By Dylan / Last Updated October 24, 2019

What is DoD 5220.22-M hard drive wipe?

DoD5220.22-M, also be known as “DoD standard”, is a software-based data sanitization method to overwrite data on hard drive and other storage devices.

This wiping method was published by the U.S. Department of Defense(DoD) in 1995. It was originally used to wipe confidential documents. And for the sake of data security, DoD hard drive wipe method can overwrite a hard drive 7 times. Usually, The DoD level hard drive wipe method is performed in the following 3 passes to clear data effectively:


  • Pass 1: Overwrite hard drive with zero

  • Pass 2: Overwrite hard drive with one

  • Pass 3: Overwrite hard drive with random data

With the 3 passes, DoD 5220.22-M sanitization could prevent all software-based data recovery methods from restoring meaningful files. Nowadays, the DoD 5220.22-M is one of the most common ways to dispose the data on the hard drive before people give away or dump a hard drive.

Here, we are going to introduce a piece of DoD hard drive software and walk you through how to DoD wipe a hard drive.

How to DoD wipe a hard drive in Windows 10/8/7?

To DoD wipe a hard drive in Windows 10/8/7, I highly recommend a piece of DoD hard drive wipe software-AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

This DoD hard drive wipe utility is designed for Windows operating systems, such as Windows 10/8/7, Windows XP, Windows Vista. And its intuitive interface makes the operation very easy. Besides, it provides other 3 wiping methods: fill sectors with zeros, fill sectors with random data, and Gutmann.

Follow the steps below and learn how to DoD wipe a hard drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

First of all, connect the hard drive you want to wipe with computer, and you can download the demo version to see the detailed steps.

Note: If there are some of the data on the hard drive you don’t want to lose, you can back up the hard drive before wiping it.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant, and right-click the hard drive you want to wipe by DoD. 5220.22-M. Then click “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Wipe Hard Drive

Step 2. Then choose the “DoD 5220.22-M” as the wiping method, and decide the times you want to rewrite to the hard drive.


Step 3. Back to the main interface, and click “Apply” to perform DoD hard drive wipe.

Apply Wipe Hard Drive

Just wait for a while, the data on the hard drive will be completely erased.

Is DoD 5220.22-M secure?

Actually, there is still a low possibility of recovering data from DoD hard drive wipe, but for individuals and most enterprises, the DoD 5220.22-M wipe method is secure enough. You may notice AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also provides other hard drive wipe methods. You may want to know what difference between them is, below is a brief comparison.

● DoD 5220.22-M Vs Zero Fill or random data fill

To erase data on hard drive effectively, many users also try to zero-fill the hard drive or random data fill. They overwrite a hard drive with zeros or random data to prevent most software-based recovery tool. While the DoD hard drive wipe standard adopts further steps to overwrite a drive, it overwrites a hard drive up to 7 times. So DoD wipe is definitely safer than zero filling and random data filling.

● DoD 5220.22-M Vs Gutmann

Gutmann is another effectively way to wipe a hard drive, it erases data more thoroughly in contrast with DoD 5220.22-M. Guttmann performs 35 passes to overwrite a hard drive with higher security than DoD, but it also takes much longer to implement, particularly, today’s hard drives are produced with much larger capacity.Moreover, Gutmann overwrites hard drive so frequently that it gives the drive bigger wear than other ways.

On the whole, the DoD is relatively safe in the consideration of data security and hard drive itself maintenance.


To conclude, the DoD hard drive wipe method is a good way to clear a hard drive entirely. And also, other methods, like zero filling, Gutmann, can be also good ways, they have their own pros and cons, you can implement them with AOMEI Partition Assistant according to your demands.

Besides, wiping an SSD is very different with wiping an HDD, so if you need to erase data on SSD, you need to take “SSD Secure Erase” method provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant to reduce negative effects on its lifespan and performance.

And AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition is featured for Server users, if your computer is running with Windows Server system, please use the Server Edition.