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What You Should Know About Degaussing of Hard Drives This however is not the truth Fact is that the data is still in the drive. All you actually do when you delete such info is to destroy the path leading the actual information. However, it is actually possible to erase data from your computer hard drive. There are actually three different ways to erase data from a computer hard drive. One can physically destroy the drive, use a hard drive eraser or use degaussing to clear the drive. Degaussing is simply permanent erasing of data. With so much sensitive information being stored on hard drives out there, organizations require a way of being able to securely do away with sensitive data completely. This method of erasing is unlike any other method of erasing data. Unlike deleting and formatting, degaussing completely clears information by the use of a special technique. Here are some things you need to know about degaussing of a hard drive. Uses Magnetic Fields
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Degaussing is essentially the procedure by which a magnetic field is eliminated or decreases. A magnetic field is necessary when trying to erase information from a magnetic storage device. A fine coating of chromium oxide and iron oxide sometimes exists on the tape. During the process of degaussing, a very intense magnetic field is generated. It is the intensity of this magnetic field that aids in permanent removal of the information stored on the iron oxide coating or the chromium oxide. The data on the disc is completely destroyed as a result of the change in the tape’s magnetic field. During this process, the recorded data pattern is either removed or randomized. This is why the data can never again be recovered.
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Safety Concerns According the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that suggests any kind of harm can come from this type data destruction. This is particularly with regard to one’s exposure to the magnetic fields during the process. Speed of the Degaussing Process Many people think the process is slow and complicated. However, contrary to what the name sounds like the process of erasing data is quick and simple. Difference from Hard Drive Eraser As previously mentioned, degaussing requires the use of magnetic fields to help neutralize a hard drive’s magnetic charge. Hard drive erasers however, actually work on the principle of overwritten data, once the data is overwritten enough times it becomes impossible to forensically recover it or even decipher its meaning. In essence, there is actually no erasing that goes on in the process.