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one reason I always wipe free sectors is the sectors previously occupied by delete/erased files are reported as "free sectors"

Gordon, your understanding is correct. When doing a wipe, you wipe the entire drive, not just the stuff that is there.

Working for a large company that has very strict computer standards, we do a triple pass 0/1/0 wipe of drives before they ever leave our inventory.

There are several good tools that we've discussed here in the past that do NSA grade (3 pass or more) wiping of a Hard Drive.

Regarding SSD's, to my knowledge, and in speaking with the IT security folks where I work, you cannot yet safely wipe a SSD drive. The only way to safely wipe that drive is to grind it up. Flattening it doesn't work, data can still be recovered.

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