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. However, they vary in effectiveness, cost, and security.
Learn more about your options for hard drive disposal, and the differences between the methods with the video and transcription below. Ensure you are protecting your data with the best method of disposal by becoming familiar with each choice.
The Risks of Hard Drive Disposal
Considering the growing numbers of data breaches and hacking, the importance of safely disposing hard drives and data stored on them is increasing at an equally fast pace.
Many people know the standard procedure is to delete data before disposing of electronics. Additionally, there’s several options for going about it. On the other hand, many people don’t realize the major security and cost differences between disposal methods.
What Are the Different Hard Drive Disposal Methods?
There are three main disposal options: hard drive destruction, formatting, and degaussing.
Hard Drive Destruction
As the name implies, hard drive destruction uses an industrial shredder 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 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
Through the formatting process, this opens up more space for new files. However, a lesser-known fact is that the old reformatted data isn’t actually gone.
Formatting only erases the address tables. Although it’s difficult to locate, the reformatted data is still on the hard drive. This makes the data still recoverable.
Hard Drive Degaussing
With hard drive degaussing, a device with a powerful magnetic field neutralizes 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 to a magnetic field, it removes the drive’s magnetic properties along with the data previously 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. The lower cost and higher security of hard drive destruction 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. Through formatting, the data remains on the hard drive which means it’s still recoverable. Because of this, disposing a drive after formatting can still expose you to security risks. However, destruction services leaves nothing behind.
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. The cost of hard drive destruction service is only $4-$12 per drive and decreases as the number of drives goes up. On the other hand, degaussing equipment is both expensive and time-consuming compared to destruction. This makes 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 to destroy hard drives.
- 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 are helpful 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 destruction.
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 connect with our nationwide network of hard drive destruction and shredding professionals within minutes.