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Information about Dban
IT Help Center
Last Updated: 11/16/05
Copyright © 2005 University of Delaware
Using Dban Disk Eraser
Dban is a free, open source disk erasing program that can be
used to securely wipe the entire contents of any computer hard drive.
You must be very careful using this tool because using it
everything on a drive--without the possibility of recovery using
any disk utility.
Completely erasing an entire disk drive is desirable when you are
discarding a computer or sending it to
If a system is being
passed on to another user, the Eraser tool
would be of better use. You can use that to securely erase data
and licensed software whilst keeping the operating system
Dban is not software that all users should run. IT recommends
that departmental CITAs and other expert users download it and
run it before a system is discarded, donated, or sent to
surplus. The main complexity comes in downloading the right
version and in checking and altering any system settings before
running the software.
Therefore, the directions here are of a general nature. If your
department does not have a CITA, contact the IT Help Center
(831-6000 or email@example.com) and request assistance.
Download the appropriate disk images from
PC (floppy and
CD/R) and Macintosh PowerPC (floppy and CD/R) versions are
available. Note to Macintosh users: system 10.3 and later
computers should be erased using Macintosh Disk Utility.
- Consult the most "Frequently Asked Questions" section of
the web site if you
need more information than is covered in this document.
If you have downloaded the floppy PC version of Dban, unzip
the files to an empty directory and run the
dban-1.0.6_i386.exe program. Use this program to create the
DBAN floppy disk.
If you have downloaded the CD/R iso file for a PC, on most
Windows XP systems from major manufacturers, you should be
able to write a CD/R by merely double-clicking the file (using
CD writing software included by the manufacturer). The CD writing
software that is part of the Windows XP operating system will not do this for you.
you need a freeware/shareware CD writing program, look for
"How do I make a bootable CD with the
ISO file?" in the FAQ files at the dban.sourceforge.net web
On a Macintosh, drag the file you downloaded onto an empty
CD and burn it using the software included in MacOS.
Boot the system with the CD or floppy already inserted.
Macintosh, hold the "c" key
down during boot to have the system boot from the CDROM.
systems, if using the CD version of Dban, make sure that the the
CDROM drive is higher
than the hard drive in the boot order settings in the system's BIOS.
Refer to your system manufacturer's web site
if you are not sure about changing BIOS options.
on-screen prompts to erase the hard drive. The process can take