Dban - erase data

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  • Download DBan dban-2.3.0_i586.iso from https://dban.org/
  • Download DBan dban-2.2.8_i586.iso from Sourceforge. This version had more chances actually to work.

Note: DBan seems dead project from 2015, and most likely due to modern technologies like UEFI and SecureBoot that allows only signed software to load makes DBAN not working. eg. error dban can't open /proc/cmdline

Create USB


Install UNetbootin

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Plug USB drive and get it formatted

$ df -h
/dev/sda1                    1.9G   39M  1.9G   3% /media/joe/FILES
/dev/sdc1                     15G  1.9G   13G  13% /media/joe/UBUNTU 18_0

sudo umount /dev/sdc1
sudo mkfs.vfat  -I /dev/sdc1 -n 'Ubuntu20' # option 1
sudo mkfs.exfat    /dev/sdc1 -n 'Ubuntu20' # option 2
mkexfatfs 1.2.8
Creating... done.
Flushing... done.
File system created successfully.

# | -I forces mkfs.fat to work correctly allowing to create a filesystem across the entire device
# | -n (optional) -n VOLUME-NAME, sets the volume name (label) of the filesystem

Install DBAN on a USB flash drive using unetbootin

Mount USB, then replace every occurrence of ubninit with ISOLINUX.BIN in the syslinux.cfg file

sed -i 's/ubninit/ISOLINUX.BIN/g' syslinux.cfg

Replace every occurrence of ubnkern with DBAN.BZI in the syslinux.cfg file

sed -i 's/ubnkern/DBAN.BZI/g' syslinux.cfg

Your bootable DBAN usb stick is ready now.


Use rufus to create bootable usb. This method eliminates sed fix and seems not causing dban can't open /proc/cmdline error when version v2.2.8 has been used. However I was unable to erase data as DBan was unable to detect my SSD drive saying Error: Disks not found. DBAN could need a driver for this computer

Note: DBAN will boot up and data erasing will start within 10 seconds without any prompt

Erase - alternatives


Shred is pretty good because after it writes a pass of random data (the n number is how many times) it then writes zeros that forces the drive to trim and erase the data. and because it's filling the drive from start to finish it doesn't have the ability to ignore blocks leaving old data behind.

sudo dd if=/dev/urandom of=dev/sd(drive letter)/bigfilename bs =1M
sudo rm /path/to/mount/point/bigfilename
sudo shred -fvz -n1 /dev/sd(drive letter)