By Teresa / Last Updated October 15, 2020

About DBAN Disk Eraser

Darik’s Boot And Nuke (DBAN) is a free hard drive eraser and data clearing utility. With DBAN, you can delete information stored on SSDs, HDDs, external hard drives, USB flash drives in laptops, desktops or Servers. It also helps remove viruses or spyware from Windows installations. DBAN was last updated in June 2015 and does not support SSDs (SATA Secure Erase). The official website is now pushing users to use Blancco Drive Erase, a commercial drive wiping tool.

Does DBAN erase Windows? Absolutely, it will erase everything, including installed program, personal files, recovery partition and operating system on the selected hard drive. Therefore, it cannot be run when the operating system is in use.

How to Erase Hard Disk Drive with DBAN?

When to use DBAN to erase hard drive, you need to prepare an optical drive, CD/DVD or USB flash drive, as the boot device. Please note that all data are irrecoverable after erasing so please think twice before you leap.

1. Download DBAN ISO file online and burn it to a disc (CD/DVD) or a USB device. Boot the computer which installs the hard drive you want to erase from the created boot device.

2. Wait for the boot up a while and you’ll see DBAN’s main menu as below.

DBAN Main Menu

3. As the main menu instructs, you can enter quick command “autonuke” to start erasing automatically that is exactly the same thing as [dodshort], or you can press “F#” key to learn more specified instructions.

  • Press “F3” will bring you a list of quick commands as follow. Please note that all these commands will be operated without confirmation.

DBAN Quick Commands

  • Press “F1” to choose which hard drive to erase. You can make other changes as well and remember to press “F10” to save those changes after that.

4. If it works smoothly, you’ll see “DBAN succeeded. All selected disks have been wiped” message on the screen.

DBAN quick erase command makes the erasing works only with keyboard, thus ensuring a well-functioned keyboard is provided. As covered before, DBAN provides different data sanitization methods, dod, dodshort, ops2, gutmann, prng, and quick. DBAN recommends [DoD Short] erasing method if you are not sure about what to chose.

Why Need an Alternative to DBAN?

As powerful as it is, many users are searching for good alternative to DBAN. As a matter of fact, there are several factors that lead users turn their back to DBAN.

  • The main reason should be DBAN stopped update in June 2015, which makes further technical support unavailable.

  • DBAN does not support erase data on solid-state drive (SSD) because it cannot detect an SSD.

  • DBAN as a free disk erase tool does not provide a certificate of data removal for auditing purposes or regulatory compliance since it is Personal use. To access more advanced features, one needs to turn to Blancco Drive Eraser which designed for enterprise use.

  • DBAN works outside of Windows, so you need to boot it from an optical drive even if you’re erasing an external hard drive.

  • DBAN erases data with commands, which may not familiar with average computer users.

Sometimes, DBAN disk erasing will not work normally and will send a message saying “Finished with non-fatal errors” even though the wipe has not been started yet.

Better alternative to DBAN Software – AOMEI Partition Assistant

If you cannot realize using DBAN quick erase SSD, then you should try another disk cleaning tool. AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro is a reliable HDD wiping and SSD erasing tool with a user-friendly interface. It will clean disk data with no possibility to recover. To erase data on HDD, SSD, external hard drives, USB flash drives, or any second disks, there is no need to create bootable device first.

To wipe HDD and secure erase SSD, AOMEI Partition Assistant provides different arrangements, which makes it more professional at disk data clearing. It works on Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista, both MBR and GPT partition tables. To wipe HDD with this software, please refer to wipe external hard drive in Windows 10 for more information. The following tutorial will take erasing an Intel SSD as an example.

Simple Steps to Secure Erase SSD without Hurting It

Step1. Connect your SSD to a Windows 7 based computer. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional (Demo) to that computer.

Try Demo Version Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step2. Right-click the SSD you want to erase and select “SSD Secure Erase”. Or, you can choose “SSD Secure Erase Wizard” in the left side.

SSD Secure Erase

Step3. Select the SSD you want to erase here.

Choose SSD

Step4. You may find the SSD is in frozen state. Then, you’ll need a hot swap to unfreeze it. See secure erase frozen drive for specific steps, or you can click provided link in the page to learn the steps.

Frozen State OK

Step5. You should be able to erase SSD after the hot swap. Click “Next” and wait for the process to be completed.

Wait Erasing

Tips: To secure erase SSD on laptop or system SSD, please disconnect it to a Windows 7 based computer and follow the above steps.

In summary, AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro is one of the best alternative to DBAN. With this software, you can also do many other tasks. As an example, you can use SSD for OS and HDD for storage after erasing.