Degaussing and Frequently Asked Questions
Why is degaussing considered to be the best way to erase data from hard drives and tapes?
Degaussing eliminates data physically (not via software) from the hard drive platters or tape film by producing a magnetic field sufficient to neutralize the magnetic particles. Sanitization methods such as overwriting, secure erase, shredding, physical destruction or encryption leave data that could potentially be recovered through software or laboratory methods available now or in the near future. Degaussing with a machine that produces sufficient field strength produces permanent erasure. Data on degaussed media is gone and cannot be recovered with existing or future technology. Visit our White Paper section for more in-depth information about the degaussing process.
Will degaussing erase data contained on solid-state hard drives (SSDs) used in laptops and tablets, flash drives, USB thumb drives, etc.?
No, solid-state drives and other flash media do not use magnetic technology to store data. Instead, the data is stored on memory chips, which must be physically destroyed. Piercing the drives to break the chips eliminates data, as long as all chips are destroyed.
Where are Garner’s degaussers and physical destroyers made?
Garner’s degaussers and destroyers are wholly made and manufactured in the USA. We start with raw materials which we machine into parts and then assemble into final products in-house. For more information on how we make the magic, read our Made in America article.
How do I know if my Garner degausser is working according to factory spec?
Each Garner degausser has an internal field checker. If the unit does not produce full gauss as per factory spec, the internal field checker mechanism will alert the user with an error message clearly visible on the display screen. The unit will not degauss until the error is resolved.
How do I get an external certification that my Garner degausser is working according to factory spec?
If you need an "external" certification for compliance, you can do one of three things:
- Send the unit to Garner for re-calibration certification.
- Use an FW Bell 5180 gauss meter with an axial probe. Contact Garner for instructions on how to properly measure.
- Garner offers a Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) verification service. Contact Garner to arrange.
Is the magnetic field generated by a Garner degausser safe?
Yes. The magnetic pulse generated by a capacitive discharge degausser, like Garner’s, is extremely brief, less than 50 milliseconds. The capacitors store energy until they have a sufficient charge, and then release that energy in a pulse, like a flash on a camera, to erase the data. A person operating Garner’s TS-1XT degausser continuously for 8 hours would be exposed to less than 1% of the recommended magnetic field limit as identified by the leading authority, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
Where can I purchase Garner data elimination equipment?
You can purchase directly from Garner or through our extensive network of dealers and distributors around the world. For more information, contact Garner by email at email@example.com or by phone at 800-624-1903.