This includes everything—every installed application, all your personal files, and even the operating system. To do this, you must "burn" the program to a disc like an empty CD or DVD or a USB device, and then run it from there, outside of the operating system, to completely erase the hard drive. This article is a complete walkthrough on using DBAN, which covers downloading the program to your computer, burning it to a bootable device, and erasing all the files. To start, you have to download DBAN.
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DBAN does not run on computers with bad hardware. Always give the manufacturer and model for your computer when you ask for help. More information is always better. Please read the FAQs below. You may be ignored in the forums or get a form letter from the support technician if you ask something that looks like a Frequently Answered Question. We prefer to give DBAN support in a public forum so that the conversation is archived and other people can benefit from the outcome.
By asking a smart question in the public forum you positively contribute to the DBAN project and help other people. The link points to our mirror. Copy the kernel. BAT file. Do not change the forward-slash characters to back-slash characters. Almost every burning program will burn the DBAN boot media correctly with default burning options. Just double-click the ISO file.
CD-ROM drives manufactured before cannot reliably read burned media. Any change to the syslinux. Download the dban Startup Questions How do I get the dmesg? I suspect a driver problem or bad hardware. It just boots from the hard disk. The correct button varies between computers. Watch for a prompt when you power-on the computer or consult the motherboard documentation.
Some computers will ask for a password before running the BIOS setup program. Why does DBAN hang when it tries to detect the floppy? I have a laptop computer. The laptop computer is not connected to the docking station or to the external floppy drive.
Attach a floppy drive. The floppy disk is bad. Use another. The floppy media must be in perfect condition to reliably start DBAN. Does DBAN wipe remapped sectors? Use the ATA-6 wipe method if you want to wipe remapped sectors. Most methods do not wipe remapped sectors. However, there are other erasure solutions that have the capability to detect, report and overwrite locked and hidden sectors such as HPA, DCO, and remapped sectors.
Why not now and why not by default? Some vendors are using the HPA instead of providing rescue media. Wiping the HPA would surprise and strand people that expect the HPA to have rescue materials, and it often results in OEM technical support marking and abandoning people that do it. The HPA is a low risk because it is not accessible during normal operations. DBAN defaults are chosen to best protect people with a minimal understanding of this kind of problem. This point is still open for discussion in the help forum and in the appropriate bug ticket.
Open a bug report for the incompatible target computer and provide manufacturer and model information for the hardware. How many disks can DBAN wipe concurrently? Most desktop computers will have a performance sweet-spot of four disks.
If you are building an appliance to wipe loose disks, then the most important component is a motherboard with multiple PCI buses. CPU speed and memory size are unimportant. Is it supposed to take that much time? With default options, a typical runtime on a typical disk is three or four hours, but performance varies greatly between drive and controller combinations. There is no way to reduce wipe time and still fully wipe the media. You can purchase a database of performance statistics from us to plan your consulting job.
Why could DBAN be slow? The estimated runtime will get very large very quickly in this case. Old drivers. Try the latest posted beta or pre-release if the target computer was manufactured in the last six months. Looking for the fastest possible erasure solution in the industry?
This procedure varies between RAID implementations. For alternative erasure software that has extensive hardware support, including pass-through and dismantling for RAID array. You must check whether DBAN actually detected all hard disks in a computer. Your hardware caches writes or otherwise does not implement a functional write barrier. This is likely to happen with battery-backed large-memory RAID controllers or defective hard disks.
Somebody with a lot of time, money, and brains needs to recover your data. The software that you downloaded could be bugged or trojaned. Did you check the PGP signature? These solutions are completely secure and well trusted. Once erased, the data cannot be recovered with any existing technology.
Does DBAN wipe encrypted files? Does DBAN wipe the browser history? Does DBAN wipe the cookie store? Does DBAN wipe the empty spaces between files? Does DBAN wipe the index. Does DBAN wipe the registry? Does DBAN wipe the swap file? Is the Gutmann method the best method? In a followup to his paper, Gutmann said that it is unnecessary to run those passes because you cannot be reasonably certain about how a modern hard disk stores data on the platter.
If the encoding is unknown, then writing random patterns is your best strategy. Read these papers by Peter Gutmann:.
Install DBAN to a USB Flash Drive using Windows
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Free Open-Source Data Wiping Software for Personal Use