- Degaussing is simply a demagnetizing process to erase a hard drive or tape.
- Degaussers contain a controlled magnetic field that is measured in units of gauss or oersteds (Oe).
- All magnetic media has a magnetic property, called coercivity, that is also measured in units of oersteds (Oe).
- The Oersted (Oe) value tells us how easy or how difficult a piece of media is to erase. Basically, higher Oe media requires stronger degausser magnetic field ratings.
Why is Degaussing Necessary?
We believe that degaussing should be part of any computer disposal policy. It’s a fast and effective way to secure all of your information, whether you’re recycling the hard drive or donating older systems to charities.
Physical destruction of a data storage device alone technically does not remove the data. It just makes the device (tape or hard drive) unusable and the data unreasonable to retrieve.
Degaussing is strong enough to remove all of the data protections computers come with, so it’s the preferred method for complete, total hard drive destruction. Use the form to the right to learn more about all of our e-waste recycling capabilities and get a free, no-obligation quote for your hard drive destruction needs.
What are the advantages of degaussing?
Hard drive degaussing is cost effective. With a degausser, you keep complete control of your sensitive information constantly. There is no need to pass your data to third parties.
Degaussing kills data stored on magnetic media such as tape, disks, reels, cassettes and hard drives.
Magnetic media has a coating of iron oxide or chromium dioxide which sits on the tape or or on its circular platter. The data are orientated to a set of “lines”, which make up the recording or information.
The World Health Organization say that current evidence doesn’t confirm the existence of any health consequences from strong EMP. But, all Proton degaussers are intended to fall within the recommended guidelines issued by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB).
In addition, our most popular degaussers have all been designed to restrict operator participation.
- Guarantee removal of data from magnetic media so that no known exploitation method can retrieve data from it.
- Degaussing hard drive is a complete, quick, easy and quiet process!
- With a degausser, you keep complete control of your sensitive data at all times – no need to pass your data to third parties to be disposed of
- Minimize the amount of sensitive/classified information and associated accountability.
- Degaussing hard drives is 100% effective, even on damaged hard drives
- Hard drive components can be fully recycled once degaussed
- Easily sanitize unclassified media contaminated with classified information.
- Cost effective – degaussing offers one of the most cost effective erasure solutions. Purchasing a degaussing machine is usually a one-time investment
How does Hard Drive degaussing work?
A degausser operates by generating an intense magnetic field, so strong that it permanently eliminates the magnetic memory stored in the iron oxide or chromium dioxide coatings. This randomizes the recorded information pattern.
By changing the magnetic field on the tape or hard drive using a degausser, the information stored on it can effectively be destroyed.
Degaussing hard drive is a complete, quick, silent and easy process.
Hard drive components can be fully recycled once degaussed.
Eight Important Facts about Degaussing
- Can data on a degaussed drive be recovered?
Ans. No. Once a drive has been degaussed, it is impossible to retrieve the data.
- Can a degaussed disk be used after degaussing?
Ans. No. A degaussed drive is inoperable in any system. The magnetic erasure rearranges the magnetic field to such an extent that standard read heads are unable to find a magnetic reference point for tracking.
- Does running an ordinary magnet over a hard drive accomplish degaussing?
Ans. No. Standard magnets are not powerful enough to degauss a hard drive. Only an industrial degausser can guarantee the erasure of data.
- Can any degausser erase data?
Ans. No. In order to be completely effective, a degausser should emit magnetic strength that is two or three times greater than the magnetic intensity of the hard drive. Some commercially-available degaussers are too weak to ensure that the data is erased. It is important to use an NSA-recommended degausser.
- Why is degaussing important?
Ans. Degaussing is the first step in completely destroying data. Due to regulations such as HIPAA, the GLB-Act, and NSA requirements, destroying sensitive data is required by law.
- Does degaussing destroy other forms of tape storage (DLT, SDLT, 3480, AIT, etc.)?
Ans. Yes. Degaussers emit such powerful magnetic fields that they can erase virtually any magnetic-based storage device.
- Can degaussing destroy data on a USB drive?
Ans. No because USB memory devices operate on solid state memory, which does not depend on the same magnetic structure of hard drive or tape storage.
- Is degaussing the final step in data destruction?
Ans. Although degaussing is a failsafe way of data erasure, the NSA recommends that media be physically destroyed / shredded after degaussing.