What Is Degaussing?
A hard drive degausser can only work for HDDs, which store digital data using magnetic material. What does it mean to degauss a hard drive? Degaussing hard drive means exposing the magnetic media to a strong magnetic field of a degausser to disrupt the recorded magnetic domain.
Can You Recover Data from a Degaussed Hard Drive?
The hard drive degaussing process will make the magnetic media unusable thoroughly. Therefore, the data on a degaussed hard drive is unrecoverable even in the laboratory environment.
When Do You Need to Degauss Hard Drive?
Nowadays, PC is becoming popular and the hard drive stores much data. However, when you decide to upgrade your hard drive, how to deal with the old hard drive to make your data inaccessible to others? In general, you can wipe, degauss, or shred the hard drive.
Wiping vs Degaussing vs Shredding
Wiping a hard drive will delete the data on the hard drive and the data can’t be recovered by data recovery software. However, if the hard drive is sent to a data recovery lab, the data on it can be recovered.
How to make data unrecoverable even in a lab? You can degauss the hard drive or damage the hard drive physically. Both two methods require professional machines.
To physically damage a hard drive and make the data unrecoverable even in the experimental environment, you should make sure each fragment of the hard drive is small to a certain extent. This can’t be done manually. You need a hard drive destroyer or shredder machine.
Usually, a hard drive shredder machine is much more expensive than a hard drive degausser. In addition, a hard drive shredder can destroy both HDDs and SSDs, while a hard drive degausser can only deal with HDDs.
This article explains what data sanitization is and touches upon data sanitization methods and the differences between wipe vs erase vs format vs delete.
How to Degauss a Hard Drive
If you buy a degausser, you can operate it by following its instruction manual. A degausser will generate a magnetic field so powerful that it permanently removes the magnetic properties from the iron oxide or chromium dioxide coatings.
How long does it take to degauss a hard drive? Depending on the degausser, a hard drive can be degaussed in anywhere from 5 seconds to a full minute.
Are All Degausser the Same?
There are so many different degausser models on the market. Are they the same? Apparently, they are not.
Electromagnetic degaussers generate a magnetic field by charging a degaussing coil. Permanent magnet degaussers contain one or more rare earth magnets and do not require electricity to operate. Some degaussers are meant for mobile operations, while others are built for high volume. That’s why some hard drive degaussers are expensive while some are cheap.
In addition, the ability to erase media is also different. Degaussers are rated for different media based on the degausser’s maximum magnetic field strength. The magnetic field strength of a degausser is measured in gauss or oersteds.
Degaussing modern high-density disks is more difficult than degaussing older disks like magnetic tapes and floppy disks. Modern high-density disk degaussing requires a higher magnetic field. Such a degausser is more bulk and expensive.
You can purchase a degausser to degauss hard drive or send it to a professional institute to degauss hard drive.
If you want to wipe a hard drive, MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you do that for free. In addition, it offers various wiping methods.
MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you clone the system, manage disks better, and recover data. If you have this need, you can download it from the official website.