Proper destruction of e-records

By Bret Adams, Government Information Analyst

What should you do with those CDs, DVDs, and hard drives in old computers and certain copy machines?  Proper destruction of such records media, when eligible, includes degaussing, overwriting, or physical destruction.  Should you take several magnets off your refrigerator and rub them on the items?  Should you attempt to change the binary characters yourself?  Should you perhaps place them in a vice, tighten the screw, and smash it to bits with a ball-peen hammer?

Not so.  DIR (Department of Information Resources) offers an area and equipment to take care of this extremely important task.  For example, they have a machine that sends an electro-magnetic pulse through the drive and then punches four metal spikes through it to ensure the storage device is both erased and inoperable.  What about laptops which sometimes pose a challenge by being difficult or unable to remove the hard drive?  No worries.  They have a machine from which you can connect the laptop to and overwrite the hard drive.

You may contact either Kevin White (Kevin.white@dir.texas.gov ) or Robert Schneider (Robert.schneider@dir.texas.gov) for information pertaining to the use of DIR’s equipment.  Contact us (slrminfo@tsl.texas.gov or 512-421-7200) for further information regarding electronic records requirements.