Create a Bootable DBAN USB Pen Drive

We have previously covered an article on how to wipe your hard disk using the Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) CD. This requires burning the downloaded ISO disk image onto a blank CD and booting off this DBAN CD. But many people do not like to boot from the CD, because CDs are slower compared to USB drives. Also many people do not have the optical drives in their computer. In both cases, you can easily create a bootable DBAN USB thumb drive and boot from this USB drive to wipe your hard disk. Here is how :

  1. Download the Darik’s Boot and Nuke ISO image from At the time of writing this post, the downloaded file is dban-2.2.7_i586.iso. The file name can be different for newer versions, but it does not matter.
  2. Download Universal USB Installer from The downloaded file is Universal-USB-Installer- at the time of writing this post.
  3. Insert a USB pen drive and let Windows detect it. The inserted USB pen drive must have at least 50 MB free on it. It is better to backup the data on your USB drive before you use it for DBAN.
  4. Run Universal USB Installer file that you downloaded in step #2 above.
  5. Choose DBAN 2.2.X from the drop-down listbox. Then click on the Browse button and choose the ISO disk image file that you downloaded in the step #1 above. Lastly, select the USB pen drive letter from the list.

    Create a Bootable DBAN USB Pen Drive

  6. The inserted USB pen drive has to be FAT formatted, in order to make it bootable. If your selected USB drive is not FAT32/FAT16 formatted, then select the checkbox labeled something like Format X: Drive. Please note that, formatting will erase all the exisiting content from the USB drive.
  7. Click on the Create button at the bottom to start the USB creation process. You will be shown a confirmation dialog informing about what is going to happen next e.g., MBR will be overwritten, disk label would be overwritten etc. Click on the Yes button to continue to create the bootable USB pen drive.

    Create a Bootable DBAN USB Pen Drive

  8. In a few seconds, your bootable DBAN USB pen drive would be ready. Click the Close button to close the Universal USB Installer.


  1. Just curious. Why is there no Linux or Mac version of this application?…why is it only Windows “.exe”? format?

  2. The new version is 2.3.0. The version that need is 2.2.x. So I had to rename the .iso file to allow me to install the last version.

  3. Noob question… why s there no .iso file in the download? I have downloaded the zip file from 3 different sources now and the contents are all the same, but there is no dban-2.2.7_i586.iso (or any other .iso). Thanks for any advice.

    1. In the first step above, there is a link to DBAN’s sourceforge page. From there you can download dban ISO. The latest version now is 2.3.0.

      1. Thanks, Trisha. I downloaded it and unzipped but there is no .iso file in the package. Am I crazy? Thanks!

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