How do you crash a computer?

Using any common household technology, how can one create a compact device that can crash a computer without actually doing anything to software. hardware crash. idk magnetic fields, large electric currents? something hand-held preferably. Safe to hold not safe to a computer within a few inches. 

Update: You are all right, a reversible device is best, but not completely, as in wipes all memory but the computer is not actually destroyed so can still function with a new OS installed

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if you wanted to crash a computer i guess you could just put it in a car and put a brick on the gas pedal and BOOM! it crashed!
lemonie7 years ago

A finglonger will be effective on a power-switch.

caarntedd7 years ago
Cut through the brake lines. The next user will crash for sure.
And remember not to compute under the influence.

"Caution: To avoid damage to reputation, engage mind before putting fingers in gear."
seandogue7 years ago
For what reason are you asking people to assist you in shutting down computers?

I wouldn't want to think that people are carelessly being asked to assist you in damaging someones' expensive computer equipment to satisfy a personal or political vendetta.
Yesterday, before I saw your question, my friend was telling me about a podcast that he had heard.
In it a guy explained how he had collected hydrogen in a big balloon (easily using electrolysis) and then lit the balloon.
His computer which was next to him immediately shut down.
He tried it again with the same result.
He has done this many times and demonstrates this to people.
His computer is old and expendable but always re-starts.

It was explained in terms of the release of electrons; my friend wasn't quite sure.

Anyhoo, I hope that this helps; please PM me if you try it, just to say if it works or not, i would be quite interested.

Good Luck
A Super Soaker full of saltwater would probably work. Not subtle, but effective.
Well, yeah, but I was presuming this was intended to be reversible and at least somewhat deniable.
Sure, that would make sense, but neither of those were included in the user requirements.
Check out the keywords (and go to Wikipedia if necessary). EMP is not reversible.
Granted, but I'm not convinced the querant has that much clue.
rickharris7 years ago
Sigh! WHY? - My problems generally revolve round trying NOT to make it crash.
kelseymh7 years ago
A small (sub-kiloton) nuclear device detonated at altitude, or a non-nuclear EMP generator. Neither one is usually something you can hold, but they work.

I hate trolls. If you already knew the answer, why did you waste people's time?
orksecurity7 years ago
Take insulated diagonal cutters, clip through power cord.

Other than that: You can't.