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I'm looking to use a utility such as Darik's Boot And Nuke (www.dban.org) to wipe my iPod (classic fifth generation) so I can sell it on Ebay (without having to worry about my data being recovered.) Any suggestions on how to do this?

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2 Answers 2

DBAN is for wiping entire computer systems, including the original boot device. You do not need it to wipe a USB storage device; you can just use any generic disk wipe tool.

On Unix-like systems (including Mac OS X), this is sometimes used:

dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda

Which translates to "read bytes from /dev/urandom and write to whichever device is pointed to by /dev/sda". (Make sure you have the right output file!)

On Windows, Eraser used to be very good (until it got that hyperlinkey GUI).


Whichever way you choose, make sure you wipe the entire device at least three times. Since it's a flash-memory device, more than 3 passes is just paranoia.

Don't nuke the entire device; wiping the data partition is enough. All iPods have their firmware (minus bootloader) in the first 96 MB, and destroying that will require you to use iTunes' "Restore" to reinstall the firmware. (It is not bad, but all you get is wasted time; your data was not there.)

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Great answer! I agree more then 3 passes is just paranoia, having worked recovering important data from hard drives i can say that it is very difficult to even recover data after 1 pass. –  Christopher Wilson Jun 8 '10 at 11:17

I would reccomend the Apple Disk Utility (see /Applications/Utilities/Disk\ Utility.app).

Start it up and then

  • Select your disk/iPod in the list on the left
  • Select the Tab "Erase"
  • Click on "Security Options" and choose the desired erase mode (i think 7-Pass Erase should suffice
  • Click Ok to close the popup
  • Click "Erase" and then confirm again with "Erase"

After that procedure you can restore your iPod using iTunes. Now it's clean AND useable again.

Warning: Erasing an whole iPod 7 times takes a long time!

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