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Dell Data Wipe

Summary: Learn how to Deploy, Manage, Secure, and Virtualize BYOD, Enterprise Client, and Mobility Solutions from Experts and Peers.

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Article Content


Dell Data Wipe is a feature in Dell Enterprise Client BIOS that gives our customers the ability to invoke a data wipe of the internal storage devices in their system. This allows efficient erasure for repurpose or redeployment using industry-standard data wipe capabilities already supported by Dell storage devices.

Since customer data is a priority for Dell we designed this feature for maximum compatibility, and minimal potential for unintentional data erase.

  • Supports internal storage devices only: SATA hard drive, SSD, and eMMC depending on the device types supported by the system.
  • Uses industry standard approved methods for data wipe such as Secure Erase for SATA and Sanitize for eMMC.
  • Only accessible by a physically present user. The user must be physically present until the drive wipe begins.
  • All internal drives in the system are wiped, no option to wipe only certain storage devices.
Note: Dell Data Wipe is supported on most of the Dell products such as Latitude, OptiPlex, Precision, XPS, Vostro, and Inspiron. To know if your computer is supported, go to the BIOS setup and select Security, then see if the Data Wipe in Next Boot option is available.


The Data Wipe feature is invoked from within BIOS Setup. At the Dell splash screen press F2 to enter BIOS Setup.

Figure 1. Data Latitude 9430
Figure 1. Data Latitude 9430

Once in the BIOS Setup application, the user can select "Wipe on Next Boot" from the Security > Data Wipe option to invoke data wipe for all internal drives after the reboot.

The BIOS asks for user confirmation twice before allowing the user to exit setup with the "Wipe on Next Boot" option selected to ensure that the user intends to erase all storage devices.

Figure 2. Data Wipe operation
Figure 2. Data Wipe operation

As an added safety measure, the BIOS will adjust the default selection for the final prompt to further enforce direct user acceptance of this operation.

Figure 3. Internal storage devices
Figure 3. Internal storage devices

Once the option is successfully selected and the prompts have been confirmed, the user exits BIOS Setup to force a reboot of the system and begin the data wipe process.

After the reboot, the BIOS once again prompts for several confirmations before sending the data wipe instructions to the customer storage devices.

Figure 4: Dell Security Manager
Figure 4: Dell Security Manager

The user can select to cancel the drive wipe procedure at either of these prompts, and the data wipe trigger will be reset. The process must be reinitiated from BIOS Setup to restart the erase procedure, if wanted.

Figure 5. Internal SATA devices
Figure 5. Internal SATA devices

A successful erase procedure is reported by a green dialog and the "Data Wipe Completed Successfully" message. If there are any failures, they are presented instead of the success dialog: "Reboot the system and reinstall the OS".


Additional information about erasing your data can be found on the Dell Knowledge Base article How Do I Erase Data from My Hard Drive?.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Inspiron, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

18 Jan 2024



Article Type