Completely erase a hard drive with DBAN

completely erase hard drive
completely erase hard drive

Last updated: July 3, 2022

You may not have known it yet, but When you format a hard drive, the data is not erased permanently ! Any data recovery program will be able to recover a large part of this data without much problem.

To resolve this problem, DBAN allows several methods to effectively delete files on your hard drives.

What is DBAN?

Darik's Boot and Nuke also known as DBAN is a free software which allows you to securely delete all contents of a hard drive until it is no longer recoverable.

It uses the safest and best known methods to permanently and completely erase every octect containing personal information on your hard drive. More precisely, DBAN uses the methods Mersenne Twister et Gutman.

DBAN is a bootable utility, meaning it works alone without an operating system. Simply install it on a USB stick or burn itISO image on a DVD and start your computer with it to access the program and securely erase your data.

How to completely erase a hard drive with DBN?

Downloading and creating a bootbale key

First of all, download Darik's Boot And Nuke.

Then you have to create a bootable USB key with the tool Rufus.

Now that you are armed with your USB Boot Drive, insert it into the computer you wish to erase.

Start your PC on the USB stick

To boot the computer from your USB stick, you will need to access your machine's BIOS and change the order of priority of machine startup. The handling may differ from one PC to another.

In the case of an HP PC here is how change the boot order:

  • As soon as your operating system starts up, keep hold down the "F2" key in order to enter the BIOS.
  • Press the RIGHT ARROW key to scroll to select Boot (Start-up).
  • Press the DOWN ARROW key to select Boot Order.
  • Use the F5 or F6 key to change the order.
  • Press the F10 key to save the changes and restart the computer.

Launching the DBAN tool

Once you have booted from your USB key, you should arrive at the main menu. Push the button " Starter"

You will now be able choose the hard drive to erase. Using the arrows, you must choose the formatting method. Press the key Space.

Then press the r to choose the number of passes of the secure formatting function. Enter the number 8 and press Starter.

Using the arrows, choose the hard drive to erase and press the Space key. The disk is marked as “ Wipe"

After all the changes, don't forget to press F10 to start formatting.

You have been warned!: once the formatting is started ... it will be irreversible. It will no longer be possible to recover the data.

If it works correctly, you will see “DBAN succeeded. All selected discs have been erased” on the screen.