If I put a cow magnet on the side of someone's computer, would that ruin the computer

Now first off, I mean a magnet that a cow swallows that is to gather up all of the nails etc that may enter the cows body. I do not mean a magnet shaped like a cow, that is meant to be stuck to the side of a fridge. That is a fridge magnet.

A cow magnet is just a really strong magnet. My question is: if I stuck a strong magnet (like a cow magnet) on the side of a CPU tower, would that ruin the computer? Or at least the data on the computer. Would it cause any problems at all

      • Yes, it will pretty much ruin everything, they’ll be lucky to get any data back off it at all. -But, you have to put the magnet on top of the computer, and you have to leave the magnet inside the cow for it to work.

so that’s a no?

A fridge magnet would probably not do major damage unless you put it right on the hard drive. A magnet with a strong field like the one you describe would pretty much trash everything.

Actually, I’d be kind of surprised if it did any damage. I used to think that hard drive data was fairly easily wiped by a magnetic field, then we opened up a dead hard drive at work, and found out that the magnets inside (used as part of the mechanism to move the head) are REALLY FREAKIN POWERFUL!!! We stuck one of the magnets to a file cabinet and had great difficulty pulling it back off again.

With that sort of magnet sitting that close to the platters, I doubt that a magnet as far away as the surface of the case would do much.

I guess I should put a disclaimer here that I’ve never actually tried it to see what sort of data loss might occur, and also I’m assuming that (contrary to Doug) the magnet is out of the cow. “I doubt” and “definately not” certainly don’t mean the same thing, so if you trash your computer don’t go complaining to me. I’m just giving you my best guess.

If the case of the computer is made from steel (i.e. the magnet sticks to it), then it shouldn’t cause any damage to the components inside because the lines of magnetic force are gathered in the permeable steel and do not penetrate through it.

I know strong enough magnets can damage monitors. We took apart several old hard drives (when they were the size of show boxes) and stuck a bunch of them on someone’s monitor as a joke. A portion of the screen turned permanently purple. Degaussing didn’t help, “wafting” the magnet over the screen didn’t help either.

That’s true; CRT monitors and televisions can be badly affected by magnets (they magnetise the shadow mask and this causes the electron beams to deflect and hit the wrong phosphor dots. Such damage can usually be remedied by a professional with a degaussing coil, as opposed to the built-in degaussing function in some monitors.

**If I put a cow magnet on the side of someone’s computer, would that ruin the computer **

Only if it’s a Gateway. Moo.

<scooting away before anyone starts flinging cow magnets or cow pies in my direction>