How to Recover Hard Drive After DBAN
Darik’s Boot And Nuke, or DBAN, is free erasure software designed for the personal user. It automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. DBAN is also commonly used to remove viruses and spyware on users’ computers.
Once started, it gives you the option of overwriting disk content with multiple different methods, including pseudo-randomly generated numbers, the Gutmann method, and the DoD methods. Erasing, also known as wiping, is a kind of overwriting. Data erasing software is designed to overwrite the hard disk drives with random gibberish repeatedly. Its purpose is to blur the residual pattern so that even the most advanced lab-level recovery tools can only recover negligible fragments, if not none, of data from previous files.
DBAN is very useful when you are ready to completely wipe out any trace of information on your hard disk drives. This is a necessary practice to avoid information leak or identity theft before donating or recycling your electronic devices. Even if you have deleted the files in the Windows operating system and emptied the Recycle Bin, there would always be traces of the deleted file lingering on the hard drives. The action of deletion would only remove the address pointer to the files. In actuality, the raw data of those files are still there, latent and inaccessible to users. There are many professional recovery software available in the market that could facilitate instant retrieval of deleted files.
But when you wipe hard drives, you are ensuring that all previously deleted files would never be recovered or accessed. Wiping hard drive is actually working by overwriting the entire hard drive several times. The wiping process generally overwrites the whole disk with zeros or ones. The overwrite algorithm is designed to blur the residual pattern. It is reported in many papers that as for modern day storage devices, a one-pass overwrite would be sufficient to make data recovering impossible for most consumer level software. The overwriting process would repeat itself for several times. That is the reason why overwriting usually takes a long time to complete. When you wipe a hard drive, you are permanently removing master boot record, partition tables and every last bit of data stored on the hard drive. This process is irreversible so that you can be sure your information or data would never be accessed by any unauthorized party.
However, DBAN would not detect or properly wipe a Solid Stata Drive (SSD) because SSD works differently than HDD. HDD stores date on its magnetic platter surface, which is divided into billions of tiny magnetic domains. Each domain can be independently magnetized (1) or demagnetized (0). An SSD using flash memories works by charging or removing electrons in floating gate transistor cells to represent 0 and 1 and it tends to move files around to avoid wearing out a certain area.
If by accident, you or someone else launches DBAN, do we stand any chance of recovering data? If DBAN has already finished the first pass, then the answer is a sad no. However, if you managed to interrupt the process before the first pass, you might be able to rescue files that remain untouched by DBAN. Even so, the aftermath of an accidental DBAN could be horrible with the partition tables destroyed and all the volumes gone. You can at least have a try with H Data Recovery Software and its Partition Recovery and Universal Recovery feature. The Partition Recovery module is designed to recover files from destroyed partitions and the Universal Recovery module will deep scan your hard drive, trying to find and reconstitute any recoverable files.