As a mix of experience and precaution, I always blank the drive before I reinstall a system. I usually used Killdisk, which worked well and did the job liked I asked. I even suggested it a dozen times to other people on the forums.
I knew about DBAN for a long time but didn’t really feel like switching, until today when I tried it out in full and got a lot more than I anticipated.
Killdisk is good, but Killdisk makes me wade through four levels of menu choices, just to start blanking. And then there’s an eleventh-hour last-chance point-of-no-return double check, before it will get to work.
With DBAN, you can trigger the boot line to start in one of four or five modes, tell it not to bother probing the floppy drive, don’t verify — whatever you prefer. And then there’s the “autonuke” option, which just eradicates everything attached to the system, with no questions asked.
And with the entire system loaded into memory on startup, I don’t have to wait for CD access, like I did with Killdisk. Net conclusion: It’s faster and easier.
So I’m off Killdisk. I’ve put my 4.1 disc into the pile for recycling, and I’m going to pick up a mini CD at the 100-yen store tomorrow, and burn a permanent copy of DBAN for future use. Another open source application wins me over.