How to Erase a Hard Drive With DBAN

If you’re looking to wipe all the data from a hard disk, such as before selling your computer or to recover from a virus infection, you can use the free software tool Darik’s Boot and Nuke, or DBAN. It offers a variety of disk erasure methods based on industry standards. The program loads itself from a flash drive, floppy disk or CD, independently of your hard disk and operating system, and erases most hard disks connected by PATA, SATA or SCSI interfaces.

...
DBAN securely erases all the data from a hard drive.

Step

Download the DBAN software to your hard drive from the Darik's Boot and Nuke website (see Resources.) If you download the file with the .ISO extension, you’ll need to burn it to a blank CD-R with Nero, ISOburn or other software to create a bootable CD. If you download the file dban-1.0.7_i386.exe, double-click this program to create a bootable floppy disk or flash drive.

Step

Insert the floppy disk, bootable CD or flash drive into the computer containing the hard drive you want to erase. Restart the computer. You should see the DBAN startup screen.

Step

Press the “Enter” key at DBAN’s “boot:” prompt. Press the “M” key to see a list of erase methods. If your computer contains sensitive data, press the “K” key a few times, then press “Enter” to select the "Gutmann Wipe" option. If your computer has more than one hard drive, select the one you want to erase by pressing the up/down arrow keys followed by the “Enter” key. The DBAN software will display the word “[wipe]” next to the drive you select.

Step

Press the "F10" function key to begin erasing the hard drive. The DBAN software will display progress statistics as it works.