Wiping a Dell Computer for Surplus

How to use DBAN to securely erase a hard drive in a Dell computer (desktop, laptop) for University Surplus and compliance with campus security policy.


Per university policy, all computers must have their hard disks wiped before they go to Surplus. Follow this quick and easy tutorial to wipe a Dell desktop or laptop.

What you'll need

+ The Dell computer with monitor and keyboard

+ A CD containing the DBAN program (ask your IT Pro or download the program here)

+ A "scrub tag" for Surplus. You can download the template here and print to Avery label paper.

Getting started

1. Get ready to tap the F12 key repeatedly.

2. Power on the computer.

3. IMMEDIATELY start tapping the F12 key. This will load the Boot Menu.

Dell BIOS

Dell boot menu

4. Once the boot menu is loaded, insert the DBAN CD.

5. In the boot menu, arrow down to "CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive" and hit "Enter" to choose it.

dell choose CD to boot


6. Wait for the software to load. At the prompt, type the word autonuke and hit "Enter."

dban menu options


7. Wait for the process to start. When it's started, you'll see this screen:

dban progress bars


8. At this point, you can remove the CD. DBAN will continue to run until it finishes.

8.5. If it's a laptop, DO NOT CLOSE THE LID.

9. When the program finishes, you'll see this screen:

dban complete


10. You can now power off the computer.

11. Attach a Surplus "scrub tag" to the computer on a non-detachable part.

12. Fill out the scrub tag with your department, your NetID, the date, and the actions taken ("Data Overwritten" in most cases).

The computer is ready to go to Surplus!




Keywords:wipe, erase, DBAN, surplus, life cycle, inventory, secure, privacy   Doc ID:65143
Owner:Allison P.Group:University of Illinois - ACES
Created:2016-07-15 10:20 CDTUpdated:2017-05-05 14:06 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois - ACES
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