Make a DBAN bootable USB Flash Drive

Create a DBAN bootable USB using the YUMI Multiboot tool. Easily run DBAN from a USB flash drive using Windows or WINE from within Linux. Darik's Boot and Nuke is a simple bootable data destruction tool. It can be used to securely wipe an entire hard drive or an attached external disk (IDE or SCSI). It works by completely deleting all contents of the disk.

By following along, anyone should be able to install, boot and run this drive data destruction tool from a USB device.

DBAN Bootable USB Flash Drive

Here is a screenshot of (Darik's Boot and Nuke) running from a Bootable USB drive.
DBAN Bootable USB - Darik's Boot and Nuke Running from USB

  • Distribution Home Page: Project Page
  • Developer: Originally created by Darik Horn
  • Release Date: DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) was first released in 2002
  • Persistent Feature: No (Unnecessary)

What is DBAN?

DBAN, or Darik's Boot and Nuke, is a popular open sourced software designed to securely erase hard drives. It is commonly used for data destruction and disk wiping from external bootable media. Its most notable features include:

  • Secure Hard Drive Data Erasure: DBAN is known for its ability to securely and thoroughly erase data from a hard drive. It uses various methods, including different data patterns and algorithms, to overwrite existing data multiple times, making it extremely difficult or practically impossible to recover the original information.
  • Portable Hard Drive Eraser Tool: it is typically used as a portable stand alone bootable tool, meaning you can run it from a USB flash drive other bootable media without the need for an operating system. This allows you to wipe the hard drive without any interference from the operating system that was previously installed on it.
  • Multiple Disk Data Wiping Methods: It provides different disk data wiping methods, such as DoD Short, DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, and others. Users can choose the method that best suits their security requirements. The number of passes and the complexity of the data patterns used in each method vary.
  • Open Source Hard Drive Eraser: Darik's Boot and Nuke is open source software. The source code is always freely available for inspection, modification, derivation, and of course redistribution. This transparency allows security experts to review the code for vulnerabilities and anyone to contribute to its improvement, derive your own work from it, and redistribute this hard drive eraser, completely free of charge.

It's important to note that while a DBAN bootable USB is effective for general data wiping or hard drive erasing purposes, it may not be suitable for all scenarios, especially when dealing with modern solid state drives (SSDs) or certain storage technologies that have built in wear leveling and secure erase features. Users should consider the specific requirements of their data destruction needs and research the compatibility of DBAN with their storage devices.

Essentials to Make a DBAN Bootable USB

How to Create a DBAN Bootable USB Drive

To make a (Dariks Boot and Nuke) DBAN Bootable USB drive using YUMI from within Windows or running YUMI from Linux:

  1. Download and launch the YUMI Multiboot USB Maker
  2. (1.) Choose your flash drive from the drop list of USB devices.
    (2.) Select "DBAN (Hard Drive Nuker)" from the list of distributions.
    (3.) Browse to your ISO, and then click Create.
    Make a DBAN USB using YUMI
  3. Once YUMI has finished with the DBAN bootable USB installation:
    (1.) Restart your PC.
    (2.) During system post, use a hotkey to enter BIOS or UEFI.
    (3.) Set your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from your flash drive.
    (4.) Then, save your changes and proceed to reboot.
    (5.) Upon startup, you should be presented with a YUMI menu, where you can choose to boot DBAN from USB.

If all went well, you should now be booting from your DBAN bootable USB.

Notes: At least with older versions, the autonuke feature may also Nuke the flash drive and as usual, any other drive it detects. To prevent the autonuke feature from wiping the thumb drive, Pendrive Linux subscriber Lee Sonko suggests the following:

"Remove your thumb drive after the Hard Drive Nuker has loaded, but before it has started wiping drives."