By Lily / Last update October 25, 2022

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About DoD wiping method

DoD 5220.22-M (DoD standard) is a data sanitization method first published in US Department of Defense document #5220.22-M. It specifies a process of overwriting hard disk drives (HDDs) with patterns of ones and zeros. Learn more about DoD disk wipe from the following FAQs:

How many passes is a DoD wipe?

DoD standard is a 3-pass wiping method. It overwrites all addressable locations on your hard drive with binary zeroes, binary ones, and a random bit pattern from the first pass to the third pass.

DoD 5220.22-M ECE, the extended version of DoD 5220.22-M, is a 7-pass method.

How long does a DoD wipe take?

It depends on your hard drive capacity greatly. Sometimes the interface type also has effect on wiping speed.

Can data be recovered after a DoD wipe?

A DoD wipe will prevent all software-based file recovery methods as well as most (if not all) hardware-based recovery methods from lifting information from the drive.

Can I wipe an SSD via DoD 5220.22-M?

You may not use DoD to wipe an SSD due to different structures of an SSD and an HDD. If you want to delete all data on an SSD, learn how to erase an SSD securely here.

Best DoD wipe tool for HDD/USB drive secure erase

To run DoD secure erase for a hard drive, you need a reliable disk wipe tool - AOMEI Backupper Professional. You can benefit a lot from its following features:

  • It offers you four wiping methods: Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann, which meets different levels of secure erasure.
  • It can help you wipe not only HDDs but also USB drives and SD cards.
  • It enables you to create bootable media so as to perform bootable disk wipe.
  • All Windows PC operating systems are supported, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

Wanna have a try? Download and install the best DoD wipe software on your PC now.

Download Free TrialWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(💡 You can only preview the wiping process in the trial version. To conduct the operation, please upgrade to the full version.)

How to run DoD hard drive wipe in Windows 11/10/8/7 easily

Please note that your data can’t be recovered after wiping, so backup files that you still need in advance. Now follow the steps below to use DoD to wipe a hard drive:

Step 1. Connect the hard drive to your computer if you are going to wipe an external HDD.

Step 2. Run AOMEI Backupper. Click Tools and choose Disk Wipe.

Disk Wipe

Step 3. On the Wiping Type page, choose Wipe Disk and click Next.

Wipe Disk

Step 4. Select the disk that you want to wipe and click Next. If you choose to wipe the system disk, the operation will be performed in reboot mode.

Select Disk

Step 5. Choose the DoD 5220.22-M wiping method and specify the rewrite times. You are allowed to set 7 passes at most. Finally, click Start to begin DoD secure erase.

DoD Wiping Method

Tip: The wiping process can take several hours to complete, depending on how much data you have on the disk and how many passes you set to run DoD disk wipe. Make sure that your computer has enough power to complete the process.

Wrapping things up

You have learned what DoD 5220.22-M is and how to do DoD hard drive wipe step by step from this page. The professional disk wipe tool - AOMEI Backupper makes the disk wipe operation extremely simply. What’s more, AOMEI Backupper is superb disk clone software that can help you clone hard drive via Command Prompt. Try it out to discover more!