I was curious if a Android mobile is erased using DBAN, then can the Android be reinstalled on the mobile or it becomes useless ?

  • Well unless there's an Android version of DBAN I can't imagine it would be able to affect the OS files. You can't readily access /system as a block device on a PC (I guess there might be some way to do it, but it's probably not easy), so there's really no way you could mount it to a computer for DBAN to access it. Sep 25, 2012 at 21:58
  • well...connect android to pc using usb cable. DBAN detects two memory devices, i guess one for sd card and one for internal storage. I think it will wipe if selected. Btw, is internal memory SSD ? Sep 25, 2012 at 22:03
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    The "internal storage" is still not the partition that /system lives on, though, it's a partition that is world-writable and acts as an external storage device in the absence of a physical SD card (unless it's using MTP in which case it's most likely moot still because that's not block-level access). The internal memory is flash memory, so technically yes, as SSD's are generally NAND flash. Sep 25, 2012 at 22:06
  • So are you implying that even if dban is able to delete both the storages, android os will not go ? Sep 25, 2012 at 22:17
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    @JohnWatson yes, Android is designed that way to protect you from accidentally deleting the OS while you're just trying to sync music. All that running a secure eraser like DBAN on your external and internal storage mounts will do is securely erase your personal files like music, pictures and app settings. You'll just be doing a more secure version of the Factory Reset option.
    – GAThrawn
    Sep 26, 2012 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


As the question already is answered with the line of comments to it, I'll take the freedom to sum up the details to make them easier to find:

What is DBAN?

My first point was that I never heard of DBAN before, so I had to look it up. Luckily, my first hit was Wikipedia (which article I linked here), and it answered this question quite compactly:

The program is designed to securely erase a hard disk until data is permanently removed and no longer recoverable, which is achieved by overwriting the data with pseudorandom numbers generated by Mersenne twister or ISAAC.

So we are not talking about some "remote attack" destroying your device, but a willful wiping of the "drives".

What could DBAN wipe on an Android device?

This question was answered by eldarerathis and GAThrawn in the comments: Unless there is an Android version of DBAN which can be executed directly on the device, DBAN is limited to the SD-Card and internal storage (the storage devices offered to the computer via UMS). It cannot access e.g. the /system partition for two reasons: 1) it is not made available via UMS, and 2) it is mounted read-only (unless the device is rooted, and you explicitely mounted it read-write -- which cannot be done without rooting). Similar reason (not made available via UMS) applies to all other partitions.

So what about restoring the Android system?

Nothing. No need for this. As described in the previous section, DBAN at maximum can access two of the data partitions. But it cannot access /system (where the Android system resides), /boot (where Android is bootet from), or even /data (where your apps and their data reside). Since nothing is lost from the Android System itself -- there simply is nothing to restore, it's all still there.


You will need to install a custom recovery software TWRP or CWM onto the android device to wipe /System /Data /Boot and other partitions.

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