What’s Involved in Degaussing a Hard Drive?


If you’re considering how to degauss your hard drive, you probably want to have all data kept in it permanently eliminated so you can dispose or recycle the hard drive. Degaussing is a form of demagnetization whereby a device like a hard drive is exposed to a magnetic field that’s fluctuating and more intense. The intense magnetic field is generated by a machine called a degausser. Subjecting your hard drive to this strong, shifting magnetic field causes its magnetic charge to be reset to a neutral state. When the entire magnetic charge of the memory device is reset to neutral, all the data it contained is erased completely.

In case you desire to get a degausser for the removal of data in your drive, be familiar with the different kinds of these devices that rely on different degaussing technologies. Available in the market are the coil, capacitive discharge, or permanent degausser magnet.

The degausser with a coil has copper wire wrapped around a steel core, and when activated, an electromagnetic field is generated. As long as the degaussed hard drive is on, the electromagnetic field remains present, and that can lead to coil overheating. To ensure the coil does not overheat, the ac degausser should be used on a limited operating cycle. Degaussing devices using large coils are fitted with fans for cooling the coil and prolonging the duty cycle.

A degausser that utilizes capacitive discharge mechanism generates and preserves energy in big capacitors. When switched on, the capacitors are fully stored with energy, which they discharge to produce an immensely strong electromagnetic pulse. There is a short-lived burst of energy that does not overheat the coil during the degaussing process. The operating cycle for a capacitive discharge degausser is longer for this reason. Since the manner in which energy is discharge may be referred to as pulse, capacitive discharge degaussers may also be defined as pulse degaussers.

When you need the capacity to use a degausser continuously, such as seven days a week, try the permanent magnet type as it involves no electronic component that’s vulnerable to overheating. These varieties of degaussers are fitted with magnets of different sizes, and the bigger ones are capable of producing extremely intense magnetic fields. To read more about the importance of getting the best hard drive degaussing, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-really-happens-to-all-your-personal-data-after_us_57e9c4c2e4b095bd8969fde7.

If you want to degauss any memory device, be sure that you’re done using it because there’s a chance that it cannot be used again on your computer once degaussed. Devices like hard drives have servo tracks featuring information that enables the computer to know how to interface with them to facilitate reading. Degaussing erases the servo tracks alongside all data, so there’s no way your computer may recognize the memory device in its degaussed form.

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