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How to Degauss Your Hard Drive You may want to learn how to degauss a hard drive if you wish to permanently erase all data stored in it for safe disposal or recycling purposes. 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. When your hard drive is exposed to the intense, fluctuating magnetic field, its charge is reset to magnetically neutral state. In case the magnetic charge of the memory object resets to neutral, the data it holds is lost permanently. If you want to buy a degausser to erase the data in your hard drive, it’s good to know that there are various types of these devices that employ different degaussing technologies. Available in the market are the coil, capacitive discharge, or permanent magnet degausser. A coil degausser employs a steel core that’s wrapped in copper wire, which generates a fluctuating electromagnetic field when powered up. Provided that the degausser is powered on, the electromagnetic field stays, which can cause the coil to overheat. The ac degausser ought to have a limited operating cycle to protect the coil from overheating. Degaussing machines that utilize large coils employ coins for cooling purposes, helping extend the duty 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. Because the burst of energy is short-lived, it does not allow the coil to overheat throughout degaussing. For that reason, capacitive discharge degaussers have a longer duty cycle. Since the manner in which energy is discharge may be referred to as pulse, capacitive discharge degaussers may also be defined as 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 varieties of degaussers are fitted with magnets of different sizes, and the bigger ones are capable of producing extremely intense 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 like hard drives have servo tracks featuring information that enables the computer to know how to interface with them to facilitate reading. Degaussing wipes off the servo tracks plus all other data, making it impossible for your computer to recognize the device in its degaussed state.