I'm not sure if this is the place to be asking this, but maybe someone here knows what's going on?

I'm trying to create a bootable USB key with HDDErase.iso, obtained from http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/Secure-Erase.html, using Rufus version 2.9.934, the portable version, acquired at http://rufus.akeo.ie/downloads/.

However, every time I try, Rufus responds with "This image is either non-bootable, or it uses a boot or compression method that is not supported by Rufus..." despite the fact that the program is explicitly bootable and if I'm not mistaken one of the many pages I rifled through on the way to it instructed that it be used with Rufus.

Will using an older version of Rufus fix this? Is there another program that works?

Thanks in advance for helping, and if you have any alternative methods of wiping HPA and DCO which are more likely to actually work, please share. All my files are already sitting in separate backups, so anything goes, no matter how deleterious to any and all data.

Also, I can't use an actual disk. This computer unfortunately has no CD/DVD drive and I have no way of obtaining a portable one right now.

My OS is Windows 8.1, if that's relevant.


It appears this is a regular DOS-based program. So you can just instruct Rufus (or any other program that supports creating USB drives with DOS) to create a DOS-booting USB drive and then place HDDErase.EXE on it.

  • I've never done that before. Can you give me the instructions in my native language? (That is, Highland Stupidese.) – user602733 Jun 5 '16 at 14:54
  • Nevermind, I figured it out. Thank you, Daniel. – user602733 Jun 5 '16 at 15:04
  • This process is also explained in the Rufus FAQ: github.com/pbatard/rufus/wiki/… – Akeo Dec 23 '18 at 12:52

The easiest solution is to use YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) and install Parted Magic on the USB drive.

Parted Magic includes a Secure Erase tool right on the desktop, that can do what HDDErase does, but it's a much more pleasant environment to use (Linux desktop with mouse).

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