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Office of Information Technology (OIT)

UT Arlington
OIT: Office of Information Technology

helpdesk@uta.edu ·  Work Order · 817-272-2208 · System Status

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Using DBAN

Description:

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

DATA ERASED USING DBAN IS NOT RECOVERABLE. USING THIS DISK WILL ERASE ALL DATA OFF ALL HARD DRIVES ON THE MACHINE.

Contact the Help Desk if you need assistance with this product or with erasing a hard drive.

How to Get:

Download software from http://dban.org/download.  There are two versions, one for Intel/AMD (PC's) and one for older PowerPC Apple computers.  Unpack the zip file, and burn the ISO fie to CD.

It is possible to create a usb jump drive instead of the CD.  This only works on machines that support booting from an external USB device.  Information for using this tool is available at http://www.pendrivelinux.com/install-dban-to-a-usb-flash-drive-using-windows/ and has been successfully used by OIT.  OIT does not support the tool, but has found it useful.  The same considerations in using it apply to using the DBAN cd.

How to Use:

  1. Before use:
    • Make sure all external hard drives are removed.
    • Make sure all USB thumb drives are removed.
    • This erases ALL internal hard drives connected to the machine.
    • It MAY or MAY NOT erase removable drives attached to the machine.
  2. Boot the computer from the CD drive, with the DBAN CD inserted.
  3. At the prompt, type one of the following:
    1. autonuke -- Preforms a DOD level 3 wipe -- Sufficient for most cases
    2. dod -- Preforms a DOD level 7 wipe, slower but more secure
  4. Wait for machine to finish.  When done, it will eject the CD and prompt you to turn off the computer.

Known Issues:

Currently, DBAN PPC version does not support G5 machines.  Use of the Apple Disk Utility is recommended in these cases.  G4 have been successfully erased using the PPC version.