 2004
2,135
0
so if i bring my ibook to an airport, are they gonna make me pass it through the metal detector before i board my flight? i feel uncomfortable doing such things because i think it'll erase the hard drive or something.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Yes, if you pass through security (aka intend to get on a plane), it will go through an x-ray detector. It is not dangerous to your computer. It can go through asleep, or if you want a marginally higher amount of security, turn it off.

I know it sounds like it could screw up your computer, but many thousands go through every day, and it isn't an issue. My iBook has gone through many times without any problems, as had my Thinkpad from work before that.
 
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Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,974
390
Make sure you take it in your carry-on luggage though. The checked luggage goes through a far more powerful scanner.
 
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Malfoy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2005
685
0
Chundles said:
Make sure you take it in your carry-on luggage though. The checked luggage goes through a far more powerful scanner.
Found that out the hard way when I stuck a laptop in my luggage to come home for Xmas cause I didn't feel like carrying it for once. Whatever they used WIPED IT CLEAN. Turned on the computer and BOOM "no bootable image detected" :(
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Eeep, sorry, yes, carry-on. I've never tried it in checked luggage, but doesn't sound good. And they will require you to take it out and put it in an open box by itself. Be sure you do it... you get a big hassle if you forget, because they will have to make you turn it on and will have to do more detailed searches and other crap if you forget.... :eek:
 
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rasp

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2005
114
0
Easthampton, MA
mkrishnan said:
Eeep, sorry, yes, carry-on. I've never tried it in checked luggage, but doesn't sound good. And they will require you to take it out and put it in an open box by itself. Be sure you do it... you get a big hassle if you forget, because they will have to make you turn it on and will have to do more detailed searches and other crap if you forget.... :eek:
I can vouch for that one, things moved fast when I flew over thanksgiving and the bag snuck through before I reaalized, wasn't a serious problem, but did freak them out. They took the machine aside and did whatever they do to both the bag and powerbook.
 
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OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
3
NYC
If you want to be super streamlined, make sure to have the computer entirely out of any and all casing before it's your turn to pass through the metal detector. They make you put it in a little plastic tray with nothing else (you can set it on its case if you want to though) to run it through. It helps to have it out early.

Occasionally they'll select your computer and a man wearing gloves with gently wipe it with a dry swab, and take like 30 seconds analyzing the swab with some sort of machine before handing it back to you. (It has only ever happened to me in Paris, though).
 
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macOSX-tastic

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2005
853
2
At the Airport. UK
if this phenomenon were common, and was seen to be a problem, then no one would dare travel with a portable....which sort of defeats the point:D
X-rays are only seen as harmful to undeveloped rolls of film you get in the old 35mm cameras. the only thing that the digital age has to worry about is magnets.....big, BIG, magnets:D

any digital device (your ipod, your phone, your digital camera memory card and your Hard Drive from your favourite computer you have which has a hard drive or other form of memory) can be completely destroyed if accidentally dropped into a box of brightly and cheerfully coloured alphabet fridge magnets. delightful!:D

my ipod looks like a big black square wrapped in seaweed (the headphones) when it passes through the detectors.
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
rasp said:
I can vouch for that one, things moved fast when I flew over thanksgiving and the bag snuck through before I reaalized, wasn't a serious problem, but did freak them out. They took the machine aside and did whatever they do to both the bag and powerbook.
I mentioned it in another post, but I was cool about it and felt bad, and they felt bad to have to rigamarole me too...

Plus it became evident that I'm not terrorist material when they saw my white computer with pink keyboard and Hello Kitty desktop. :eek: :eek: :D
 
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FocusAndEarnIt

macrumors 601
May 29, 2005
4,360
367
I did it to mine like 20 times. No problems. You'll be fine. Its not a medal detector, it's just the scanning thing. Or is that the medal detector. :eek:
 
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OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
3
NYC
lilstewart92 said:
I did it to mine like 20 times. No problems. You'll be fine. Its not a medal detector, it's just the scanning thing. Or is that the medal detector. :eek:
It's an X-Ray scanner. You walk through the metal detector.
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
mkrishnan said:
Plus it became evident that I'm not terrorist material when they saw my white computer with pink keyboard and Hello Kitty desktop. :eek: :eek: :D

Where are the pics? I've been searching the setup thread for what seems like ages. I must see this pink keyboard. :cool:
 
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EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,649
36
San Francisco, CA
OutThere said:
...
Occasionally they'll select your computer and a man wearing gloves with gently wipe it with a dry swab, and take like 30 seconds analyzing the swab with some sort of machine before handing it back to you. (It has only ever happened to me in Paris, though).
They are testing for explosive residue.
 
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EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,649
36
San Francisco, CA
mkrishnan said:
Plus it became evident that I'm not terrorist material when they saw my white computer with pink keyboard and Hello Kitty desktop. :eek: :eek: :D
At our airport they would target you. They always pick the person LEAST likely to be a terrorist. My Grandpa was always picked for the "random" thorough check. He could hardly even walk! :mad:
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
EricNau said:
At our airport they would target you. They always pick the person LEAST likely to be a terrorist. My Grandpa was always picked for the "random" thorough check. He could hardly even walk! :mad:

Yeah, I always get pulled aside. :(
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
EricNau said:
At our airport they would target you. They always pick the person LEAST likely to be a terrorist. My Grandpa was always picked for the "random" thorough check. He could hardly even walk! :mad:
It seems like they are always either screening every single non-white person or else going out of their way to only screen babies and the elderly. Who knew the concept of "random" could be so hard... you'd think this system was designed by Microsoft engineers! :eek: ;) :D
 
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EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,649
36
San Francisco, CA
mkrishnan said:
It seems like they are always either screening every single non-white person or else going out of their way to only screen babies and the elderly. Who knew the concept of "random" could be so hard... you'd think this system was designed by Microsoft engineers! :eek: ;) :D
Actually, Microsoft truly knows what "random" means. Sometimes Windows will work, and sometimes it won't.
:eek: :p :D
 
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2nyRiggz

macrumors 603
Aug 20, 2005
6,159
66
Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
Chundles said:
Make sure you take it in your carry-on luggage though. The checked luggage goes through a far more powerful scanner.
I know all about this. i had two lappys to carry home with me with one laptop bag. my lovely ibook and some sucky compaq...i still got love for the compaq so i didnt want it to get mangled in my bags so i stuff both of em in that laptop bag........but of course i had my ibook in a sleeve:D

Bless
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
mkrishnan said:
It seems like they are always either screening every single non-white person....
Yeah, I know. In fact, last year I went to Vancouver and I got checked "randomly" while getting my baggage after I had already got off the plane. Got checked 3 times in 10 minutes. So did the Indian lady standing to my left, except she only got checked twice (as far as I knew). The white lady standing to my white never got checked once. Must be random. :rolleyes:

Actually, I made the mistake of arguing with the 3rd security person who bothered me, since I had just gotten checked by someone, and while that person was walking away, another security person walked up to me. He MUST have seen the other person walk away, right? :mad: I asked how random this process was when I had been checked 3 times, while the white lady beside me was never asked once. The man was embarrassed, but I think he was a bit defensive since I implied there was racism going on.

Anyway, laptops are safe if put through an xray machine. Not too confident about film though, regardless of what they tell you.
 
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