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How to Degauss Your 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 kind of demagnetizing that involves subjecting an object like a hard drive to a magnetic field that has a stronger, fluctuating intensity. The machine that generates the intense magnetic field is called a degausser. When your hard drive is exposed to the intense, fluctuating magnetic field, its charge is reset to magnetically 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 want to buy a degausser to erase the data in your hard drive, it’s good to know that there are various types of these devices that employ different degaussing technologies. You may buy a coil degausser or the one that relies on capacitive discharge or a permanent magnet. A coil degausser employs a steel core that’s wrapped in copper wire, which generates a fluctuating electromagnetic field when powered up. The electromagnetic field generated by the degausser is present as long as the device is on, and that can lead to the overheating of the coil. To ensure the coil does not overheat, the ac degausser should be used on a limited operating cycle. Degaussing machines that utilize large coils employ coins for cooling purposes, helping extend the duty cycle.
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A degausser that utilizes capacitive discharge mechanism generates and preserves energy in big capacitors. When activated, the capacitors are filled with energy, which they then release to create a highly intense electromagnetic pulse. Because the burst of energy is short-lived, it does not allow the coil to overheat throughout degaussing. For that reason, capacitive discharge degaussers have a longer duty cycle. Owing to the fact that energy is released in the manner of a pulse with capacitive discharge degaussers, the devices are sometimes called 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 degausser types may have magnets of different sizes, and the larger types have the ability to generate extremely strong magnetic fields. If you intend to degauss any memory device, ensure that you no longer need it as there’s the likelihood that it may not be recognized again by your computer upon degaussing. Devices like hard drives have servo tracks featuring information that enables the computer to know how to interface with them to facilitate reading. Degaussing wipes off the servo tracks plus all other data, making it impossible for your computer to recognize the device in its degaussed state.