Comments to CD and DVD Explosions

The articles about CD and DVD explosions haven't passed by silently. Interest has been huge since they were published on the Internet in 1999. The articles have also bee reprinted in the Swedish tech magazine Nätverk & Kommunikation (IDG), and many years later I still get comments from readers.


I have had mail from many people who have read the articles and been affected in one way or the other, or have searched for it because they have had problems.

“Suddenly it just exploded and plastic shrapnel flew through the room.”

“Can I quote your text in a court case against Microsoft, in which I want compensation for the Microsoft CD that blew up in the drive?” Of course he could.

“Suddenly I couldn't read the disc in the CD drive. There had been a bang in the unit and I couldn't open it. When I opened it using a paper clip I found a split CD inside. I have made a copy of your warning sign and put on the unit.”

“I laughed all the way to Hanover” from someone who read the paper article on the plane.

I also thought it was quite fun, until the letters with real cases started coming in. That's when we decided to make another test, using DVD discs. We have had letters from both Hewlett-Packard (drive manufacturer) and Warner Media (media manufacturer).

Slashdotted! April 20, 2002 April 20 in 2002 the web server went down. The reason was that the people on the website, the news site for nerds, had discovered the CD-blow-up article and the number of nerds wanting to read it was so immense the web server couldn't make it. Even Slashdot itself seems to have gone too far, as one can read “Slashdot overload” some way down the page.

July 27 in 2002 they were at it again. The server stopped with 350 refused connections. Comments on Slashdot:
- I cannot access the page. Seems even the page has spun out of control!
- Slashdotted in less then a minute! No need to hack a site to down it, just submit it in a story to slashdot.
- Just post a link to it on slashdot and BOOM, there goes your hard drive...
- Being /.'d twice in, what, the same year so far? Oooouch.
- I hope the server doesn't explode as well...
- They should at least have chosen AOL CDs to destroy. Sheesh.
- I prefer to just microwave mine...

Customer Support Company Warns its Customers

The English customer support company RM published a warning and general advice to its customers on They sent an appreciative letter.

Mathematical Background

A structural analysis and mathematical background to blown-up CD records is available on

The calculations were made by Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Solid Mechanics at the University of Oxford in England.

Other Comments

The Dutch "Computer Idee" magazine published a re-write of the CD-ROM article. Look here.

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