[K12OSN] OT: hard drives and magnets

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Fri Mar 16 18:32:34 UTC 2007

> The kid claims they may have put a magnet near the computer.  The
> principal claims certain types of batteries could wipe a hard drive.
> What reading I've done says a magnet may corrupt some files on a hard
> drive, but it would take an industrial size magnet to wipe it and it
> would also be rendered unusuable in the process.
> Has anyone gone through this?  Is it possible to wipe an entire hard
> drive with a magnet found at home, but still have it usable?

Sounds like a lame excuse I may have come up with in high school :-)  I killed a lot of
things messing around and made crap up of how it "actually" happened.  As for a standard
home magnet (probably one from the fridge that hardly holds up their homework) wiping
out an entire hard drive and nicely placing an NTFS or FAT32 file system back on
it.....yeah right!  Why do we even have format utilities, let's all quit messing around
and just carry a fridge magnet in our pockets.  Just make sure it is a 1" cube magnet
and label all of the sides like so: "This side down for FAT32", "This side down for
NTFS", "This side down for ext3".....etc.  Tell this kid to start marketing his magic
magnet, it would save us foolish tech guys a lot of time not having to run these silly
utilities any more.  He could be rich!

Come up with your own lame proof and tell them you successfully recovered bits from the
drive that told you he formatted the drive trying to re-install Windows with a restore
CD from their home computer and hosed it up.  Then let them know you did this with D
cell battery while hopping on one foot.

Damn kids.

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