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Tutorial

HOWTO: Use DBAN on UBCD to Wipe a Hard Drive

Contributed by Russell Phillips

When disposing of a hard drive (or a computer containing a hard drive), the data on the hard drive should be securely deleted. Formatting or re-partitioning the hard drive will not do this properly - sensitive data can still be extracted using suitable software.

DBAN (Darik's Boot & Nuke) is a utility to securely wipe a hard drive, by repeatedly over-writing the entire hard drive several times. DBAN is included on the Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD). This HowTo will describe how to use DBAN on UBCD to securely wipe a hard drive.

To start, boot from a UBCD bootable CD. This may involve changing the BIOS options to make the computer boot from CD.

Use the menus to select Hard Disk Tools, then Wiping Tools, then Darik's Boot and Nuke. Once DBAN has booted, you will be presented with the following screen:

DBAN start screen

Autonuke

The easiest option is to type autonuke, then press ENTER. This will wipe any fitted hard drives, using the default options. The progress of each hard drive will be displayed in the main, lower part of the screen. The time taken, and an estimate of the time remaining, is displayed in the Statistics box. The screenshot below shows DBAN wiping two hard drives:

DBAN running in autonuke mode

When DBAN is finished, it will display a message similar to the one below:

DBAN autonuke finished message

Interactive Mode

Interactive mode allows greater control. To start DBAN in interactive mode, just press ENTER at the DBAN start screen. When DBAN has started, you will be presented with the following screen:

DBAN interactive

Use the up/down cursor and SPACE keys to select the hard drives and partitions to be wiped. If desired, you can select the pseudo-random number generator, wiping method, verification method and rounds. Each option has explanatory text when it is selected. When you are happy with the selected options, press F10 to start wiping.

As with autonuke mode, when DBAN has finished, it will display a message. The CD can be removed and the computer powered off.

Copyright © Russell Phillips, 2007.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.