The Beginner’s Guide to Computers


What’s Involved in Degaussing a Hard Drive? You may want to learn how to degauss a hard drive if you wish to permanently erase all data stored in it for safe disposal or recycling purposes. Degaussing is a demagnetization form through which a device, such as a hard drive, is subjected to a stronger, changing, magnetic field. The strong magnetic field is created via a machine referred to as degausser. When your hard drive is exposed to the intense, fluctuating magnetic field, its charge is reset to magnetically neutral state. In case the magnetic charge of the memory object resets to neutral, the data it holds is lost permanently. 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. As long as the degausser is on, the electromagnetic field remains present, and that can lead to coil overheating. 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 employs capacitive discharge technology produces and preserves energy in large capacitors. When powered up, the capacitors are fully charged with energy, after which they discharge to form an extremely strong electromagnetic pulse. Owing to the short-lived nature of the burst of energy, the coil never overheats over the course of degaussing. That’s why capacitive discharge degaussers have a continuous duty cycle. Since the manner in which energy is discharge may be referred to as pulse, capacitive discharge degaussers may also be defined as pulse degaussers.
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When you need the capacity to use a degausser continuously, such as seven days a week, try the permanent magnet type as it involves no electronic component that’s vulnerable to overheating. These degausser types may have magnets of different sizes, and the larger types have the ability to generate extremely strong magnetic fields. If you want to degauss any memory device, be sure that you’re done using it because there’s a chance that it cannot be used again on your computer once degaussed. Objects like hard drives employ servo tracks that include information which the computer interprets to know how to interface with them to enable reading. Degaussing erases the servo tracks alongside all data, so there’s no way your computer may recognize the memory device in its degaussed form.

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