How to Use DBAN

Darik's Boot and Nuke is a free data-erasing utility that can wipe your entire hard drive and overwrite everything on it with garbage data. Overwritten files are almost impossible to recover, so you can safely use DBAN before you sell your computer to ensure that no one can recover any sensitive information.

You can install and run DBAN from external media -- CDs, DVDs or flash drives.

Installing DBAN on a USB Flash Drive

Step

Open the Universal USB Installer Web page and click the Download UUI button to save the utility on your hard drive.

Downloading the USB Flash Drive utility.
credit: Image courtesy of Pendrivelinux
Selecting the DBAN settings and creating the bootable USB drive.
credit: Image courtesy of Pendrivelinux

Step

Double-click the file and click I Agree to agree to the terms and conditions and then select DBAN 2.2.X from the Step 1 drop-down box.

Step

Click Browse in the Step 2 section and select the DBAN ISO file you downloaded from the official website.

Step

Select the USB flash drive from the Step 3 drop-down box and then check the We Will Format... box to format the drive.

Step

Click the Create button to install DBAN on the USB Flash drive.

Using DBAN to Erase the Hard Drive

To avoid erasing important data from another hard disk, you can remove all hard drives except the one you want to wipe, and then reconnect the other hard drives to the computer later.

Step

Restart the computer, change the boot order from BIOS and select the USB drive as the first boot device. The DBAN flash drive is a bootable drive.

Step

Press Enter to start DBAN in Interactive Mode -- it prompts you to choose various options before erasing the drive. If you want to erase all hard drives immediately -- not recommended -- type autonuke and press Enter.

Step

Select the hard drive to erase by highlighting it using the J (Up) and K (Down) keys and pressing Space. Make sure the drive you select is the drive you want to erase by looking at its size.

Step

Press F10 to start erasing the hard drive if you are absolutely sure that you want to erase everything, and you understand that the data will be irrecoverable.