By Jessie / Last update June 14, 2022

User Case

“I'm trying to securely wipe a hard drive on a laptop. I followed the instructions to burn the DBAN ISO to a USB key with "ISO to USB" programme, and I selected the USB from the boot menu before Windows started.

All I got was a black screen with "Operating System not found". Am I missing something and are there any other ways to fully wipe a drive from a USB other than DBAN?”

If you also encounter the problem DBAN not booting from USB, this article will show you how to fix the problem and offer you a simpler alternative. You can read on to find the answers.

Reasons and Solutions to DBAN not Booting from USB

There are various reasons why DBAN not booting from USB, the following are some common reasons.

  • The incorrect boot order in BIOS: The first reason is you don’t set USB as the first boot order in BIOS.
  • Can’t find "USB devices" boot order list: If your computer was made around 2001 or before, it may not have this feature. Or in some BIOS versions, USB devices are referred to as "removable devices" or "external devices".
  • Not removing other USB devices: If you have multiple bootable devices plugged in at the same time, the computer may just boot to the wrong device. The easiest solution is to remove all USB storage devices except the one you are using now.
  • Switching to another USB port: The BIOS on some motherboards only checks the first few USB ports. Switch to another USB port and restart the computer.
  • Not updating the motherboard's BIOS: If your computer is older, the BIOS version may not support booting directly from a USB device. Try to refresh the BIOS and check this feature again.

How to Boot DBAN from USB and Wipe Disk

DBAN, also known as Dariks Boot and Nuke, is a free disk erasing software for Windows systems. It can erase the entire hard drive, whether it is system data or some other data. If you have checked all the reasons mentioned above for why DBAN not booting from USB, you can start wiping your disk with this software by following the graphic tutorial below.

Step 1. Go to the official site to download the DBAN program and export the ISO file to USB.

Step 2. Set the boot order for the bootable USB containing ISO file, then restart your computer. You will see the blue screen, and press the “ENTER” to start DBAN in interactive mode.

DBAN Interactive Mode

Step 3. Then you will see the erased hard drive on the screen, and type “M” to know the different wiping methods.

Disks And Partitions

Step 4. Select the wiping method you need.

Select Wipe Method

Step 5. Choose the hard drive you want to erase, and then click “Space”.

Wipe Disk

Step 6. Push “F10” to start the wiping process, and then you will see the hard drive is erased successfully.

DBAN Succeed

DBAN UEFI Alternative - AOMEI Backupper

In general, DBAN can meet the needs of users who want to erase their disks. But, sometimes it may fail to boot from USB. If you meet this situation, you can find out the reason and fix it. You should also pay attention to some details when you use this software.

  • DBAN doesn’t support erasing SSD, as the software can’t recognize SSD.
  • It can only run when the operating system is not in use.
  • It operates using quick command instructions, therefore many users may feel difficult to operate.
  • It has not been updated since June 2015, its compatibility may have decreased and some newer drives may not be supported.

Due to these problems mentioned above, many users are looking for a DBAN UEFI alternative. For example, AOMEI Backupper Professional is a good choice.

This software allows you to erase the disk while the system is running, so that you can still work normally with your computer when the disk is erasing. You can select partition, unallocated space or the entire disk to erase. And there are four different erasing methods, including Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M and Gutmann.

Besides, if you don’t have a bootable USB, you can also use this software to create a bootable disk. It allows you to erase the disk without booting the system.

How to Wipe Disk Easily in Windows 10

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

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Disk Wipe

Step 2. Choose the Wipe Disk option, and click Next.

Choose Wipe Disk

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

Wipe Data Select Disk

Step 4. Click the first option “Fill sectors with Zero” and then click the “Start”.

Wipe Method

Notes: If you want a more thorough approach,  you can choose the following methods:

  • Fill sectors with random data: If you want a more thorough way than the first one, you can choose it.
  • DoD 52220.22-M: This method erases the disk more thoroughly than the previous one, and you can set erasing times by yourself, the upper limit is seven.
  • Gutmann: It is the most thorough way, which can wipe a disk 32 times.

Summary

When you encounter the situation that DBAN not booting from USB, you can choose to check what's wrong with it and fix it, or you can choose to use the DBAN alternative - AOMEI Backupper to help you. I recommend you to choose the alternative method. Since you can not only use your computer normally while erasing the disk, but also create a bootable disk and then erase the disk without booting into Windows. 

In addition, it is also an excellent backup software that you can use to back up the important files before erasing. If you are interested in this software, download and use it!