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Degausser Testing & Verification

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Degausser Testing & Verification

Post Posted: Jun 04, 08 23:39

I am looking for some insight on the topic of degaussers. I like to overwrite drives before I dispose of them mostly because the process is easily verifiable. Unfortunately, when drives are physically damaged, overwriting is not an option.

I have access to a degausser, but am hesitant to use it full time without an accepted way of verifying its effectiveness. I know that most of you are thinking that it renders the drive unusable, and that should be proof enough, but I am looking for something more concrete. The NIST method for testing write blockers was mentioned a few weeks ago, and something along those lines for a degausser is what I hope to find.

Also, if you can vouch for any particular brand and/or model I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. If I find that the model I have is inadequate I may have to go shopping. Rolling Eyes

p.s: Yes, I have tried Google.  


Re: Degausser Testing & Verification

Post Posted: Jun 05, 08 02:36

Actually, I have found degaussers almost wholly ineffective at removing data from hard drives. The strong magnetic field certainly destroys the circuitry; however, 99% of the data was able to be retrieved when the platters were installed in working drives. This was tested on a drive that had been degaussed 7 times.

Not that it should make your decision easier, but there is also the issue of the very annoying and loud noise a degausser makes (as it vibrates the drive against the magnet).

If the drive will not spin, I see drive shredding or incineration as being the only acceptable methods of completely destroying the data.

But that's just my opinion.  

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