3.3.2 DOS Command Line Mode

To run Active@ KillDisk in command line mode:

  1. With the PC power off, insert the Active@ KillDisk for Hard Drives USB / floppy disk into drive A:
  2. Start the PC by turning on the power. The screen will display the Microsoft DOS prompt.
  3. At the DOS prompt, display Active@ KillDisk for Hard Drives parameters by typing: A:\>KILLDISK -?

    A list of parameters will be displayed. Explanations of the parameters can be found in the table below.

    Command Line Parameters

    Parametrs Short Default Options
    no parameter     With no parameter, the DOS Interactive screens will appear.



    0 - One pass zeros (1 pass)
    1 - One pass random (1 pass)
    2 - US DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes, verify)
    3 - US DoD 5220.22-M ECE (7 passes, verify)
    4 - Canadian OPS-II (7 passes, verify)
    5 - HMG IS5 Baseline (1 pass, verify)
    6 - HMG IS5 Baseline (3 passes, verify)
    7 - Russian GOST p50739-95 (2 passes, verify)
    8 - US Army AR380-19 (3 passes, verify)
    9 - US Air Force 5020 (3 passes, verify)
    10 - Navso P-5329-26 RL (3 passes, verify)
    11 - Navso P-5329-26 MFM (3 passes, verify)
    12 - NCSC-TG-025 (3 passes, verify)
    13 - German VSITR (7 passes, verify)
    14 - Bruce Schneier (7 passes, verify)
    15 – Peter Gutmann (35 passes, verify)
    16 - User Defined Number of Passes (random) and pattern
    -passes=[1 - 99]



    Number of times the write heads will pass over a disk area to overwrite data. Valid only for User Defined method (-em=16).
    -verification=[1 - 100]



    Set the amount of area the utility reads to verify that the actions performed by the write head comply with the chosen erasemethod (reading 10% of the area by default). It is a long process. Set the verification to the level that works for you.
    -retryattempts=[1 - 99]



    Set the number of times that the utility will try to rewrite in the sector when the drive write head encounters an error.
    -erasehdd=[80h - 8Fh]


      Name the hard drive to be erased. By default, the utility erases the first logical drive encountered.


      Erase all hard disk drives.



    Do not stop erasing each time a disk error is encountered. When you use this parameter, all errors are ignored.


      Use this parameter to clear the log file before recording new activity. When a drive is erased, a log file is kept. By default, new data is appended to this log for each erasing process. The log file is stored in the same folder where the software is located.


      Path to save application log file. Can be either directory name or full file name. Use quotes if full path contains spaces.


      Path to save erase/wipe certificate. Can be either directory name or full file name. Use quotes if full path contains spaces.


      Skip confirmation steps before erasing starts. By default, confirmation steps will appear in command line mode for each hard drive or USB / floppy as follows:
    Are you sure?
    -log     Save report and error events to a log file.


      Beep after erasing is complete.


      Wipe all hard drives.


      Name the hard drive to be wiped.
    -test     If you are having difficulty with Active@ KillDisk for Hard Disks, use this parameter to create a hardware information file to be sent to our technical support specialists.


      Execute in batch mode based on command line parameters with no user interaction.


      Valid only for User Defined method (-em=16).
    -help or -?     Display this list of parameters.

    hard disk eraser Parameters -test and -help must be used alone. They cannot be used with other parameters.
  4. Key the command and parameters into the DOS screen at the prompt.

    Here is an example: A:\>killdisk.exe -eh=80 -bm

    In the example above, data on device 80h will be erased using the default method (one pass zeros) without confirmation and return to the DOS prompt when complete.

    Here is another example: A:\>killdisk.exe -eh=80 -nc -em=2

    In this example, erase all data on device 80h without confirmations, using US DoD 5220.22-M method, and show a report at the end of the process.

    Here is an example with the wipe disk command: A:\>killdisk.exe -wa -bm -em=15 -nc

    Wipe all deleted data and unused clusters on all attached drives without confirmation using Gutman's method and return to the DOS prompt when complete.
  5. Press [Enter] to complete the command and start the process.
    After operation has completed successfully information on how drives have been erased is displayed on the screen.
Before < DOS Command Line Mode > Next

Open Contents

  1. Product Overview
    1. Erasing Confidential Data
      1. Advanced Data Recovery Systems
      2. International Standards in Data Removal
    2. Wiping Confidential Data from Unoccupied Drive Space
      1. Wiping NTFS
      2. Wipe FAT
      3. Wipe HFS+
      4. Wiping Ext2fs/Ext3fs/Ext4fs
  2. System Requirements for DOS and Windows versions
    1. Personal Computer
    2. Drive Storage System
    3. Other Requirements
    4. Active@ KillDisk for Hard Drives Version
  3. Running Active@ KillDisk for DOS
    1. Preparing a DOS-Bootable floppy,USB
      1. System Formatting
      2. Copying Active@ KillDisk to a floppy, USB
      3. One-Step Method
    2. Preparing a Bootable CD
    3. Modes of Operation
      1. Interactive Mode
        1. Erase Data from a Device
        2. Wiping the Data
      2. DOS Command Line Mode
      3. Autoexecute Mode
    4. Erasing or Wiping Logical Drives (Partitions)
    5. Erase Operation Complete
  4. Running Active@ KillDisk for Windows
    1. Active@ Boot Disk Creator
    2. Modes of Operation
    3. Command Line Mode
    4. Erasing or Wiping Logical Drives (Partitions)
    5. Erase Data from a Logical Drive
    6. Wipe Data from a Logical Drive
    7. Erase or Wipe Operation Complete
  5. Common Questions
    1. How does the licensing work?
    2. How is the data erased?
    3. What is the difference between the Site and Enterprise license?
    4. Which operating systems are supported by Active@ KillDisk?
    5. Is Active@ KillDisk compatible with Macintosh computers?
    6. What to do if I cannot boot from a floppy (USB)?
    7. Will I be able to use my Hard Disk Drive after Active@ KillDisk erase operation?
  6. Descriptions of Erase/Wipe Parameters
    1. Erase/Wipe Methods
      1. One Pass Zeros or One Pass Random
      2. User Defined
      3. US DoD 5220.22-M
      4. US DoD 5220.22-M (ECE)
      5. German VSITR
      6. Russian GOST p50739-95
      7. Canadian OPS-II
      8. HMG IS5 Baseline
      9. HMG IS5 Enhanced
      10. US Army AR380-19
      11. US Air Force 5020
      12. Navso P-5329-26 RL
      13. Navso P-5329-26 MFM
      14. NCSC-TG-025
      15. Bruce Schneier
      16. Gutmann
    2. Other Parameters
      1. Verification
      2. Retry Attempts
      3. Ignore Errors
      4. Clear Log File before Start
      5. Skip Confirmation
      6. Wipe out Deleted/Unused data
    3. Glossary of Terms

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