Want To Make A Self-Destructing Laptop? Here’s How!

/ 7 years ago


A self-destructing laptop would be an interesting prospect to say the least. We have seen “self destructing” hard drives before, which can be used to protect sensitive user data that may have fallen into the wrong hands, but having a laptop which totally obliterates itself is something else. Caleb Kraft from Hackaday went to the effort of making a self-exploding laptop. This nifty little trick was able to totally destroy the hard drive, and most of the laptop, by using thermite.

Caleb Kraft started by replacing the optical drive bay with a thermite package. He then hooked up the laptops 12 volt rail to a makeshift ignition system of gun powder, magnesium and thermite. When triggered the thermite rapidly caught fire and almost instantly destroys the entire hard drive.

“What I finally landed on was an ignition system that uses model rocket igniters, gun powder, and magnesium to light the thermite. The model rocket igniter can be set off from the 12v line inside your computer…To get it to work, I needed to add some gunpowder. A small amount of gun powder would get hot enough to light the magnesium shavings, which in turn were hot enough to light the thermite. I had to be careful though, because too much gunpowder would cause a rapid expansion, blowing the thermite everywhere instead of lighting it. You can actually see some red thermite being blown out of the external hard drive and the laptop as the gunpowder ignites.” Caleb Kraft explains.

His achievement is pretty impressive but I don’t see it catching on anytime soon as it isn’t really practical to use a laptop jam packed full of thermite. However, for pure entertainment value this guy gets a thumbs up from me!


Image courtesy of Hackaday (Youtube)

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