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Watch your magnets!

Watch your magnets!

Have you ever had a 3.5 floppy disk (or zip disk) stop working unexpectedly? Granted those little 3.5 floppies are seldom accused of being reliable, but still, you’d like them to last as long as possible.

Well, the cause of the little guy’s early demise may have been magnetic.

Disks are a magnetic storage medium. The head inside the drive arranges data on your disk through the precise use of low magnetic fields. If a magnetic source gets too close to your disk, it could cause all those little bits of data to be sent into a digital abyss.

Maybe you don’t remember putting anything magnetic near your floppy disk. Keep in mind that your refrigerator magnets aren’t the only ones in your house.

Have you ever set your cordless phone down on your desk, maybe even on top of a disk? The little speakers in that phone have magnets in them. I’ve also seen people stack disks between their computer monitor and speakers. Bad idea. Although computer speakers are usually shielded, they can still destroy a disk.

Oh, be careful when transporting disks too. Setting them on top a dashboard speaker or sliding them into a car door near a speaker are a couple additional ways to ruin data.