You have three main options when it comes to deleting hard drive data. Hard drive destruction, formatting, and degaussing are can all be useful forms of deleting old data; but they vary in effectiveness, cost, and overall security.
Learn more about your options for hard drive disposal and the differences between the different methods with the video and transcription below. We will cover cost, security, and the process of hard drive destruction. Ensure you are protecting your data with the best method of disposal by becoming familiar with each choice.
The Risks of Hard Drive Disposal
Especially considering the growing numbers of data breaches and hacking today, the importance of safely disposing hard drives and the data stored on them is increasing at an equally fast pace.
Most people know that the standard procedure is to delete data before disposing of electronics, and while there’s several options for going about it, what many people don’t realize is that there are major security and cost differences between the different hard drive disposal options.
What Are the Different Hard Drive Disposal Methods?
There are 3 main disposal options used today: hard drive destruction, formatting, and degaussing.
Hard Drive Destruction
As the name implies, with hard drive destruction an industrial shredder is used to reduce drives and other electronics to pieces. Hard drives can be destroyed using a mobile shredding truck equipped with a hard drive shredder, or instead can be picked up and taken to an offsite facility for destruction.
Typically hard drive destruction costs between $4-$12 per drive, and as quantity increases the price per drive goes down.
Hard Drive Formatting
It’s true that more space for new files will be cleared out when a hard drive is formatted, however another lesser-known fact is that the old reformatted data isn’t actually gone. When a drive is formatted o
nly the address tables – in other words the locations – for where the files were stored on the disk are erased, and although that makes files much more difficult to locate, the reformatted data is still on the hard drive and can nevertheless be recovered.
Hard Drive Degaussing
With hard drive degaussing, a device with a powerful magnetic field is used to neutralize – in other words erase – the magnetic media on the device. When a hard drive platter spins under a read/write head it generates small pulses of electricity that magnetize the platter surface as they pass through. By exposing the drive to another strong magnetic field, the drive’s magnetic properties are removed along with the data previously stored on the drive.
What Makes Hard Drive Destruction the Best Disposal Option?
Among the three methods for hard drive disposal, destruction provides the best balance between security and cost. With the need to fully delete/destroy data, but without breaking budgets, the lower cost and higher security of hard drive destruction compared to other disposal options can help provide a solution for both requirements.
Hard Drive Destruction versus Formatting & Degaussing
Hard Drive Destruction vs. Formatting
The primary difference between using hard drive destruction versus formatting for disposal is security. Since formatted data remains on the hard drive and can potentially be recovered, disposing a drive even after formatting can still expose you to security risks whereas with destruction there isn’t even a device to try recovering data from.
Hard Drive Destruction vs. Degaussing
When it comes to the side-by-side comparison, one of the main differences between hard drive destruction and degaussing is cost. While the cost of hard drive destruction service is only $4-$12 per drive and decreases as the number of drives goes up, degaussing equipment is both expensive and time-consuming compared to destruction – making destruction especially valuable for bulk disposals.
How Hard Drive Destruction Works
- Collect and Schedule: The first step in the destruction process is to collect hard drives and schedule a date for hard drives to be destroyed either on or off site.
- Destroy on or off site: On the scheduled date for on-site destruction, a truck equipped with an industrial hard drive shredder will come to destroy them at your location. With off-site destruction, materials are picked up to be transported to and destroyed at a shredding facility.
- Certificate of Destruction: After hard drives are destroyed, providers give formal certificates of destruction. They can be used for legal proof of compliance and include details like witnesses or where and when the destruction took place.
- Recycle hard drive parts: Finally, in order to comply with EPA and state hazardous waste disposal requirements, hard drive destruction providers recycle the raw materials after they have been destroyed.
Are you Disposing of Your Hard Drives Safely?
Join Apple, Amazon, and countless other companies and individuals who we’ve helped to find secure options for disposing of old hard drives and electronics when you visit us at Shred Nations today.
Find Hard Drive Disposal Solutions with Shred Nations
Ensure that you are deleting hard drive data safely and completely with our hard drive destruction services. We offer irreversible destruction methods at affordable prices.
Fill out the form, gives us a call at (800) 747-3365, or contact us directly with the live chat to get connected with our nationwide network of hard drive destruction and shredding professionals within minutes.