U2 song whacks Acer Aspire One netbook hard drives

March 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm

We’re not entirely sure how serious to take this, but apparently Acer’s hugely popular 8.9-inch Aspire One netbook will trash the hard drive if you play music through it too loudly according to some users on HardwareCult. One of the tracks it has taken a particular dislike to is U2’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, which several users have been able to replicate the problem with.

Ultimately, the drive will undergo “complete catastrophic failure, talking with it all the user’s data“, according to Tigre Marino who made the original claim. The result is “read errors, ATAPI errors on the system log, and even logging Raw Read Errors on the hard drive’s SMART health monitoring system.”

You’ll see, after some seconds, the hard drive LED will get stuck and the machine could freeze or get a BSOD. Lower the volume or plug in some headphones and the problem magically disappears,” Tigre said.

It’s unknown what causes the problem. 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. All of the users that reported this were running XP rather than Linux and had hard-disk drives rather than solid-state drives. For those that dare to try it themselves, the U2 video can be found here.


9,252 Responses to “U2 song whacks Acer Aspire One netbook hard drives”

  1. Dave said:
    March 29th, 2009 2:36 AM

    The video might possibly emit a frequency that causes the HDD to resonate seems more of a possibility than anything else. Lets face it, the speakers on the 8.9 inch version are not that great. The ones on the new 10.1 inch version sound better for some reason.

  2. Jack said:
    March 29th, 2009 6:36 AM

    This problem has already been discovered about 3 month ago. It has already been discussed on

    It seems more likely that it’s a power related problem. The speaker, wifi, screen, usb ports can also cause problems resulting to BSOD, data corruptions..etc.

  3. Pete said:
    April 6th, 2009 9:47 PM

    I tested it, It sounds bad but no crash.

  4. Craig said:
    June 29th, 2009 4:59 PM

    I’ve had three different hard drives fail in my Acer Aspire One (the original Hitachi, a replacement WD and a Toshiba I bought myself). I don’t listen to U2 and don’t listen on the netbooks speakers but I have used it in my car to play through the auxiliary jack. I think the combination of music vibration (yes, I listen to it LOUD) and the road vibration have killed all three of the drives in my Acer. I still love the netbook but I’ll be more careful about where I use it!

  5. heather said:
    July 8th, 2009 10:02 AM

    yep happened to me.