DataGauss tabletop electronic media destruction unit

DataGauss fast way destroy hard drives

Near the beginning of the movie “Argo,” employees at the Iranian embassy are shown trying to destroy their files as protesters storm the gates. Ultimately they run out of time, leading to the capture of many sensitive documents. Historically, many of the records in the embassy were paper-based, while today almost everything would be stored on computer disks. So instead of incinerators and shredders, they would have been using degaussing machines, and maybe hammers.

But even when not being rushed by an angry mob — perhaps just when a drive has reached the end of its life — the secure destruction of government data, when appropriate, is always a top priority.

The new DataGauss product from Data Devices International can go a long way toward ensuring that magnetic media is securely erased. It's a tabletop unit that features automatic ejecting of media once the degauss process is complete, and it can destroy an entire drive regardless of size in just 45 seconds. Media that can be erased includes both hard drives that use perpendicular and longitudinal recording techniques up to 5,000 Oersteds and all common backup tapes.

Throughout the erase cycle, the onboard processor monitors the erase procedure to ensure that it is completed securely and efficiently and will post alerts on its LCD screen if there are any interruptions. DataGauss can be used continuously, destroying up to 70 disks per hour.

With safety in mind, and to meet the latest ICNIRP Magnetic Exposure Guidelines,  the DataGauss's field discharge duration is less than a second, and the magnetic field is designed to be concentrated completely inside the chamber.
The DataGuass is available on the GSA schedule to government customers for $2,995. It can also be rented for a week for $595, or for a month for $895. Agencies that choose to rent the unit can apply 50 percent of the rental cost towards purchase of the machine.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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