Will a Magnet Destroy a Hard Drive?

Will a Magnet Destroy a Hard Drive?

Hard drives use magnetism to store data. Inside your drive, there is a circular disk called a platter. The platter is coated with magnetic material and divided into billions of tiny areas that can be magnetized or demagnetized. Data is stored in the areas in orderly patterns called tracks. Each track is divided into smaller areas called sectors. The hard drive stores a map of the sectors to keep track of your data’s location and find free sectors for new information. Magnetism works well for storing data because your device can be turned off without losing any information.

Why are Magnets a Concern?

Magnets near your hard drive cause concern because of the possible interference they could cause with the read/write process on the platter. Luckily, only a very strong magnet – with a minimum of 450 pounds of force – could even begin to cause data integrity issues. Household magnets generally don’t come anywhere near that strength.

Will a Magnet Destroy a Hard Drive?

A super strong magnet would need to be wiped directly over the surface of your hard drive to corrupt the magnetic mechanisms of your drive. Even then, it still might not affect your data. Newer devices have better hard drive areal density and coercivity, making them more resistant to external magnetic fields. Flash drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are even less affected. 

That being said, you should still be cautious with strong magnets around your devices. Even if your data remains intact, powerful magnets could potentially damage other computer components.

What about Degaussing?

Safely destroy your data with hard drive destruction services  from ShredTronics

Professional data destruction can be performed using a degausser. A degausser is specially designed to destroy magnetic data using powerful magnets. Degaussing is only effective when used under controlled conditions, using correct positioning, and performed by trained professionals. However, many standard degaussers do not have the required strength to treat hard drives and meet data security standards.

If you intend to destroy your hard drive and the data it contains, the safest method is shredding. Shredding physically destroys the hard drive to prevent data recovery, and maintain privacy and security. In addition, shredding also allows the scraps from your devices to be recycled and reused in the manufacturing of new devices. Professional shredding complies with data privacy laws, providing the best data protection for you or your business.

Destroy Your Hard Drives with ShredTronics

Electronic destruction services erase your information and then shred, crush, and physically destroy your hard drive. Destruction ensures that your data is irretrievable to comply with strict data privacy laws. Moreover, our services include a certificate of destruction for your records and peace of mind that your data is safe.

Give us a call at (844) 648-4908 or fill out the form to learn more about services near you. We will connect you with local providers for your destruction project in just minutes.

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