The legend goes that Janet Jackson's music could crash laptop computers in the mid-2000s

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 19 Aug, 2022

The Microsoft developer stated that a hit song by Janet Jackson could cause some laptops to crash.

As the story goes, if you played Janet Jackson's 1989 hit song Rhythm Nation next to some laptops manufactured around 2005, their hard drives would crash as a result of the song. 

That's exactly what Microsoft developer Raymond Chen said, who wrote a blog post recollecting a story that he was told by a colleague that made him think.

As a result of the song, several laptops belonging to a major computer manufacturer, which has not been mentioned, were discovered to have been crashed.

We decided to check out what other laptops competitors had to offer a very short while later, to see what the differences were.

At the time, what were the events that were taking place? There is a reason for this since Jackson's song contains one of the 'natural resonant frequencies' which should explain why this occurs.

Hearing the same frequencies that are used by the hard drives of those laptops could have caused them to become messed up to the point of crashing when hearing the same frequencies. 

As for the brand and model of the laptop using the hard drives, Chen did not specify, other than to say that they operated at the 5,400 RPM as well as the brand and model of the laptop.

The manufacturer did, however, recall the solution to the problem: installing a custom audio filter that detected the frequencies and removed them from all sound that emanated from the speakers to resolve the issue.

Although The Mitre Corporation identified the vulnerability as CVE-2022-38392, it just linked back to Chen's blog post as a source, which does not provide any other proof that this happened.

The vulnerability, in theory, would exist, but it would be hard to replicate today unless, of course, you went looking for circa-2005 PC hard drives to serenade with Jackson's hit song to prove that it existed.

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