Hard Drive Degaussing

Degaussing is a demagnetising process to destroy data stored on hard drives and other magnetic media such as audio and backup tapes. If you want to protect your information, one option for complete removal of data is to degauss before you physically destroy or recycle the asset.

Did you know that reformatting hard drives doesn’t erase the data completely?


You might be tempted to reformat your hard drive rather than degaussing or destroying it, however, this is not a secure method of data destruction. Even if it may appear to no longer contain data your device may still hold sensitive information which can be restored using simple software.


The data on the tape or hard drive is rendered unusable through magnetic waves exposing each drive or tape to 2 Tesla (20,000 Gauss) of erasing force for a minimum of 45 seconds.

The machinery Shred-X use meets requirements of the Australian Signals

Directorate and is also approved for use by the NSA (USA Government) and CESG (UK Government).

Degaussing can be used on a range of devices, including:

  • Hard drives
  • Floppy disks
  • Audio reel-to-reel tapes
  • VHS video cassettes
  • Magnetic backup tapes.
hard drive degaussing


Data stored on USBs and Solid State Drives (SSDs) can’t be erased through degaussing as these are not magnetic devices. To permanently delete information from these devices, you need to physically destroy them.

Data thieves have been known to target USBs and SSDs, so it’s important to dispose of them securely. If you have any old devices to be disposed of, our Digital Media Destruction service can take care of them for you. Always remember to check your IT asset end of life policy if you plan on destroying a company-owned device.


Following the completion of the degaussing process, Shred-X is also able to provide physical destruction of your device. For further information: Hard Drive Destruction

Once the destruction process, whether by degaussing, destruction or both, Shred-X will provide a detailed Certificate of Destruction. The Shred-X Hard Drive Solution also includes the scanning of serial numbers and complete destruction reporting.


Shred-X has partnered with e-waste recyclers who understand and uphold our stringent security standards and who are e-Stewards and are certified sustainable electronic recyclers. Shred-X ensure the destroyed or degaussed assets are recycled in accordance with international environmental and ethical specifications.

Speak with a Shred-X team member today for more information on hard drive degaussing.

Shred-X are experts in providing a customised e-waste solution to suit your requirements.

FAQs of Hard Drive Degaussing

How does degaussing a hard drive destroy it?

The way a hard drive stores data is by the hard drive disk spinning on a spindle so that the head can write data across the entire disk by producing ones and zeros which make up the data.
Hard disk degaussing uses magnetic waves to scramble the ones and zeros into an unrecognisable pattern, making the data near impossible to recover.
The most secure way to destroy all private business and personal data is to destroy the device itself. Employing both methods of degaussing and destruction ensures your device is unrecoverable.

How long does it take to degauss a hard drive?

Shred-X will pass your hard drive under magnets for a minimum of 45 seconds. With 20,000 Gauss or 2 Tesla of raw magnetism at our securely monitored facility, ensuring all existing data on the hard drive is destroyed.

Can you use a hard drive after degaussing?

Without any recycling, a hard drive cannot be reused after degaussing. The magnetic process not only strips off any user data but also the boot-up data installed by its manufacturer. This means that the drive won’t respond to any computers or devices, rendering it unusable.
Degaussed hard drives are prime candidates for e-waste recycling. With the data unrecognisable, the valuable materials can be stripped out and repurposed. This not only secures your data from theft or corruption, but it reduces the risk of the drive harming the environment.

What is the difference between hard drive degaussing and destruction?

Degaussing is a process of using high-powered magnets to physically strip the data off the drive. After a hard drive degaussing service is complete, the hard drive will look much the same, but will be completely unusable.
Hard drive destruction achieves the same result but involves breaking the hard drive (rather than wiping it). This usually involves shredding and breaking the device beyond recognition.
However, the smartest and safest solution to securing your data is to complete both processes, by degaussing the hard drive and physically destroying it, you not only protect you and your business but also prevent harmful toxins leaking into the environment.

For more information about our e-Waste destruction and recycling services,
don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 747 339 or contact us online.

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