Hard Drive Wipe
2 Minute Miracle


Many people have old computers they want to get rid of, but it is important to make sure personal information is removed before discarding the computer. Simply erasing is not enough. Some data recovery software may make it possible to retrieve the data if you just hit the erase key. In this tutorial, we will explain how to completely wipe data off the hard drive of your computer. When you have completed the steps below you can rest assured your private data has been completely destroyed.


  1. A blank CD
  2. A copy of Darik's Boot and Nuke (available at http://www.dban.org)
  3. A PC with a CD burner (or DVD burner)
  4. CD/DVD burning software (Ahead Nero, Roxio Creator, etc.)


Get Darik's Boot and Nuke

  1. Visit http://www.dban.org and click on the "download" option.
  2. Under "Preview Releases" click on the link for the latest software and tell it to download to your desktop (i.e. "save" instead of "run").
  3. Once you have it downloaded, you will need to burn it to a blank CD. Follow the directions for the CD burning software you have on your computer.


Please note that you will want to back up your data BEFORE starting this process. Once you start the wipe, any and all data that you had on the PC will be gone!

Geek Squad recommends purchasing an external hard drive for backups, looking into an online backup solution, and/or speaking to a data backup professional (COUGH COUGH Geek Squad Agents COUGH COUGH).


  1. Place the disk into the CD/DVD drive in the computer you wish to wipe.
  2. Reboot the machine, and boot to the disc. You may need to go into the BIOS to set the PC to boot from the CD/DVD drive, or use a temporary boot option to select "Boot from CD".
  3. When the disk loads press "enter" and choose "M" to get to the method screen. Note that the stronger the method you use, the longer it will take for the software to complete the wipe. This can take hours to days in some cases.
  4. After selecting the method, then select the drive you wish to wipe.
  5. Have you backed up all your data yet? No? Then go back and back it all up first.
  6. Once your data is backed up, press F10 to start the process.
  7. Allow the software to complete the process before turning off the machine.

Watch The 2 Minute Miracle

Need More Help?

If you didn't get the results you were hoping for or the just the thought of "booting into the BIOS" gives you nightmares, don't worry  our highly skilled and fashionable Agents are standing by.

Chat with an Agent online, by phone at 1 800 Geek Squad (433-5778), or at a Geek Squad Precinct inside a Best Buy® store near you.