How to completely wipe all of the data from your hard drive

This tutorial will guide you in using Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) – to securely wipe (delete) all of the data from your hard drive. Why would you want to securely wipe all of the data on your drive? Perhaps you’re selling your computer, donating it to charity, or recycling it. Before you do so, consider this – even when you delete files, they’re not actually removed from your hard drive. Using data recovery tools, many files can be restored from the average hard drive. In fact, even after a hard drive has been formatted, data can be recovered from it. Using DBAN “prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis”.

Please note: This guide was originally published back in 2007. Quite obviously, a lot has changed since then. DBAN still exists, and still works. With that said, the steps and screenshots used in this guide have probably changed. This article is staying online as a historical/archived document, and should be treated as such.

  1. Start by downloading the DBAN .iso to create a boot CD. If you need help creating a boot CD from the .iso file, see this tutorial.
  2. After you’ve made the boot CD, set your computer to boot from that drive.
  3. Insert the CD and boot your computer. You’ll be presented with the DBAN overview screen.

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  5. NOTE: you are now about to completely erase the contents of your hard drive, this is your last chance to back out. At the boot: prompt, type autonuke and hit enter.

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  7. DBAN will start up.

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  9. And begin to wipe your hard drive. The time it takes to completely wipe your hard drive varies depending on its size and speed.

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  11. Once DBAN has wiped your drive, you’ll be presented with a “DBAN succeeded” window. That’s it – you’re done.

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5 thoughts on “How to completely wipe all of the data from your hard drive”

  1. Thanks!

    Its a good idea to have vista (or XP in my case) on your mac. Not much need for it but it does come in handy sometimes.

    Tru Dat

  2. There is also the 35 pass Guttman wipe. ;) Though you might just end up with a pile of hard drive dust after this one….

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