The Gutmann method, which apparently is used by GNU shred, has appeared in 1996, which focused on finding random 5 to 31 patterns and taking into account particular magnetic encoding. Considering that now we have SSDs, I'm guessing that Gutmann method isn't relevant for that storage architecture, as SSDs use NAND memory rather than magnetic encoding. Does this then make shred obsolete/overkill as far as SSDs are concerned ?

1 Answer 1


The Gutmann method is not useful for any modern device, whether a hard drive or a solid state drive. The fact that you cannot safely wipe a solid state drive due to wear leveling is irrelevant. For any modern hard drive, the best way to erase data on it is to wipe it once with a random pattern. For modern solid state drives, there is no effective way to wipe it without using SED or TRIM.

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