Good, Better, Best: Hard Drive Destruction Solutions for State and Local Governments

May 11, 2020 at 9:33 am by SEM

There are many different options in the market place to destroy hard drives. Everything from erase software, to degaussers, to many different forms of physical destruction. So the question becomes “What is the best solution for me”?

When it comes to destroying hard drives for State and Local Governments, most experts agree the best and most secure method is to degauss the drive and then use some form of physical destruction. While this combination solution is the best method, there are others that are effective that only require one step. Here are some ideas:


Physical Destruction

For most State and Local Governments, this is an entry level destruction option. You can use either use a crushing method such as a SEM Model 0101 Hard Drive Crusher or for added security, shred the drives using the SEM Model 0300 HDD Shredder.

SEM 0101 Hard Drive Crusher

The SEM Model 0101 hard drive crusher destroys all hard drives regardless of their size, format or type (up to 1.85” thick), including drives found in laptops, desktops and server systems. The Model 0101 has been tested by the NSA and is listed by the NSA as the highest performing HDD punching device making It suitable as a physical destruction solution of the DoD mandated Degauss and Destroy process. Check out a video of the 0101 here.

SEM Model 0101

 SEM 0300 Hard Drive Shredder

When it comes to the fast, safe, easy destruction of hard drives, nothing outperforms the SEM hard drive shredder line, including the SEM Model 0300. This slow speed, high torque shredder uses specially designed saw tooth hook cutters to chew up about 8 hard drives in a minute that produce a 1.5” wide particle size. That’s just 7.5 seconds per drive. The unit is designed for an office environment and plugs conveniently into standard wall outlets. Check out a video about the 0300 here.

SEM Model 0300


Degauss and Destroy

For a higher level of security, State and Local Governments may want to consider the two step process of erasing data with a degausser and destroying the media with a crusher. This would give you peace of mind that the drive has been degaussed, which renders the drive completely useless. Once the drive has been sanitized, additionally physically destroying the media makes it inoperable to 100% ensure no information can ever be accessed again. Below is our most popular option.

SEM EMP1000-HS and SEM Model 0101 Crusher

The SEM EMP1000-HS is a compact, portable, and powerful electromagnetic degausser that erases the highest coercivity magnetic media available today without the use of any adapters for onsite erasure and declassification. The Model EMP1000-HS degausser has been evaluated by the NSA and is listed on the NSA EPL for Magnetic Degaussers erasing data on 5,000 Oe longitudinal and perpendicular recorded disk drives and 3,000 Oe for tape media (includes LTO8 tape). Learn more by watching a video here.

Pair this with the SEM Model 0101 shown above and you have a good destruction solution.

SEM Model EMP1000-HS Degausser


Combine the EMP1000-HS NSA listed degausser with the Model 0101 NSA listed crusher and the iWitness end-of-life documentation tool for a Degauss, Destroy and Document Bundle to completely eliminate high security data from magnetic media in accordance with NSA and DoD guidelines.

The added iWitness will allow for documentation of the destruction process, pairing with the EMP1000-HS that has a built in verification system that works out of the box with the iWitness.


If you need to destroy hard drives, laptops, phones or any other type of electronic media, SEM has a solution to meet a wide variety of budgets. For more information on contact us today!