Make a bootable USB flash drive to wipe an old hard drive
To use a USB to wipe an old hard drive on a Windows PC:
- Download the DBAN *.iso image from http://www.dban.org/download.
- Insert a USB flash drive with 32MB+ available space.
- Download the Universal USB-Installer, which converts the *.iso image to USB flash http://www.pendrivelinux.com/downloads/Universal-USB-Installer/Universal-USB-Installer-126.96.36.199.exe
- Run Universal USB Installer, select “DBAN” from the drop down list, and follow the onscreen instructions.
- Once the USB conversion is complete, restart the computer, and from the boot menu (see computer manufacturer’s instructions for how to select a boot device), boot from the USB device.
- At the DBAN menu, type “autonuke” and let it run!
You may have heard of a utility called DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke) that will permanently wipe all the data from a hard drive before you recycle or dispose of it. This is a good thing to ensure no personal data can be recovered from the drive after disposal. DBAN can be downloaded from http://www.dban.org/download and is simple to use, but the download is a bootable CD image.
So what if you don’t have a CD/DVD drive, or the computer simply won’t boot from CD? Well, the following instructions will step you through how to make a DBAN USB flash drive to boot from, instead of from the CD.