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Secure Drive Erasure

The protection of University information is of vital importance. When computer systems are decommissioned, it is imperative that all personally identifiable information pertaining to students and employees alike are removed from the hard drive.  This process must be done in such a way as to prevent any future retrieval of information from the hard drive.

The IT Security Office has authorized the use of the software, Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN), a free, opensource software product that is available for download on Source Forge.  DBAN is used for the removal of data from University hard drives.

Follow the steps below to wipe a drive with DBAN:

  1. Download the DBAN .iso file.
  2. Use Roxio or similar software to burn the .iso disc image to a blank CD.
  3. Insert the DBAN CD into the optical drive of the computer that contains the hard drive to be erased and boot from the CD.
  4. Once the program has loaded, type the word "autonuke" (without quotes) and hit the enter to begin erasing all of the hard drives within the computer.

The Autonuke command in DBAN will begin a 3-pass DOD wipe on all hard drives connected to the computer and it typically enough to render all data on the drive irretrievable.

Physical Destruction
For hard drives that have physical, electrical, or mechanical defects preventing it from operating or being identified by the system BIOS, DBAN will not run. These drives must be removed from the computer and submitted to your local TSP or the HelpDesk for physical destruction. Additionally, any hard drive that contains, or may contain confidential or protected information must be sent to your local TSP or the HelpDesk for physical destruction after the DBAN process is complete.