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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 machine that generates the intense magnetic field is called a degausser. Subjecting your hard drive to this strong, shifting magnetic field causes its magnetic charge to be 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. In case you desire to get a degausser for the removal of data in your drive, be familiar with the different kinds of these devices that rely on different degaussing technologies. Available in the market are the coil, capacitive discharge, or permanent magnet degausser. 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 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. There is a short-lived burst of energy that does not overheat the coil during the degaussing process. That’s why capacitive discharge degaussers have a continuous 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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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 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. 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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