Electronic – How big a magnet do I need to wipe the portable HDD

hard drivemagnetics

According to this article, I need a really big magnet to wipe the data off my HDD. Thing is, I don't know how strong a "laboratory degausser" is, so I'll ask it in my own terms: I have a pair of magnets that would crush my fingers if I let them close on my hand. Is that likely to be strong enough to wipe the data on my damaged portable HDD before I let the repair guys fix the dinky connector between casing and drive proper? It's a sleek WD Passport that I can't open up myself without ruining the aesthetics. Don't care if they give me a new one, do care if someone gets to poke around the data in the old.

Best Answer

I doubt you'll be able to destroy your data with a magnet without opening the drive up. Inside of the drive are a pair of neodymium magnets (similarly strong to the ones you have, but just not as large), within centimeters of the platter. The drives are well shielded, so it is near (if not entirely) impossible to wipe them by waving a magnet around them.

What article are you referring to?