What is the best way to destroy your hard drive?

Data removal from the operating system level is an ineffective method of data deletion from the medium, which is a hard drive. Nowadays, data recovery is not a problem. To permanently remove data from the HDD, you must use an effective and safe method – demagnetization. And how to destroy a hard disk? Ideally in a physical way, through its crushing, fragmentation or grinding.

Demagnetization uses a special device, which is a degausser, generating a strong magnetic field, which disorganizes the magnetic domain setting of the carrier: it destroys, for example, servo information and calibration information. To remove data from modern hard drives, you need a degausser, generating a really strong magnetic field of 20,000 gauss (2T) – the higher the capacity of the disk, the stronger the magnetic field needed to remove the information from storage media.

More about the demagnetization of disks we wrote in the article: Degaussing of disks means data removal with a degausser.

To destroy a hard disk, it’s best to use a mechanical method. With the help of special equipment, the carrier is mechanically damaged. There are devices on the market that crush, hole, break and grind discs. The advantage of this method of destroying media is the time needed to carry out the process – usually a few seconds. This method is also not expensive.

We wrote about how to destroy hard disk in the article: How to destroy media physically?

HDD magnetic data media

Hard drives magnetic data mediaParticle size
H-1mechanically/electronically inoperable
H-4max 2000 mm ²
H-5max 320 mm ²
H-6max 10 mm ²
H-7max 5 mm ²

The effectiveness of the commercially available shredders is defined by DIN 66399 norm, which shows 7 safety levels relating to the requirements for the shredder.

If you plan to delete data from the storage media you want to dispose next, it is best to degauss the disk and then damage it in a physical way. The correctness of the processes will be guaranteed only by the company having ISO certificate for this type of services – the company should also ensure safe utilization of disks.

We present the possibilities of our devices in the article: Data removal with ASM120 degausser

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