How to Data Wipe a PC (Dell Data Wipe)

This article will explain how to data wipe a pc using Dell's Data Wipe option found in BIOS.

For related policy information, please visit the OBFS page on how to Dispose of Unneeded Equipment.

Note: The following procedure is for Dell computers that were purchased after November 2015. They will have the BIOS option to Dell Data Wipe the hard drive. You can also use a Bootable USB with Parted Magic to wipe newer computers but the following procedure is easier to perform.

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Data Wipe from Dell UEFI BIOS Setup

If you wish to watch a video of the following instructions click here.

Newer Dell Business Models have a feature in their UEFI BIOS called Data Wipe. The Data Wipe will allow you to carry out a Secure Wipe of your Internal Drives without third-party utilities.

To begin, power down your Dell. Then power it up and press [F2] when you see the Dell Logo to get to the UEFI BIOS Setup.

Dell BIOS - Logo

If your UEFI BIOS doesn't look like below, then you may have a newer BIOS version. Please proceed to these update instructions for newer BIOS versions.

Dell Data Wipe - General

Press the [↓] arrow (or use your mouse pointer if available) until you get to Maintenance and then press [Enter].

Dell BIOS - Maintenance

Press the [↓] arrow until you get to Data Wipe and then press [Enter]. If you have an older system without Data Wipe, you'll need to use Parted Magic to perform a Secure Wipe.

Dell BIOS - Data Wipe

Check Wipe on Next Boot:

Dell BIOS - Wipe on Next Boot

Select OK to perform the Data Wipe – this will clear the data from all internal storage devices:

Dell BIOS - Confirm Wipe

To proceed you will need to select No at the dialogue which asks Do you want to cancel this operation:

Dell BIOS - No to Cancel

Now to the bottom right, select Exit:

Dell BIOS - Exit to Wipe

The UEFI BIOS splash screen will display:

Dell BIOS - Logo 2

You’ll be taken to Dell Security Manager. Again it will ask you if you want to cancel, with the default setting set to cancel:

Dell Security Manager - Options

Use the [←] arrow to highlight Continue and press [Enter]

Dell Security Manager - Continue

It will warn you one last time, with the default option being set to Cancel:

Dell Security Manager - Last Warning

Press the [→] arrow and highlight [Erase] and then press [Enter]:

Dell Security Manager - Erase

It will now start to erase the internal drives.

Dell Security Manager - Erasing

This will take a couple of minutes for a SSD and will take several hours for a HDD.

When it is done, it will tell you Data Wipe Completed Successfully. Press [OK].

Dell Security Manager - Success

If you get an unsupported error message, your drive may not support Data Wipe - Sanitize if it is an old (<2013) SSD.  You will have to use Parted Magic to wipe the hard drive. However in this case the SSD is supported but Bitlocker has been enabled on this drive and encrypted it. Please contact Extension IT Helpdesk @ for assistance if you experience errors during this process. 

Dell Security Manager - Unsupported

Your computer will now have no data on it. You can shut it down and label it for Surplus.

As always if you run into any issues please contact the Extension IT Helpdesk at  

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KeywordsDBAN, Deletion, Surplus, Secure Erase, Sanitize, Wipe Hard Drive, Parted Magic, USB, Dell Data Wipe   Doc ID117109
OwnerShauna S.GroupUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
Created2022-03-03 12:48:35Updated2024-05-15 10:14:42
SitesUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
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