Put a magnet to a HDD or old floppy disk to "erase" them?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Luba, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2009
    If I put a magnet to one of those old floppy disks or to a hard disk drive would that in effect be a secure erase?

    But interesting I put a magnet on a hard disk drive platter and the magnet had no "pull" effect on it?? Perhaps the shiny silver color coating deflects the effect of magnetism??
  2. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You'll need a very powerful magnet for it to actually matter.
    Why not just erase via OS X or Windows?
  3. macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    It would screw it up, but no, it would not be a secure erase. There are ways to get the parts you didn't magnetize off.
  4. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Busting the Biggest PC Myths

  5. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Keep in mind that hard drives are enclosed in faraday cages, so the magnet wouldn't have the full effect of an exposed platter... and that would destroy the drive right then and there.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2009
    I never saw a hard disk platter up close and personal, so a friend took it out. He drilled out the special screws in HDD case and took out the platter. Interestingly, inside the HDD case there was a strong magnet in there!

    BTW, what is a faraday cage?

  7. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  8. macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Faraday Shields block electric fields NOT magnetic fields.

    A strong magnetic will "disturb" a floppy, like 5 1/4"
    A really strong magnetic will "disturb" a 3.5" floppy.
    and even stronger for a hard drive.
    I use disturb because its not necessarily erasing it.

    Just erase it using OS X or ...
    or use a secure erase tool.
    or use a drill and hammer etc and physically destroy it.

    I've got a couple I could post some pictures.

    The strong magnetic is for the voice coil head actuator.

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