Archive for the ‘Customer Question of the Week’ Category
Thanks to the explosion of cheap netbook computers, one of the more common questions we’re seeing is “Netbook or Laptop, which should I get?”
As a Geek Squad Agent, I get a lot of technology questions. Many stem from Internet myths. Lately, I have been getting a lot of “Can a cell phone really explode” after the report of a Chinese man allegedly being killed by an exploding cell phone battery.
So I’m here today to expose three popular Geek Myths:
Myth 1: Exploding Cell Phone
Sounds pretty outrageous right? However, as Engadget and others reported, the case of the Chinese man being killed by an exploding cell phone battery wasn’t so cut and dry. Apparently, the man’s home-made weapon went off which in turn fired a shot near his cell phone making it look like the cell phone battery exploded. So in specific reference to this particular incident, it seems like a myth.
Geek Fact: There is some truth to this myth in instances when cell phone batteries were damaged. The main root cause is usually tied to third-party batteries being used. Whenever possible, try to use a battery that the manufacturer of your phone has approved. This will limit the chances of a technological catastrophe from happening to you. However, even if your battery is damaged, it is highly unlikely it will explode.
Myth 2: Frozen Hard Drives
We’ve all been there. All of the sudden your computer’s hard drive dies before you can get your data off it. Can you really put your hard drive in the freezer and successfully retrieve your valuable data?
Geek Fact: It’s definitely possible to freeze your computer’s hard drive and have it read, but keep in mind this is a TEMPORARY solution and it’s possible (and probable) you will damage your hard drive even more. This will make it less likely for a professional recovery service to retrieve your data at all.
The magic behind this is that the metal parts in the hard drive will start to contract a very tiny amount—this small separation in parts allows for a hard drive’s platters to unstick just enough for the drive to be read by your computer. Once the drive heats up again, however, it’s back to square one. The best recommendation is to stop use of your drive immediately and bring it to the professionals. And always remember to backup your data on a regular basis regardless, so if your hard drive does die, you already have a recent backup.
Myth 3: Keyboard in the Dishwasher
Some people have heard that you can toss your desktop computer’s keyboard in the dishwasher to help remove spills or internal debris. Is this possible?
Geek Fact: The parts in a computer keyboard make it possible to wash it in a dishwasher, but don’t make a habit out of it! As demonstrated in this old Geek Squad Commercial here, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to give the dishwasher a shot: 1) Avoid using hot water as that can potentially melt the keys right off your keyboard. 2) don’t use soap and 3) let it fully air dry for at least 24 hours.
Keep in mind too, you can only wash traditional, simple keyboards and not wireless or Bluetooth models.
Remember folks, please don’t go running around spreading Geek Myths before you do your research! You might end up giving yourself more problems than you started out with. If you know of any that you think need exposing, leave them below in the comments section and maybe we’ll look into the matter for you.
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