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Dell Latitude hard drive clean of personal information?


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Dell Latitude hard drive clean of personal information?

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How do I erase/clean the hard drive on a  Dell  Latitude D630 before returning to Dell for a replacement?

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  • DBAN

    DBAN Download | Darik's Boot And Nuke

    Darik's Boot and Nuke (dban-1.0.7_i386)


    README.TXT Contents



    1.0  About Darik's Boot and Nuke


    2.0  Installing DBAN

    2.1  Creating the DBAN boot media on Microsoft Windows

    2.2  Creating the DBAN CD-R disc on Microsoft Windows

    2.3  Creating the DBAN floppy disk on Linux

    2.4  Creating the DBAN CD-R disc on Linux


    3.0  Using DBAN

    3.1  Getting Help and Support


    4.0  Configuring DBAN

    4.1  Automatic Wiping



    5.1  Free Updates

    5.2  Contact Information


    6.0  Advanced Features

    6.1  Logging

    6.2  PRNG Seeding


    7.0  Legal




    1.0  About Darik's Boot and Nuke



    Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot floppy 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.



    2.0  Installing DBAN




    2.1  Creating the DBAN boot media on Microsoft Windows 



    Double-click the 'dban-1.0.7_i386.exe' program to install DBAN to a

    floppy disk or USB flash device.


    You must use an account with full hardware access to create the DBAN boot

    media.  This means that you must be a member of the administrators group or

    have similar privileges on your Microsoft Windows computer.  Virus scanners

    and domain policies can prevent you from creating the DBAN boot media.


    The USB booting capabilities of many computers are incomplete or broken.  Most

    computers capable of booting from a USB device require that it report a

    removable media type, and that it be unpartitioned and smaller than two

    gigabytes (so that the BIOS can boot it like a floppy disk).


    If the drive letter of your USB device does not appear in WinImage drive list,

    then it is an unsupported media type.  In particular, most USB+IDE bridge

    implementations are unrecognized, which means that a 2.5 inch hard disk in an

    external USB enclosure is incompatible.



    2.2  Creating the DBAN CD-R disc on Microsoft Windows



    If you do not have a floppy drive, or if you wish to use a CD drive or

    DVD drive instead, then get the "CDR/CDRW version" from the DBAN home page,

    which is an ISO file.


    The DBAN FAQ has a tutorial for burning the DBAN ISO on Microsoft Windows.


    If you already have burning software installed on your computer, then

    double-click the ISO file to burn DBAN to blank CD-R or CD-RW media. Keep all

    defaults for mode and emulation if you burn the ISO file with a product like

    Nero Burning ROM.


    If nothing happens when you double-click the DBAN ISO file, or if the "Open

    With" dialog that asks you to "choose a program" starts, then you do not have

    burning software installed that understands the ISO format.


    Note that CD-ROM drives manufactured before 1998 often have problems reading

    CD-R media, and will sometimes damage it.  Try to use a DBAN floppy disk on

    older computers.


    Similarly, CD-RW media is often more problematic than CD-R media.  Try to use

    CD-R media with DBAN, especially on older computers.



    2.3  Creating the DBAN floppy disk on Linux



    # unzip dban-1.0.7_i386.exe

    # dd if=dban-1.0.7_i386.ima of=/dev/floppy bs=1024


    The DBAN EXE file is a regular zip file with the WinImage SFX module prepended.

    InfoZip, which is bundled with most Linux distributions, can unpack the DBAN

    EXE file.  Ignore any offset warnings.


    If /dev/floppy does not exist on your computer, then try /dev/fd0 or

    /dev/floppy/0 instead.  This command also works on BSD systems.



    2.4  Creating the DBAN CD-R/CD-RW disc on Linux



    # cdrecord dban-1.0.7_i386.iso


    Ensure that the /etc/defaults/cdrecord file is properly configured for your




    3.0  Using DBAN



    Boot the computer with the DBAN media like you would boot a DOS startup disk or

    like you would reinstall an operating system.  DBAN cannot be started from

    within Microsoft Windows.


    Doing this often requires changing the "boot order" of the computer so that

    DBAN is started before the operating system on the hard disk is started.


    Run the built-in BIOS setup program and put the floppy drive and the CD-ROM

    drive first in the boot order. Do this by pushing <ESC>, <DEL>, <F1>, or <F2>

    when you power-on the computer. The correct button and menu changes vary

    between computers. Watch for a prompt when you power-on the computer or

    consult the motherboard documentation.



    3.1  Getting Help and Support



    First, read the frequently asked questions at:



    Second, search for an answer and then ask for help in the forum at:



    Third, send email to and ensure that you have "DBAN" somewhere

    in the subject line.  


    Include this information if you ask a question or make a support request:


      1. The DBAN release that you are trying to use. (eg: dban-1.0.7)

      2. The DBAN media that you are trying to use. (eg: floppy disk)

      3. The computer manufacturer and model information. (eg: Dell OptiPlex 170L)

      4. The exact message that you see. (eg: "DBAN failed with error 255.")

      5. Anything else that is unusual about your computer or pertinent to the

         situation.  (eg: "I am trying to hot swap my disks.") 


    Contact us if you wish to purchase a support contract.


    You are also welcome to call us directly if you have previously purchased a

    DBAN enhancement or customization, or if you have made a donation or other

    contribution to the DBAN project.



    4.0  Configuring DBAN




    4.1  Automatic Wiping



    Enter "autonuke" at the boot prompt to automatically wipe all devices in the

    computer without confirmation.






    The "A:\SYSLINUX.CFG" file is the DBAN configuration file.  You may change the

    default behavior of DBAN by editing this file after you create the DBAN floppy

    disk.  The SYSLINUX.CFG is self-documented.


    The CDR/CDRW version of DBAN must be remastered to change the SYSLINUX.CFG file

    that is embedded in the ISO file.  DBAN will fail if the ISO file is changed by

    an editor like IsoBuster.



    5.1  Free Updates



    If you wish to be automatically notified of DBAN updates, then visit:



    A similar service is provided by:




    5.2  Contact Information



    General inquiries:

    Help and support:


    All e-mail messages must have "DBAN" in the subject line.  Messages without

    "DBAN" in the subject line will be blocked by a spam filter.


    Send the DBAN log file with all support requests and do not modify the log file

    in any way. Please read the FAQ and search the forums prior to sending email.



    6.0  Advanced Features




    6.1  PRNG Seeding 



    Seeding the PRNG is optional. It is not required for DBAN to work properly.


    DBAN can load prng seeds from a floppy disk to improve the quality of

    operations that use random data. DBAN will check A:\DBANSEED for seed files

    when it starts. Seed files must be exactly 512 bytes in size, but they can

    have any name.


    (The acronym "prng" means "pseudo random number generator".)


    If you are using a Linux system, then run this command to make seed files:


    # dd if=/dev/urandom of=MySeedFile bs=512 count=1


    If /dev/urandom does not exist on your computer, then try /dev/random instead.


    If this command produces files that are smaller than 512 bytes, then your

    system entropy pool has been exhausted.  Your system will replenish its entropy

    pool over time.


    If you are using a Microsoft Windows system, then you will need 3rd party

    software to make seed files.  The Cygwin posix environment for Microsoft

    Windows can run the command given above.  Visit to

    obtain the Cygwin product.



    6.2  Logging



    DBAN will try to write a log file to A:\DBANLOG after it wipes the hard disks

    in a computer. Log files are in the tarball format. The average log file will

    be 5 kilobytes in size.


    DBAN can boot from a USB device, but it cannot write log files to a USB device.


    If you are using a unix system, then use this command to unpack the tarball:


      # tar -xzvf dban0000.tgz


    If you are using a Microsoft Windows system, then use 7-Zip to unpack the TGZ

    file.  Notepad will not display the text files in the tarball properly, so use

    Wordpad instead.




    7.0  Legal



    This software is provided without any warranty; without even the implied

    warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event

    shall the software authors or contributors be liable for any damages arising

    from the use of this software. This software is provided "as is".


    All DBAN components are subject to copyright. Please see the 'licenses' folder

    within the DBAN distribution package for additional information.




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