Dariks Boot and Nuke (DBAN)
Wiping clean a storage device can be done from Windows, using the drive formatting option, but this may not always ensure that the data cannot be recovered.
Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) covers this need by allowing you to boot into a special environment that can erase the data on all the volumes of a disk. One of the scenarios it comes in handy is recycling a computer.
Usability and functionality
The application allows you to create a bootable USB device that contains a special environment with professional options for sanitizing the hard disks available on the system.
It destroys all the data without confirmation, regardless of their location by running special algorithms such as DoD 5220.22-M, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Gutmann, PRNG Stream or Quick Erase.
These standards write data on the hard disk several times and have different levels of efficiency. Gutmann, for instance, has 35 passes and it may take the longest to finish the job.
The application can be used to run the data wiping algorithms on multiple storage devices at the same time. According to the developer, the utility ran on a computer with 100 SCSI hard disks and limitations would depend on the PCI bus bandwidth.
DBAN may not be successful in wiping the data on all types of hard disks. However, it should work properly once it detects the hardware.
Although it includes drivers for detecting most devices, RAID implementations included, the application does not disassemble RAID volumes automatically.
Take into account that the program needs to run the wiping routines several times and this requires more time than the average user might expect, extending the operation to even more than three hours.
Darik's Boot and Nuke is not too user-friendly and working with it requires creating a bootable USB to load it from. On the other hand, it should a good job at making the disk pristine clean and ready for new use.