My friend has reached out to me with following message:

Please submit a request to resize the laptop hard disk. Let me know if this would be intrusive where we will communicate down time to the laptop owner.

I am not able to understand if this is correct use of the word intrusive. I am familiar with literal meaning of intrusive which is “tending to intrude (especially upon privacy)”.

Underlying Message

Please let me know if installing new hard disk will take more time so that we can communicate this to the customer.

  • Do I understand this correctly. Your friend ask you to submit a request (to a third party?) for a bigger/smaller hard disk in a lap top belonging to a 4th party?. Your friend seeks reassurance that either the request ? or the installation of the new disk? may pose a privacy risk? expose personal information? of the owner? It's not at all clear. Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 1:12
  • I have added more details to my question. thanks for helping
    – meallhour
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


I take it your friend had already made a preliminary estimate before they sent the laptop to you.

There is a clear indicator that they are concerned about the downtime (by the way that will likely impact costs also, anyways).

From this I take that they are inquiring whether the repairs are more complex than their original assessment, resulting in a more demanding procedure whose outcome is harder to predict, potentially needing additional efforts.

The metaphor here, I expect, is that a non-intrusive intervention is one whose progression is easier to predict, while an intrusive one may rapidly raise a series of exponentially severe challenges.

I believe this is very much analogous with the way this term is used in the field of health-care. In this case your friend seems to have used it in the context of technology. I wouldn't say it's invalid here; just uncommon.

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