Tape Sanitization

There are a number of options available to destroy the data on your tape media – some will preserve your ability to use the tapes while others are destructive processes that either destroy the tape or render it useless.

Data Sanitization methods, such as our Secure Tape Erase, Overwriting, or Degaussing services, address the thorough erasure of data from each tape. Data sanitization methods do not address the physical tape cartridge, except that in the case of degaussing the tape is rendered unusable.

Data Destruction methods, such as shredding or incineration are effective in destroying the tape cartridge itself but may not thoroughly address the need for data erasure of highly sensitive data.

Learn More About our Tape Destruction Services

The correct option for you could likely be a combination of these service options:

Secure Tape Erase

Using a proprietary hardware solution, we are able to fully erase all data on each LTO and 3592 tape in a fraction of the time required by an overwrite.

Provides a great alternative to an overwrite as it provides the speed and security of finely tuned degaussing with an end-to-end erasure more thorough than an overwrite — without damaging the tape servo tracks.

Secure Tape Erase Benefits:

  • Tapes are benchmark tested to evaluate for age, wear from usage, data errors, servo errors in order to guarantee the tape’s fitness for re-use within your production environment
  • Redeployed tapes can be cleaned, reconditioned, and re-tensioned to maximize future performance of your tape system.
  • Optionally, we can offer trade-in credit towards the purchase of newer generation tapes, or whatever your next project calls for, to help lighten your budget pressures.

Need help approving this process through your compliance team? We can assist you with procedure documentation and can provide third-party forensic verification of complete data erasure.

LTO Erase service is available on-site, across multiple locations, or off-site.

Click Here to Learn More About the Our Ground-Breaking LTO Erase Process


The overwrite process for tapes is similar to that of HDD’s – the tapes are overwritten from end to end to clear the tape of any and all data. Because this is such a time-intensive process, handling a large quantity can derail your team’s resources – putting other, more critical, projects behind schedule.

Our team is experienced at handling large quantities of tape, often across multiple locations. We will perform a Dual Verification Audit of all tapes at each of your locations. We offer several secure transport options to ensure a clear chain of custody as the tapes are brought to our facility for overwriting.

Due to the hardware and time required, the Overwrite service is typically available only as an off-site service.


Bulk erasure and degaussing are highly effective in erasing all data on tapes but render most modern tapes useless afterwards. If the tape media contains magnetic servo tracks (such as LTO) these servo tracks will be destroyed, rendering the tapes unusable.

Tape degaussing is available on-site, across multiple locations, or off-site.


The ultimate destructive process – the physical shredding or incineration of the tape media. We strongly recommend that this be performed ONLY AFTER the data has been fully erased from all tapes. Once the tape has been degaussed, erased, or over-written, then the physical tapes can be safely destroyed.

Why Erase Before Destroying?

As tape capacity grows, the amount of data that can be present on even a small fragment of tape leftover from shredding can be considerable and, more importantly, recoverable!

As linear and track densities increases, the maximum allowable size of tape fragments continue to shrink even further. This allows forensic techniques such as magnetic microscopy to recover data from tape fragments in ever-shrinking sizes.

Destruction can be performed on-site, across multiple locations, or off-site.

Recycling Option

For tapes that have been properly sanitized – we urge you to consider an environmentally responsible option for the disposal of the physical tape cartridges.

Our de-manufacturing process recycles 98.5% of the tape material. Each tape is completely disassembled down to its component levels. All metal and plastic components (including the tape film itself) are sorted, cleaned, and processed so that the component material can be used again for other products.

All work is performed domestically at facilities rated to ISO 14001 environmental standards.