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What Degaussing a Hard Drive Entails 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 machine that generates the intense magnetic field is called a 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 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. Provided that the degausser is powered on, the electromagnetic field stays, which can cause the coil to overheat. The ac degausser ought to have a limited operating cycle to protect the coil from overheating. Degaussing machines that have larger coils have fans that help cool the coil while extending its operating cycle.
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A degausser that’s powered by capacitive discharge technology creates and stores energy in massive capacitors. When activated, the capacitors are filled with energy, which they then release to create a highly intense electromagnetic pulse. There is a short-lived burst of energy that does not overheat the coil during the degaussing process. For that reason, capacitive discharge degaussers have a longer 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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In case you seek the capacity to run a degausser without stopping for may be seven days a week, choose a permanent magnetic type since it has no electronic part that’s prone to overheating. 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.