Security concern: stored images on Panasonic copier

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dumb question, but we leased a Panasonic digital copier at our work location and then at end of lease purchased it.  We never had it connected to internet or networked, but it had the capabilities to scan and fax.  it is being used as a copier alone but since we deal with very personal and sensitive information on individuals, we did not want to get into other options, just wanted a heavy duty copier.  When the time comes, how do we get rid of it and not worry about any stored data, if any.  Not getting any return calls from where I bought it, only relayed to their web site which does not answer my question.  Other than taking an ax to it, any suggestions.  I would like to donate it at some point, but don't want to worry.

Software/Hardware used:
Panasonic DP4520H

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Not a dumb question at all – smart of you to think of it! Copy machines have a hard drive that stores images on it – shouldn’t be too difficult to remove the drive and format or replace it before donating. <a href=”http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6412572n”>This</a> was a great little example of what can happen when people DON’T think of asking questions like yours!

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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Great question! We covered this security concern on one of our blogs a while back: http://bit.ly/bOlVCr
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  • Meandyou
    There is no such thing as a dumb question. It is dumb NOT to ask questions. If one person has a question, I submit that others also want to know.
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  • carlosdl
    So, what would be the correct way to delete all stored data ? I suppose the disk's format/file system will not be recognized by PC OSes.
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  • petkoa
    I'll oppose to Carlos' opinion - nowadays hard disks of many embedded systems (e.g., DVD/TV sets) are standard ATA/SATA devices, VFAT32 formatted, and all chances are that "bad guys" will have the knowledge about copier proprietary image formats (if any)... So, when the time comes better attach the HD to a PC, fdisk and format it if the filesystem is unrecognizable, and use some good wiping software on it. And, I also liked very much the question... Petko
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  • Dee101
    If you are having trouble getting at the hard drive to remove and erase, many cities have recycling companies that guarantee hard drive erasure. You might contact a couple and see if they will perform just that function for a nominal fee. One in my city will shred a hard drive for $5 or remove, erase, and reinstall for about an hour's tech time.
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