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

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Mon May 3 15:16:44 EDT 2010

Bob Jonkman wrote, On 05/03/2010 12:20 PM:
> 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
> defects.
> 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.

You might not want to degauss your LTO tapes if they have been serial 
numbered and you want to reuse them after blanking. Not an issue if 
you don't want to reuse them.

As for recycling, tape makes excellent gift wrap.

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