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degauss a hard drive

How to Degauss a Hard Drive

When it comes to properly disposing of e-waste, it’s important that it goes through the correct data destruction process. When getting rid of e-waste you want to ensure that sensitive or identifying data will be kept out of the wrong hands. Ways to make sure this happens is through the physical destruction of the device or through degaussing the hard drive.


There are certain things that must take place to degauss a hard drive. Degaussing is a process that includes reducing or completely eliminating the data that is stored on device that uses magnetic media to store information. Common forms of magnetic media include hard drives, cassettes, reels, disks and tape. During the degaussing process, an intense magnetic field is generated. This magnetic field is so powerful, that the magnetic data on the tape hard disk becomes deutrailized, or erased.


If you have lower to medium sized volumes of hard drives that are needed to be degaussed, a magnetic wand degausser is a good option. Don’t be fooled by these small, hand held magnetic devices. You’ll need to expose the hard drive platter and spindle of the hard drive and then run the degausser over the hard drive platter. Be sure to wave the degausser over both sides of the hard drive platter. For companies that have many e-waste items that need to be degaussed, a handheld degausser is not necessarily the most cost-effective or time efficient process. For bulk items, using a third party e-waste recycling company will save you time and money.

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