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How to Degauss Your Hard Drive If you’re considering how to degauss your hard drive, you probably want to have all data kept in it permanently eliminated so you can dispose or recycle the hard drive. Degaussing is a form of demagnetization whereby a device like a hard drive is exposed to a magnetic field that’s fluctuating and more intense. The intense magnetic field is generated by a machine called a degausser. Subjecting your hard drive to this strong, shifting magnetic field causes its magnetic charge to be reset to a neutral state. In the event a memory device has its magnetic charge reset to neutral, it permanently loses all the data it contains. 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. The degausser with a coil has copper wire wrapped around a steel core, and when activated, an electromagnetic field is generated. As long as the degausser is on, the electromagnetic field remains present, and that can lead to coil overheating. 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 utilizes capacitive discharge mechanism generates and preserves energy in big capacitors. When switched on, the capacitors are fully stored with energy, which they discharge to produce an immensely strong electromagnetic pulse. There is a short-lived burst of energy that does not overheat the coil during the degaussing process. The operating cycle for a capacitive discharge degausser is longer for this reason. Owing to the fact that energy is released in the manner of a pulse with capacitive discharge degaussers, the devices are sometimes called pulse degaussers.
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When you need the capacity to use a degausser continuously, such as seven days a week, try the permanent magnet type as it involves no electronic component that’s vulnerable to overheating. These degausser types may have magnets of different sizes, and the larger types have the ability to generate extremely strong magnetic fields. If you want to degauss any memory device, be sure that you’re done using it because there’s a chance that it cannot be used again on your computer once degaussed. Devices such as hard drives use servo tracks that carry information which helps the computer interface with them for reading purposes. Degaussing erases the servo tracks alongside all data, so there’s no way your computer may recognize the memory device in its degaussed form.