What is Degaussing?

Degaussing is exposing the magnetic media to a strong magnetic field in order to disrupt the recorded magnetic domains. A degausser is a device that generates a magnetic field used to sanitize magnetic media. Degaussers are rated based on the type (i.e., low energy or high energy) of magnetic media they can purge. Degaussers operate using either a strong permanent magnet or an electromagnetic coil. Degaussing can be an effective method for purging damaged media, for purging media with exceptionally large storage capacities, or for quickly purging diskettes. Degaussing is not effective for purging nonmagnetic media, such as Solid State Devices, optical media [compact discs (CD), digital versatile discs (DVD), etc.).

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Guidelines for Media Sanitization, ” Degaussing of any hard drive assembly usually destroys the drive as the firmware that manages the device is also destroyed.”

Degaussing any current generation hard disk will render the drive permanently unusable.

Onsite degaussing

Although we recommend that media destruction take place at the client’s location, many opt for onsite degaussing instead. This process involves using a portable degausser onsite. The sanitized hard drives or tape drives are then transported back to our facility for destruction.  Other than onsite shredding, the process of providing NIST approved onsite degaussing is the next best option.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Degaussing doesn’t work on SSDs. SSDs don’t store data magnetically, so applying a strong magnetic field won’t do anything. The safest and most effective way to destroy data on Solid State Drives is by physically destroying the drive. Ideally, this should happen onsite, but secure transportation to a certified electronics shredder is also an effective way to ensure full data destruction.


I just wanted to reach out and say how happy I was with the service we had yesterday. The two gentlemen who showed up were friendly and professional and it made the whole thing just a joy to be a part of. Both of them deserve raises.
Just to let you know, your guys did a great job here on Tuesday. Professional, courteous and very efficient… …We will continue to use your services here in Branchville…
Patrick and his team were Great! They were efficient, neat, organized, and very personable. I enjoyed my interaction with all of them as I was working beside them doing other tasks. We had A LOT of stuff and they pushed through like champs. I really enjoy working with people who make my day go by quickly while getting a ton done. I look forward to working with them again.
I just want to say that the gentlemen that were here this past week did a great job. Especially Joe, who went above and beyond great customer service and work ethic to complete the job within our time constraints.
The technicians we had on site were great. Their system and work flow was fast and effective.
I would again to give kudos to both Joe and Ty for the collection of items on 2/12/16. Their professionalism and dedication gives us great comfort in using BTTF for asset disposal and destruction. I would like to use your services for our 5 West Coast Offices.
Patrick is an excellent “face of the company” and very knowledgeable. [He] addressed all of the questions posed regarding what services you provide and how this pickup will be processed.

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Our Mission is Protecting our Clients from Environmental and Data Security Liabilities
with Secure, Auditable and Compliant Recycling and Data Destruction Services.