Security concern: Stored images on Panasonic copier

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Security management
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. This was a great little example of what can happen when people DON’T think of asking questions like yours!

Most multifunction machines like yours have Administrator functions that allow control over every aspect of the machine. Usually, one of these functions is the secure erasure of the hard disk in the copier. I recently did this with an end-of-lease Konica-Minolta multi-function machine before we sent it back to the lessor. My machine had an erase/multi-pass overwrite function built in.
You can go to this site and actually type in a question to a Panasonic technician. That may be helpful. Your other alternative is to explore the configuration editor on the machine or in the web interface if your unit has that feature.

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  • MelanieYarbrough
    Great question! We covered this security concern on one of our blogs a while back:
    6,345 pointsBadges:
  • 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.
    5,220 pointsBadges:
  • 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.
    85,865 pointsBadges:
  • 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
    3,140 pointsBadges:
  • 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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  • ToddN2000
    LOL. Take an ax to it. Reminds me of that scene in the movie Office Space where they took a bat to one. You should just be able to open it and replace the drive. If you are not comfortable your local PC repair shop can swap out for a small fee.
    136,240 pointsBadges:

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