By Jessie / Last update November 18, 2022

User Case

"I have tried using DBAN on a few occasions to wipe old PC(including today) I have seen it recommended over and over as a good way to do this. However, it never works for me.

I burnt the ISO to a disk, boot the PC and type the autonuke command. It runs attempts to boot but it seems autonuke doesn’t work. what am I doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!”

If you are also meet the situation DBAN autonuke not working, you can read this article to find out the reasons and solutions to fix it.

Reasons and Solutions for DBAN Autonuke not Working

There are many reasons why DBAN autonuke is not working. We have listed a few of the most common reasons below, and you can check them one by one to make sure you can use DBAN to erase disks normally.

  • Your drive is an SSD: DBAN does not work for SSD. SSD can't be detected and you need to switch to an HDD.
  • Equipment problems: You need to check whether you used a bad floppy disk, bad CD-R, bad DVD-R, or a non-bootable USB flash drive.
  • Incorrect software version: Download older DBAN version 2.2.8.
  • Security Boot is enabled: You should disable the security Boot (security > secure boot > disable) in BIOS settings.
  • Legacy mode is not enabled: You should changes the boot mode from UEFI to Legacy by enabling CSM (startup > CSM > enabled).

How to Use DBAN Autonuke to Wipe Disk

If you have understood all the above reasons and have fixed all the possible problems, then you can follow the graphic tutorial below to start using the way DBAN autonuke to clean your disk.

Step 1. Go to the official site to download DBAN and export the ISO file to USB/CD/DVD.

Step 2. Set the boot order for the bootable device containing the ISO file, then restart your computer. You will see the blue screen, then the easiest way to use DBAN is by typing autonuke and pressing enter.

Type Autonuke


Autonuke has the same function as the dodshort method which uses 3 passes when cleaning your drive(s). Therefore, if you hear someone talking about "autonuke" a drive, they are talking about the dodshort method.

Step 3. Then you will see this screen, and it begins to securely format your hard drive.

DBAN Loading


Usually, it takes a few hours to erase three times, but the exact time is uncertain, so make sure your computer is fully powered.

Step 4. When finished, you should get a screen like this below and it means the hard drive is erased successfully.

DBAN Succeed

Easier Way to Wipe Disk While DBAN Autonuke not Working

If you encounter any problems with DBAN autonuke, such as wrong DBAN autonuke mode, incorrect software version, device won't boot, etc, you can try another software as DBAN alternative to help you erase the disk safely. 

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a popular disk wiping software. It has 2 disk wiping types so that you can choose to wipe partition(s) or unallocated space on the disk as well as wipe disk directly.

As for the wiping method, it has 4 choices - Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M, and Gutmann. Both free and paid features are included, and the third one - DoD 52220.22-M can erase disk from 3 times to 7 times. Furthermore, if you pursue the most thorough erasing way, you can choose Gutmann which can wipe a disk 32 times.

Here are the specific steps below.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install, and launch it. Then click Tools > Disk Wipe.

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Disk Wipe

Step 2. Choose Wipe disk and click Next.

Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the disk you want to wipe and click Next.

Select Disk

Step 4. Select the DoD 5220.22-M wiping method and set 3 passes. Then, click Start.



If DBAN autonuke not working when you erase the disk, you can try to check if there is any problem with the device, software version, BIOS settings, etc., fix them, and then perform the disk erase.

If you want an easier way, I recommend AOMEI Backupper. The DoD 5220.22-M function can erase the disk three times as the DBAN autonuke do. You can also adjust the wiping times by yourself, ranging from 3 times to 7 times. If you want to erase the disk more thoroughly, Gutmann is a good option because it can help you erase the disk 32 times.

In addition, this software is also an excellent cloning software, you can successfully get a bootable disk after cloning. If you want to try these features, download and use them!