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By | Tony Smith 27th March 2009 13:51

U2 song whacked my hard drive

Overly loud playback pushes storage over the edge?

We're not sure how seriously to take this. According to Mexican hardware hackers, Acer's hugely popular 8.9in Aspire One netbook will zap its own hard drive if you play music through it too loudly.

According to a post on Spanish-language site HardwareCult, if you pump up the volume, your AA1's disk will quickly rebel.

In practical terms, that means "read errors, ATAPI errors on the system log, and even logging Raw Read Errors on the hard drive's SMART health monitoring system", one Tigre Marino, who made the original claim, told Register Hardware.

Ultimately, the drive will undergo "complete catastrophic failure, talking with it all the user's data".

To make matters even weirder, the allegedly sonically challenged AA1 hard drive appears to have a particular dislike for Irish rockers U2.

Playing a Flash movie that uses U2's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me as background music to a presentation of the many, many versions of the Batman logo could push the AA1's HDD right over the edge, Tigra Marino said.

"You'll see, after some seconds, the hard drive LED will get stuck and the machine could freeze or get a BSOD," he told us. "Lower the volume or plug in some headphones and the problem magically disappears."

It's not known if Bono and the boys' other grooves have the same effect - or, indeed, tunes from other bands.

Other posters on the site claim to have replicated the problem, but there's some debate as to the cause. Is excessive vibration to blame? Does the video emit a frequency that causes part of the HDD to resonate? Is it simply electrical or magnetic interference? Others have suggested that when the speakers are on full, the HDD received insufficient power.

Users who've claimed to have experienced the issue all seem to be running Windows XP. It's not known if Linux-based AA1s are also vulnerable.

Alas, our AA1 has an SSD rather than an HDD, so we were unable to verify the claim ourselves, and we've yet to hear back from Acer's technical team. ®

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