Can Neodymium Magnets Destroy Hard Disk Drives?
At one point or the other, while growing up, we must have heard the rule that neodymium magnets should never come in contact with gadgets, especially computers. This is because the neodymium magnets can destroy the data stored on them and mess with the general functioning of the system. Most people dismissed this as a myth because after trying it out with regular neodymium magnets, the data on the computers were still intact, and the neodymium magnets did no damage at all. However, after more experiments, it was realized that this isn’t entirely a myth. Neodymium magnets can corrupt data stored on a hard drive and render it unreadable, and for this to happen, it requires a powerful neodymium magnet coming in direct contact with the magnetic plates in the hard drive.
Computer technology was not so advanced in the past, and systems used floppy disks to store data. These floppy disks are so light that regular magnetic contact with them will destroy the stored data. Over time, computer technology has evolved, and hard disk drives with very powerful neodymium magnets are now used to store data.
As earlier stated, data are stored in hard drives based on magnetism. The powerful neodymium magnets inside the hard drives create a magnetic charge that controls the movement of the actuator arm to read and write data. It, therefore, takes another powerful neodymium magnet to be placed on the magnetic parts of the hard drive to interrupt the magnetic charges, causing a malfunction in the hard drive’s ability to read and write data.
According to the experiments, passing a neodymium magnet on the top of a hard disk drive caused it to stop working and corrupt the data embedded on the surface of the disk platter. This renders the hard disk unreadable, but the data stored inside the platter is still intact and only recoverable by professionals with high data recovery skills. Cheaper and less powerful neodymium magnets will do no damage to the hard drives, no matter how big they are.
Summarily, the neodymium magnets in your hard drive can not damage the hard drive, but external neodymium magnets can.