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

Curt writes:
> I guess the only means of verifying whether your data has been
> effectively destroyed is by attempting to recover it; as the
> threat-scenarios spoken about here (by individuals) generally posit
> attackers (corporate or governmental) with more resources at their
> disposal than they have at theirs...

You also must posit the data being valuable enough to such opponents for
them to be willing to *spend* that much to get it.  I'm quite confident
that none of mine is.

> ...this task proves to be more arduous (if not nigh on impossible)
> than the destruction itself.

Heating the disks to well above the Curie point of the magnetic coating
is guaranteed to destroy all the data.  That's much easier than running
it through a National Magnet Lab sized magnet, especially since if they
are aluminum they will melt.  Glass ones are easily smashed, of course.

> I took a hammer once to an old hard drive; frankly, I don't know whether
> I killed it or not. But they don't call 'em "hard" drives for nothin',
> I'll tell ya that.

> That sucker was ornery. I pretty seriously dented it, is all of which
> I'm certain.

The cases come apart quite easily and yield useful parts such as
rare-earth magnets.  I'm quite certain that I could destroy one with a
ten-pound sledgehammer, though.
John Hasler 
Elmwood, WI USA