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).

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic 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 support specialist in the ...