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Earthworm blamed for laptop crash

It's all gone a bit literal

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When Mark Taylor's laptop computer crashed, he thought a computer worm might be the cause. Attempted repairs revealed that he was quite right, though not in the way he suspected.

A five-inch earthworm had crawled into the laptop through an air vent before getting up in the internal fan, jamming the operation and killing itself in the process. The worm was "cooked" inside the £360 Gateway laptop computer after getting lodged inside the machine, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Taylor, 45, from Yeovil, Somerset, reckons one of his two pet cats brought the invertebrate inside from his garden.

"The worm was obviously looking for a hiding place and must have crawled in through the air vent to get away from the cats," Taylor said. "I couldn't help thinking that people get computer worms all the time, but not real life ones."

Sam Robinson, 28, the computer technician who discovered the worm explained that the PC was giving an error message that the "processor fan was unworkable".

"I took the back off and had a look inside," Robinson told The Daily Telegraph. "Then I spotted what at first I thought was some sort of hair band or elastic band wrapped around the fan.

"I soon discovered that it was a worm which had been burned to a frazzle. It had obviously wrapped around the fan when somebody had turned on the computer and caused the breakdown due to the fan jamming."

Robinson added that although the problem affecting Taylor was unsurprisingly unlike anything he'd seen before, he was still able to sort out the problem. The bugs, however, he admitted were a far more complex issue. ®

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