Secure Hard Drive Deletion with DBAN

When it's time to surplus an old computer, it's important to take the time to ensure that all data is wiped from the computer's hard drive. If you are disposing of a desktop, laptop please follow the steps below to remove the data from the equipment (scrub).

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

Note: Downloading and saving these files to your desktop will not delete anything. However, once you have created the USB Flash Drive or CD, inserting it into any computer will delete all data on the hard drive without any user interaction, so label them carefully. 

Create a bootable USB flash drive from the DBAN ISO

  1. Download the Rufus USB Installer onto your USB flash drive: (This will require IT to enter admin credentials to install. Please submit a ticket to to request this specific program to be installed)
  2. Click DBAN ISO for creating a bootable CD-R and choose Save. Save the file to your Desktop.
  3. Run the Rufus application (double-click). If you see a message on your computer asking to allow the program to run, click Yes.
  4. Rufus will find the USB flash drive. Under the Boot selection drop-down menu, choose Disk or ISO image (the default). Then click SELECT.
  5. When the pop-up menu appears, choose the dban iso option. You can also choose to type “dban” in the Volume label field (so you can find it later in Windows Explorer).
  6. Click Open.
  7. Click START.
  8. You will see a warning message telling you that all data will be destroyed on the USB flash drive. Click OK. Note: If you receive a message stating that the disk is in use, restart your computer and start the Rufus application again (step 5).
  9. Once you create the Rufus DBAN bootable USB flash drive, click CLOSE to finish the process.
  10. Follow the steps to wipe your data.

Create a bootable CD-R from the DBAN ISO

Note: A DBAN CD-R will require a cd drive in the machine or an external USB CD-R/DVD-R drive.

If you choose to create a bootable CD-R, be sure your computer has a CD burning program installed before downloading the ISO file.

  1. Click DBAN ISO for creating a bootable CD-R and choose Save. Save the file to your Desktop.
  2. Double-click the DBAN icon on your Desktop to open the file.
  3. Your CD burning application will launch, and you will be asked if you want to burn the disk image to a CD.
  4. Follow the prompts to burn the disk image to the CD.
  5. When complete, remove the CD from the drive; label the CD: DBAN ISO - CD WILL WIPE ALL DATA!

This CD can be used to wipe data from multiple computers.

Wipe data from a computer using the DBAN USB flash drive or CD-R

  1. Insert your new USB flash drive or CD into the appropriate drive of the machine containing the files you want to delete.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. If the computer starts up normally, it means you must alter the "boot order" of your computer's drives.  For Dell Machines, press F12 (tap the key) until you see "Preparing one-time boot menu" in the upper right corner of the screen. 
  4. Select the Drive that corresponds with the DBAN drive (CD or USB).
  5. Type "autonuke" into the prompt to begin an automated procedure to wipe your entire drive.

KeywordsDBAN, Deletion, Surplus   Doc ID109443
OwnerShauna S.GroupUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
Created2021-03-01 13:04:35Updated2023-08-29 14:51:11
SitesUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
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