The Hard Facts…On your copier’s hard drive!

Much has been recently written and blogged about documents that may remain on your copier’s MFD (Multi-functional Device) hard drive when you replace it.  In the past week, Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning blog ( has covered several angles on the story of the Buffalo Police department learning the hard way that data was actually stored on their copier machine, confidential criminal records, actually.  When the Buffalo PD put the copiers up for sale, the data was discovered and resulted in a security breach.

It is true there may be documents remaining on the hard drive if your MFD does not have a security feature installed to delete files daily (cost for this is about $200). Most companies that service your units properly will erase all data (facsimile numbers, email addresses, etc.) when the units are uninstalled, but it’s a good idea to make sure they actually follow through on that.

If you need written documentation, or if your service company doesn’t do it (it should be written into your service agreement), then they will charge you approximately $200 to come out and do it on demand. Also when your unit is refurbished for resale the hard drive is generally re-formatted or replaced by a reputable dealer.

The bottom line is that your Firm’s MFDs hard drive should be treated just like that of your laptops and PCs’ hard drives. Make sure you have a procedure in place to address security for it, so you don’t end up with a Buffalo shuffle on your hands.