Storage

Video: Degaussing machine erases hard drive data in less than 10 seconds

You don't have to crush a hard drive to securely remove its data. Comercial degaussing machines can remove all a drive's data in under 10 seconds.

In my previous IT Dojo post, "Crusher destroys hard drives in seconds", I featured a video of a commercial device that destroys hard drives in about 75 seconds. If you want to erase the data in under 10 seconds, then a degaussing machine might be a better option.

According to Data Devices International, the HD-3W High Energy Pulse Degausser is "high energy, DC capacitive discharge degausser capable of erasing hard drives and high-coercivity tape media in under 10 seconds." The HD-3W can erase data from hard drives and several tape formats (LTO, SuperDLT, DLT, 9940, 3592, and others). The HD-3W is $8,975, but the price climbs to just over $11,000 when you add a 3-year warranty, a shipping/carrying case, and shipping charges (sales tax will add even more).

If the HD-3W is more than you need or can afford, the company makes cheaper degaussing devices such as the Model 1100 Portable Hard Drive Degaussing Wand ($649.50) and HD-1 hard Disk Drive Degausser ($2,875).

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

7 comments
SABREADS
SABREADS

i delete my data using an MRI machine, (this works for floppies and tapes also)

PTCapo
PTCapo

Hello Bill - As the HEAD technology editior you really need some QA on your video mailings. Yesterdays video had the wrong title, totdays video has yesterdays title - what is going on? The email I got from TechRepublic states "Video: Change the Windows XP product key" which was YESTERDAYS video - I click the link and it takes me to your Degauss video. Please fix this!!!!

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Does this process remove the ability for a Forensic Recovery like that used by the Criminal Justice System to be Performed and recover anything? Great idea if it works as advertised but expensive if it is possible to recover anything off the drive. Col

hlnagy
hlnagy

I use a professional buld video/audio tape eraser on the hard drives, makes them unuseable as well, you blast them with magnetic waves the scrambles the data and creates erronious magnetic fields on the platters plus the magnetic field bends the plate material, which can cause them to touch each other when they spin, that will cause them to shatter.... inexpensive, effective way to handle the case.

Wally Bahny
Wally Bahny

According to the company's website, the Degaussing machines also make the hard drive unusable. The Degaussing process wipes factory-recorded tracks that are necessary for drive functionality. Just wanted to point that out for the other readers. Thanks for the posts!

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

do you have any links/videos for this device (and price)?? Also, how long does it take??

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

I thought that was the whole idea, to completely wipe the drive before discarding it.

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