Well if DBAN doesn’t cut it for some reason there’s always a more native Linux way to do this.
Step one is getting a Linux live CD, DVD or USB stick and boot from that. I used the Debian Live CD myself, which boots into character mode so you don’t end up with XServer not getting your video settings right.
Once you’re in a shell, you can use the shred command to wipe your HD’s data by overwriting it a number of times with random data. I found that out by reading a post by a lad named Jason on the topic which was a nice help. I only had to add the “sudo” call in front of the command to actually allow it to get write access to the disk on Debian.
First figure out what partition/drive you want to wipe by running:
Then, in my case, I had to run this to wipe sda:
sudo shred -fvz -n 6 /dev/sda
-fvz basically means, [f]orce write permissions, [v]erbose output so you can see the wiping progress and write [z]ero’s on the last run to hide the wiping.
-n 6 tells it to do 6 runs of random data writing.
Using DBAN is still the easier way to get this done, but if that’s causing you trouble you can use this as a backup wiping measure.
Photo by Hugo Chinaglia, cc-licensed.