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

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Mon May 3 14:34:01 EDT 2010

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 2:20 PM, Shane <shane.msg at gmail.com> wrote:
> The magnetic field has to be moved in close proximity.  The easiest way is to pass an alternating through it.  The other, of course, is moving the magnet physically which becomes more difficult as the size of the magnet increases and the space in which to move it decreases.  This assumes relatively easy access.

It is vanishingly unlikely that you can reliably degauss a modern disk
platter with anything you have around the home or office.  You'll
scratch the surface and make it harder to read but you are unlikely to
flip bits.

Last time I looked, the only approved method to "safe" a hard drive
after storing secret material included the phrase, "and stir the
ashes".  I'm not kidding.

So it depends, as always, on
who is the enemy,
how well funded and motivated are they,
how likely are you to get blamed,
how much prison time will you earn, and
where can you find a forge hot enough to melt the glass or ceramic platters.

Perhaps your industry has set different guidelines for your
responsibility to the data.  So a wipe, and a drill bit or hammer may
be enough.

Now, your backup tapes?  I don't know.  Crosscut shredder into a fondue pot?

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