Before we talk about degaussing, we need to know how data is stored electronically. Data stored in magnetic media such as hard drives, video tapes and floppy disks by arranging their internal magnetic alignment in a certain manner for the reader to read the information stored. Degaussing uses a process where a strong magnetic field is used to reorganise the stored magnetic alignments into random orientations, making the data unrecognizable and unrecoverable by the reader.
1. Degaussing your HDD renders it unusable.
Proper degaussing processing using certified machines will destroy the storage system within the drive, making it useless. This is because the degaussing process not only wipe off the data stored but also damages the manufacturer specific special servo data which is needed for the read/write head to function.
2. Degaussing HDD is more environmentally friendly than shredding HDD.
As the degaussing process does not change the physical appearance of the HDD, this makes it better for the recycling process to separate the materials. Shredding the HDD will mix up all the plastic, metal, PCB etc, making it harder to recycle the different materials.
3. Degausser cannot destroy solid state drives (SSD).
Solid state drives (SSD) are not affected by the degaussing magnetic fields because they are not of magnetic data recording nature. They work in a totally different mechanism. So, the only way to destroy SSDs is to shred them into multiples pieces (which we are able to).
Now that you are clearer on the different ways to securely destroy your data on your storage drives before disposal, you can make a more informed choice on your disposal methods. If you are still unsure, feel free to contact KGS on our secure IT disposal services. From HDD degaussing or shredding to general IT e-waste disposal, our friendly and professional representatives will help you every step of the way to ensure a secured and easy experience.