The IT Law Wiki


Degaussing is

[a] process of destroying computerized data by leaving the domains in random patterns with no preference to orientation, which then renders previous data unrecoverable.[1]


"Degaussing of any hard drive assembly usually destroys the drive as the firmware that manages the device is also destroyed."[2] "It is important to note, however, that degaussing may not completely destroy all sensitive data on the magnetic medium, and that advanced forensic tools exist that may enable recovery of sensitive data from a magnetic disk that has been degaussed."[3]

"Degaussing can be an effective method for purging damaged media, for purging media with exceptionally large storage capacities, or for quickly purging diskettes. Degaussing is not effective for purging nonmagnetic media (e.g., optical media such as compact discs (CD), digital versatile discs (DVD), etc.)."[4]

Degausses' must be used with care, because the fields they generate can impair or destroy other electronic equipment.[5]