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Why Do Magnets Wipe Hard Drives?

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Why do magnets wipe hard drives?
Kevin Marshall
Kevin Marshall
January 3, 2020

Before recycling a computer or other electronic device with a hard drive, it's best to know how to wipe them clean of data. That way, you don't have concerns regarding the whereabouts of your company and customers' sensitive information. You're not potentially handing over years of private info to a third party you don't know. Instead, you'll have a full understanding of the process required to wipe a hard drive so it can be recycled or re-sold.

In a world full of data breaches and fear of the dark web, you can never be too careful. Learning how to dispose of old electronics properly, so they get recycled without putting your company in jeopardy, is valuable advice. It allows you to protect yourself from legal troubles. It also keeps your top-secret information out of the hands of people who could potentially harm your company's profitability.

How Magnets Erase Data Off of Electronics

Hard disk drives contain neodymium-iron-boron magnets. Their role is to control the movements of the heads that read and write data. The data is on the platters and remains unchanged. Without the presence of a powerful magnet, the information remains on the hard drive.

That's why it's a farce to think that placing a small magnet near a computer can damage it. For years, people have had concerns about putting the two objects together. Cartoons have depicted the issue for years showing that there is much more power in a single magnet than there really is.

Small, household magnets won't erase hard drives

A fridge magnet won't damage your computer by erasing its hard drive. It's a process that is far more involved than that, and one best done by a professional. When you bring your computer to be recycled, professionals take concrete steps to ensure that the process gets done correctly.

Strong, powerful magnets are a very successful tool in erasing data off of hard drives. If you haven't yet come up with a solution that allows you to restore your computers to their original factory settings without the fear of sensitive data remaining on them, it's time to consider doing so. You don't need to give up your electronics entirely if you decide to start a new company or endeavor. You can make the computers useful once again by doing a hard drive wipe with a company like West Coast Computer Recycler that is capable of offering such a service.

The Right Company Holds Certifications to Ensure the Proper Handling of Devices

Look for a company with data destruction certification before trusting its employees with your hard drives. It's yet another way of building trust by ensuring that a professional handle your personal property in a responsible manner. Certified personnel who are authorized to demagnetize the magnetic tape contained within electronic devices handle the job for you.

Don't think that you can do the process yourself by merely placing a magnet on or near your hard drive. The data contained on it will remain unless erased permanently by a company who know what they are doing. You're putting your company and customers in jeopardy by discarding old electronics before wiping them clean of sensitive personal information.

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