How do I erase my Hard-Disk Drive?


Hard Disk Drives

This article outlines a method to securely erase a hard-disk drive. Simply deleting the content of a Hard-Disk Drive does not guarantee that the data will be inaccessible to anyone with future access to that Hard-Disk Drive. Accordingly, we suggest using a method that will overwrite the data with near-random data. Our preferred method involves using Darik's Boot and Nuke to overwrite the data seven times, according to Department of Defense standards.

The University of Idaho department of Records Management will provide a bootable CD upon request to UI departments for their use in eliminating all university data from their computer hard drives prior to the disposal of old computers. That CD contains Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN), a widely recognized software package that overwrites all data on the computer’s hard drives enough times that it is essentially impossible to recover any data from the disk.

Please follow the instructions below when using the DBAN CD.

Step 1:

Insert the University of Idaho DBAN CD into the computer’s CD drive.

Step 2:

Restart the computer.

Step 3:

If the computer boots up normally, and you are uncertain how to make it boot from the CD, contact your TSP.

Step 4:

When the computer has booted from the CD you should see this screen:

Screenshot of the screen that should appear when the computer has booted from the DBAN CD.

Step 5:

At the ‘Boot:’ prompt, type the word ‘autonuke’ and hit enter.

Screenshot of the boot screen with "autonuke" typed into the Boot command.

Step 6:

The rest of the process is automatic. DBAN will probably take several hours to complete, depending on the speed of the computer in question and the number and size of the hard drives it contains.

Screenshot of the automatic process running on the screen.

Step 7:

Once DBAN is completed the hard drives have been wiped and it is safe to send the computer outside of departmental or university control.

Screen displaying "DBAN succeeded. All selected disks have been wiped."


Article ID: 1507
Fri 1/3/20 3:33 PM
Wed 9/16/20 10:11 AM