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Re: What is the universal (world wide) understanding behind degaussing harddisks?




On Monday, April 02, 2018 09:40:40 AM Turritopsis Dohrnii Teo En Ming wrote:
> The foremost question which I want to ask is, what is the universal
> (world wide) understanding behind degaussing hard drives?

...

> All these was last Friday. In the midst of our argument over the
> cellular network "just now", my sales manager Edward Snowden tried to
> cover up himself by suddenly and unexpectedly making an excuse that he
> had told me last Friday I was supposed to wipe user data only, not the
> operating system!
> 
> If he had wanted me to wipe user data and retain/keep the Windows
> operating system, he should simply have told me to Reset the PC (for
> Windows 10 only) or use a =secure File Shredder=! For Windows 7, you
> can still wipe user data and preserve the operating system by using
> the Recovery Partition. On Lenovo desktops, press and hold F11 when
> Windows 7 is starting and reset to factory defaults.
> 
> I had advised my sales manager Edward Snowden not to use BIG WORDS
> like "degaussing the harddisk" and market to the customer using these
> big words. Any person who sees the word "degauss" would have
> understood it to mean sanitize *ALL* data on the harddisk straight
> away and without question.
> 
> Please refer to Figure 1. Exhibit A below for the "degaussing"
> instructions communicated to me by my sales manager Edward Snowden.

To answer the question as to what is the universal understanding behind 
degaussing hard drives (i.e., did Edward Snowden give you appropriate 
instructions):

I don't think there is a universal understanding. 

If I didn't know Edward very well, I would question his technical competence, 
and ask what he really meant.  (As, to me, among other things, degaussing a 
hard drive is not a normal operation, and, as somebody else has pointed out, 
will not necessarily do the job (of cleaning all "data" (which would include 
the OS, if present) off the disk--or, not knowing how low-level formatting is 
done on hard drives anymore, if really effective, might destroy the low-level 
formatting, and absent some means to restore it, would render the drive 
totally unusable.)

If I knew Edward better, we might have developed a sort of shorthand 
conversation in which I knew that what he meant was to either (1) clean all 
user data (including the OS) off the hard drive for use, for example with a 
different OS, or (2) (maybe a synonym for nuke)--totally destroy the hard drive 
so no one could ever use it (which, for me would probably include either a 
bullet through the disks, or disassemly down to the disks which would then be 
melted in a hot fire.

I suppose, again based on us developing a shorthand, he could mean to clean off 
only the data leaving the OS, but this would be (to me) the least expected 
meaning, and we would have had to have prior discussions in which I understood 
him to be requesting this.

Again, to me, this is the most unusual interpretation of the term degaussing 
with respect to a hard drive.

Hope this helps!