How to Erase a CD with 50,000 Volts of Electricity

By · Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Erase a CD with 50,000 Volts of ElectricityThere’s a new viral video making its way around the Internet this week that has really got our attention! In the video, YouTube user PhotonicInduction demonstrates his own unique way of erasing compact discs with high electricity. This short, visually impressive video has generated over 1.3 million views in just one week’s time.

The video begins with the camera focused on what looks like a recordable CD which is spinning at high speed. The narrator flips a switch and the CD receives a high voltage shock for 15 seconds. The sparks fly and the air sizzles as 50,000 volts of electricity pass through the spinning disc.

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the metallic layer of the disc begins to vanish, starting at the outer edge of the disc and working its way towards the center hub. When the electricity stops flowing, we can see that the disc is now just a piece of transparent plastic. Any information contained on the disc is completely and utterly gone forever.

The camera then zooms out, giving us a view of the massive step-up transformer used to produce such a high voltage charge. A second test shows the process happening again, this time from a slightly wider angle. Test 2 takes just 12 seconds to fully erase the contents of the disc.

Another video called “DVD Zapp” shows a replicated DVD disc being put through the high-voltage test. This disc receives a particularly nasty shock thanks to the alkaline batteries which are placed on the table near the disc. In the end, we see the disc has warped and distorted visibly.

The evil mad scientist behind the video does not share his real name, though his YouTube profile reveals he is a 39 year old male in the United Kingdom. Browsing through his other uploads, we can see that PhotonicInduction is no stranger to experiments involving high-voltage electricity and household items.

While these videos show an extremely cool way of erasing sensitive information from your recordable CD media, it’s not exactly the height of practicality. A Norazza Data Destroyer is a lot safer for everyday use. The Norazza machine punches thousands of tiny bumps into a disc, making it unreadable by computers and CD/DVD players. It’s a great way to keep confidential or sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Of course, 50,000 volts seems to work pretty well also!

We’ll be looking out for more great videos from PhotonicInduction in the future!

Video 1: Erase a CD with High-Voltage

Video 2: DVD Zapp

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