How to destroy a computer hard drive with a Janet Jackson song

In a recent blog, Raymond Chen, a software engineer Microsoft, discussed the surprising discovery that Janet Jackson's song "Rhythm Nation" is powerful enough to physically destroy some computer hard drives.

Or, well, at least it resonates at the right frequency to destabilize and crash the hard drive:

One discovery during the investigation is that playing the music video [for "Rhythm Nation"] also crashed some of their competitors' laptops. And then they discovered something extremely weird: Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn't playing the video!

What's going on?

Fortunately, this problem only affected some older, Windows XP-era laptops (circa 2005, according to the official CVE-ID vulnerability listing from the Mitre Corporation), so you probably don't have anything to worry about. For now.

Janet Jackson had the power to crash laptop computers [Raymond Chen / Microsoft]