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Can magnetic fields harm laptops?

by Richard Hole / August 20, 2010 3:19 AM PDT

Hello

Could it harm a laptop computer or it's hard drive if it is permanently sat on top of a TV set? I plan to use the laptop to watch videos and I am short of space to put it elsewhere. I heard that magnetic fields can cause laptops some problems. However, the magnetic fields on top of my TV set are probably week because they do not deflect a compass needle much.

Your help is appreciated
Regards Richard.

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I doubt the TV will cause any problems other
by Steven Haninger / August 20, 2010 9:22 AM PDT

than possibly adding unwanted heat. Depending on the type of TV, I'd be more concerned about placing the laptop on a warm surface than about other energy that is emitted.

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Much?
by Coryphaeus / August 20, 2010 9:57 AM PDT

The CRT TVs used (electro)magnets to deflect and direct the electron beam used to display the picture. Two types, one for horizontal and one for vertical.

Guess what is used to erase video tapes, floppy drives, and hard drives. High frequency magnetic fields. Guess what is used to direct the electron beam in CRT TVs.

The laptop itself will not be affected. The hard drive could be toast. Could be. Why take a chance?

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Re: Can weak magnetic fields harm laptops?
by Richard Hole / August 20, 2010 3:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Much?

Hello

It does not get too hot on my TV set. I also plan to stand the computer so that it is about an inch above the TV to allow air flow underneath.

I plan to buy an EMF meter soon that should measure magnetic fields and gauss. Please let me know if you find out what is the maximum gauss levels computers or hard drives can be safely stored. Some of the sites at http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=gauss+magnetic+fields+damage+hard+drive indicate that only a strong magnetic field will damage a hard drive. However, I am not sure if much weaker fields can reduce the life span or the hard drive or computer if the computer is stored long term near them. If the above link does not work you can see it by searching http://www.google.com for ?gauss magnetic fields damage hard drive?

Your help is appreciated
Regards Richard.

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Magnetic fields
by Phil Crase / August 20, 2010 9:35 PM PDT

Televisions (CRT TYPE) have a built in automatic degaussing system which initiates at start up. This is supposed to demagnatize the system, symplistically put. We could go on about this ad nauseum. I am sort of with Steve, I'd find somewhere else. Chances are you wouldn't have a problem but as he mentioned, CRT televisions generate a lot of heat and heat is your enemy and laptops aren't cheap. It is your call, were it myself, I wouldn't do it.

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