How to Wipe a Hard Drive Completely using DBAN

In this tutorial, you will learn to wipe the Hard Disk using the DBAN.

If you want to wipe a Hard Disk completely then you can follow the steps. Also, this process will take more time.

For any reason, if you want to erase a Hard disk, then I am telling you the process, which is easy, and you can also use VMware.

Deleting everything does not wipe a hard drive, and formatting does not usually either. You’ll need to take an extra step so the data will not be accessible again. When you format a hard drive or delete a partition, you’re usually only deleting the file system, making the data not visible, or no longer actively indexed, but not completely deleted. A file recovery program or special hardware often recovers the information.

If you will use this method then nobody can get the information on this Hard Disk again using any software.

The software which I am telling you that is DBAN Download

Downloading DBAN

Step 1: Firstly, you have to download the DBAN program. So you can click on the below link.

After clicking on the Download DBAN, it will take you to the Source Forge website on the DBAN page, then you have to click on download and it will start downloading.

Source Forge Webpage for DBAN

It is a small program of 15-20MB ISO files. And now you have to burn it on CD Disk or make a bootable Pendrive.

Downloading Win32 Disk Imager

Step 2: Secondly, you have to burn it on CD/DVD or make a bootable flash drive to work it properly. You can use Win32 Disk Imager or on Linux, you can follow the steps on How to create a bootable stick.

So you can install this Win32 Disk Imager on a Windows computer and then you can make the bootable drive.

Source Forge webpage for Win32 Disk Imager

Restarting the Computer Using the DBAN bootable media

Step 3: Restart and boot into the DBAN disc or USB device. Insert the disc or plug in the USB device that you burned DBAN to in the previous step, and then restart your computer.

Warning: Please follow the steps with full attention otherwise you may wipe your disk completely and this process can’t reverse.

This program is designed to use keyboard only.

If the function keys aren’t working for you, be sure to hold down the Fn key first, and then select the function key (F1, F2 …….) that you want to use.

It will take some time and you will see the option like the below picture.

DBAN first Screen

Here, You can use a command or you can use interactive mode. When you use the command mode, it will start erasing the connected drive using the preset commands. So, I recommend using the interactive mode.

There are the F2 and F4 keys that you can use to read more.

Command Mode in DBAN

If you don’t want to keep anything with all the drives which are connected then you can go for F3 or autonuke.

dod – DoD 5220.22-M
dodshort – Same as dod except only 3 passes are run instead of 7
gutmann – Gutmann
prng – Random Data
quick – Write Zero
You can also use the autonuke command, which is the same thing as dodshort.

gutmann will overwrite the files with a random character, and do so up to 35 times, and quick will write zero and only do it once.

DBAN recommends using the dodshort command. You can use any of them that you think is necessary, but if you are using gutmann, then it will more time to complete.

Type one of these commands into DBAN to start wiping all your hard drives with that specific data wipe method. But if you want to choose which hard drives to erase, and you want to customize the wipe method, then you can use interactive mode.

Interactive Mode in DBAN

It is the mode which I recommend. So press the Enter key to go into interactive mode. This method lets you customize the wipe process. To get into this method you just have to press the Enter key.

Pressing the J and K keys will move you up and down a list, and the Enter key will select an option from a menu. As you change each option, the top left of the screen will reflect those changes. In the middle of the screen is how you choose which hard drives you want to erase.

Pressing the P the key will open the PRNG (Pseudo Random Number Generator) settings. There are two options, firstly, Mersenne Twister and secondly, ISAAC, but I recommend keeping it default.

Selecting the letter M, help you choose the wipe method you want to run. DBAN recommends choosing DoD Short if you’re not sure.

When you press the letter V opens a set of three options you can choose from to define how often DBAN should verify that the drive is empty after running the wipe method. You’re able to disable verification entirely, turn it on for the last pass only, or set it to verify the drive is empty after each pass has finished. I recommend selecting Verify Last Pass, So it will keep verification on but It is not required to run after each pass, Which will make the process slow.

You can choose how many times the chosen wipe method should run by opening the Rounds screen with the R key, entering a number, and pressing ENTER to save it. Keeping it at 1 will run the method once, And also it will be enough to erase everything securely.

Finally, you have to choose the drives you want to erase. Move up and down the list with the J and K keys, and press the Space key to select or deselect the drives. The word wipe will appear to the left of the drives you choose.

Using F10 to start Erasing

Step 4: If the setting is okay, then you can press the F10 key to begin wiping the hard drives immediately.

Step 5: As per the result, it will start wiping but this process will take time and you can see on the right side on top.

Final Step: Once DBAN has finished the data wipe of the selected hard drives, you’ll see this DBAN succeeded message.

After it, you can remove the CD/DVD or Pendrive. It has wiped the drive successfully. It can’t be recovered now.


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  1. Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this website contains awesome and truly good material in favor of readers.

  2. I am so grateful for your post. Really thank you.

  3. I get the help with this article, I got the solution but the process is very slow. It took 6 hours for 512 GB HDD.