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Thread: Erasing Drives

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hey, Everyone,

    I bought a fairly powerful neodymium magnet a while back, and I wondered if I could use it to thoroughly wipe a hard drive from the outside simply by moving the magnet around the body of the drive. This would be primarily for wiping small laptop drives. Large hard drives are easy enough to dismantle and remove the platters, so wiping those platters with the magnet and then destroying them isn't a problem.

    And while we're on the subject, are flashdrives ferrous based? IOW, could I erase those with the magnet as well?

    Many thanks for your help and thoughts on the subject of drive security.

    Best wishes,

    Two Rivers

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Some conflicting information out there on the information superhighway, but overall I would say degaussing a hard drive
    with a super powerful "earth" magnet is not completely reliable...especially anything easily handheld.
    Neodymium magnets, like your typical pacemaker test magnets may ruin credit cards. I'm not willing to find out though.


    FYI how to degauss a hard disk cheap (bulk erase)
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Flash drives cannot be erased with a magnet....(unless you use the magnet to crush them )

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks, Clint. Those links provided some eye opening information -- especially the last one. Guess I'm back to using a screwdriver and tin snips on the platters of the 3.5 inch drives. I can't seem to get the 2.5 inch drives apart with a screwdriver. Fortunately I do have a sledge hammer. Two Rivers

  5. #5
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    You do not need to physically destroy modern hard disks, a simple all sector write with random data is more than enough to securely erase your data - the random data prevents recovery and modern data density resists microscope use. See the Epilogue and Recommendations of the man who did the original research.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Yea, but the sledgehammer method serves a second purpose, stress relief! We all need that in our hectic, stress filled lives.
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