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What’s Involved in Degaussing a Hard Drive? Learning how to degauss a hard drive may interest you if you intend on permanently remove all the data held in it for purposes of safe disposal or recycling. 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 strong magnetic field is created via a machine referred to as degausser. Upon exposure to the strong, changing magnetic field, the magnetic charge of your hard drive is 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. If you’re planning on buying a degausser to erase the data in your hard disk, just know that there are different types of the devices that use varying degaussing technology. Available for purchase are degausser using coil, capacitive, or permanent magnet technologies. With a coil degausser, there’s a steel core that’s wrapped in copper wire, which when activated, produces an alternating electromagnetic field. Provided that the degausser is powered on, the electromagnetic field stays, which can cause the coil to overheat. To prevent the overheating of the coil, an ac degausser should have a restricted duty cycle. Degaussing devices using large coils are fitted with fans for cooling the coil and prolonging the duty cycle.
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A degausser that’s powered by capacitive discharge technology creates and stores energy in massive capacitors. When switched on, the capacitors are fully stored with energy, which they discharge to produce an immensely strong electromagnetic pulse. Because the burst of energy is short-lived, it does not allow the coil to overheat throughout degaussing. That’s why capacitive discharge degaussers have a continuous duty cycle. The way in which energy is release may be described as a pulse, and that’s why capacitive discharge degaussers may also be referred to as pulse degaussers.
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If you desire the power to use a degausser nonstop for say, seven days every week, attempt the permanent magnet variety because it does not have an electronic part that may overheat. These varieties of degaussers are fitted with magnets of different sizes, and the bigger ones are capable of producing extremely intense magnetic fields. If you seek to degauss any memory object, ascertain that you don’t want it anymore as there’s the possibility your computer won’t recognize it after degaussing. Objects like hard drives employ servo tracks that include information which the computer interprets to know how to interface with them to enable reading. With degaussing, the servo tracks plus other data are erased, so your computer is unable to interface with the device in its degaussed state.