[kwlug-disc] OT - degauss/wipe a dead hard drive/LTO tapes

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Mon May 3 12:20:42 EDT 2010

Hard drive platters are inside a metal enclosure.  No degaussing tool
short of a nuclear EMP will erase the data sufficiently that the
manufacturer couldn't restore it.

DBAN just does a lot of writing to the disk.  Shouldn't affect it's
bootability, so the manufacturer should still be able to find mechanical

Degaussing just applies a strong magnetic field to the media.  If you
have tapes they'll be blank after degaussing, so they should be
reusable.  Be careful with tapes that have been stored in sub-optimal
environments -- sometimes the oxide comes off, sticking to the back side
of the tape it's been wound on.  While there's probably some error
correction on tape drives, I doubt it can deal with missing chunks of
old tape oxide.


On Mon, 2010-05-03 at 10:58 -0400, Oksana Goertzen wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I have a hard drive that can be sent back to the manufacturer because
> it's still
> under warranty.  The drive is no longer boot-able.  Will degaussing
> the drive
> wipe it sufficiently?  Does anyone have access to such a device or a
> strong
> electric magnet?  I can't run DBAN or destroy the drive because it
> needs to
> go back to the manufacturer in good enough condition that they can
> determine
> it failed.
> And on a side note, we have a number (a lot, actually) of LTO tapes at
> work
> that should either be destroyed or degaussed.  Does anyone know
> anything
> about degaussing tapes?  Can they be recycled at all?
> Thanks for any advice!
> Oksana
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