Macbook Pro and High Altitude(Himalayas)

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited September 2015
I'm going on a trip across the himalayas and india over the next couple of months and I want to bring my macbook pro. I hear that you can't bring laptops/hard drives to such high altitude (17,000 ft.) without having the hard drive be destroyed. Is this true? Why can't a macbook pro work at that altitude? What if I were to just keep it in a protective case and not operate it until I get to a lower altitude? Would I still lose the data? If I don't power it on for that leg of the trip will the data remain intact? I know this is a bit out of the ordinary but has anyone else had experence operating a mac in high altitude conditions like this? I've scoured the web and there doesen't seem to be too much info. What about bringing an Ipod? Same story? Any help would be much appreciated!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    londorlondor Posts: 257member
    For MBP (from Apple website):



    Maximum operating altitude: 3,000 m (10,000 feet)

    Maximum storage altitude: 4,500 m (15,000 feet)

    Maximum shipping altitude: 10,500 m (35,000 feet)
  • Reply 2 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,669member
    Where will you charge it in the up in the Himalayas?



    Wow, great grammar Ireland.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    I don't intend to be using it in the himalayas. I just want to be able to safely transport it in some kind of case without destroying my data and hardware, it's an overland trip and I'd like to use in once we get into India. There must be some way to transport it safely? What about storing it in some kind of protective case like a pelican? http://pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1495CC2 Does anyone have experience with this?
  • Reply 4 of 21
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    If you're walking, you'll probably wish you'd left something that heavy at home. Also, you don't have to worry about it being stolen, lost or broken assuming you leave it somewhere safe.



    If it's just for email and things, I'm sure there will be internet facilities where you go. If it's for backing up photos, I think you can do that with an ipod - I'm sure my brother does this with his.



    An iphone might be a good idea to take as it has maps too and would cover you for email and calls. Just make sure you can get the maps before you go 'cos I doubt the reception will be too great out there. I'd probably rather have a GPS device though.



    Whatever you go with, I hope you have a nice trip.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    I'm not walking, I'm going in an old army truck and making a documentary and I want to offload footage onto an external HD with my macbook pro. Can someone please clue me into what I can do to protect the macbook pro at those high altitudes. I only plan to use the computer in India and China where the altitude is safe for computers. I'll be gone for 3 months plus all told and I can ill afford to not have a computer with me. I just want to know what I can do to protect/store it through the more treacherous parts (17,000 foot mountain passes). Please, I can't find anything on the web about this, hopefully someone has experience with this?
  • Reply 6 of 21
    easyceasyc Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Londor View Post


    For MBP (from Apple website):



    Maximum operating altitude: 3,000 m (10,000 feet)

    Maximum storage altitude: 4,500 m (15,000 feet)

    Maximum shipping altitude: 10,500 m (35,000 feet)



    So since this is what apple has said about the MBP and Im guessing its similar with other laptops, how come people use them on flights? Is it due to the cabin pressure that creates an environment safe for computer use? Ive seen a guy doing work on his MBP on a flight that I know was cruising at 34k feet, because the captain said so, and he seemed to have done fine. Please respond this thread has me interested.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    gwoodpeckergwoodpecker Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EasyC View Post


    So since this is what apple has said about the MBP and Im guessing its similar with other laptops, how come people use them on flights? Is it due to the cabin pressure that creates an environment safe for computer use? Ive seen a guy doing work on his MBP on a flight that I know was cruising at 34k feet, because the captain said so, and he seemed to have done fine. Please respond this thread has me interested.



    Cabin pressure on flights is adjusted to "normal" levels like on the ground during the flight. That's why using a notebook is possible during the flight.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    gwoodpeckergwoodpecker Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by googleboyboy View Post


    I'm going on a trip across the himalayas and india over the next couple of months and I want to bring my macbook pro. I hear that you can't bring laptops/hard drives to such high altitude (17,000 ft.) without having the hard drive be destroyed. Is this true? Why can't a macbook pro work at that altitude? What if I were to just keep it in a protective case and not operate it until I get to a lower altitude? Would I still lose the data? If I don't power it on for that leg of the trip will the data remain intact? I know this is a bit out of the ordinary but has anyone else had experence operating a mac in high altitude conditions like this? I've scoured the web and there doesen't seem to be too much info. What about bringing an Ipod? Same story? Any help would be much appreciated!



    Almost all computer parts, notebooks and also iPods are transported by air freight. In the freight compartment, the pressure usually is not adjusted like in the cabin for people. So for transport only, those products "survive" the low air pressure.



    I can't imagine a hard drive being destroyed in high altitude, the numbers mentioned above are those from the manufacturers - where they fully guarantee that their product will work 100% reliably.



    Oh, wait, maybe the lower air pressure makes the harddisk's read/write head not "lift off" the drive platter's surface? If this is true, this would probably destroy a hard disk...
  • Reply 9 of 21
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Pressurize the cabin of the army truck!
  • Reply 10 of 21
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by googleboyboy View Post


    I'm not walking



    Good choice .



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by googleboyboy View Post


    Can someone please clue me into what I can do to protect the macbook pro at those high altitudes. I only plan to use the computer in India and China where the altitude is safe for computers. I'll be gone for 3 months plus all told and I can ill afford to not have a computer with me. I just want to know what I can do to protect/store it through the more treacherous parts (17,000 foot mountain passes). Please, I can't find anything on the web about this, hopefully someone has experience with this?



    It looks like it might be ok so long as you don't try to use it at those altitudes but maybe some of the seals still break:



    http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/...hp/t14038.html

    http://aussiethule.blogspot.com/2006...-in-china.html



    You might be able to get an airtight container to take it in and that should keep the pressure inside the same. The Pelican cases are airtight:



    http://www.popwuping.com/stuff/bags/...aptop-case.php



    They have a valve for releasing the pressure. My guess is to stop it exploding.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    I have been in India and Nepal before, at high altitude (trekking). There are several things which may destroy your computer : much lower atmospheric pressure, strong temperature variations between light and shadows, tons of fine dust (especially if you trip on an old truck), bad transport conditions (vibrations, shocks, etc), lots of humidity in the valleys, heavy rains. If I were you, I wont bring my laptop there. You'll regret it.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    chris vchris v Posts: 460member
    I'd say turn it off when you're over 12,000-15,000 feet, and keep it in a sturdy, sealed case, like a Pelican, and you'll be fine.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chris v View Post


    I'd say turn it off when you're over 12,000-15,000 feet, and keep it in a sturdy, sealed case, like a Pelican, and you'll be fine.



    Honestly, I would opt to buy a cheaper laptop before the trip with a decent HD, only because like a prior poster said you will encounter lots of enviromental issues. Ive spent time on trips at high altitudes doing very close to the same thing you did. We used tapes only and used panasonic toughbooks. In all honesty however, everything that was supposed to crap out at high altitudes and low pressure didn't. I think a lot of that is hogwash, most of those numbers are to play it safe... Honestly , why not just dub to tape? Its safer, more reliable, less likely to crap out on you. Save the post-production for when you get home in my opinion. If you were going to go ahead and do this with it, then try and limit the use to the minimum, but I think with a pelican case you will be 100% fine.



    -john
  • Reply 14 of 21
    g_warreng_warren Posts: 713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slowloris View Post


    Ive spent time on trips at high altitudes doing very close to the same thing you did. We used tapes only and used panasonic toughbooks.



    Ive? Who? Jonathan Ive? (Sorry, couldn't restrain the apostrophe police). \
  • Reply 15 of 21
    I've, sorry i cant really think how it wouldve mattered.. ok now im just messin around
  • Reply 16 of 21
    drazztikkadrazztikka Posts: 240member
    I'd let someone send it over when U need it.



    If U do take it with U, don't use it in very cold conditions, or only very briefly.



    The MBP will heat up a lot, when shut off condens(water) will form into the MBP so if U turn it back on, U'll fry the insides...
  • Reply 17 of 21
    feartecfeartec Posts: 119member
    I agree, get a airtight case, pelican cases are awesome, I use them for my camera gear. They claim to be airtight, watertight to 30 ft, drop from 100ft and not break open tight(personal experience). If nothing else, send them an e-mail and ask, they are very helpful



    http://www.pelican-case.com
  • Reply 18 of 21

    I do work in the Andes all the time and my Mac computers usually start fritzing out around 12,000 feet after about 2 weeks at higher than 10,000 feet.  The battery starts charging slower and slower, then not at all, or only at certain times.  When I go to lower altitudes all is well again, until I go up another time.  Quite frustrating.  Everyone else here (Bolivia) uses Samsung and seems to get much better results.  I do not lose data (thankfully!) just battery and access.  Suggestions?  (BTW - my MAC tablet and phone were fine at any altitude).

  • Reply 19 of 21

    macbook pro late 2011 15 inch works up to 30,000 feet

  • Reply 20 of 21



    if your mac has a solid state drive, it'll work at any altitude, i think

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