Copiers and Their Hard Drives

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Do Copiers Have Hard Drives?

It’s not uncommon for copier repairs in Las Vegas to involve hard drive maintenance and replacement. Many people don’t realize that their copiers and other business machines have hard drives and even solid-state drives, which are becoming more common as that storage technology becomes cheaper to manufacture and thus more affordable.

Why Do Copiers Need Hard Drives?

Not all do. Copiers designed for home use, for instance, generally just have a memory buffer. A PC does most of the work and transfers is it to the copier, which then holds it in the buffer until the project is complete, at which point the data is erased. In more demanding copying environments where a PC doesn’t do the heavy lifting for the copier, then the hard drive is used to store documents, cache temporary data and so forth.

Facilitating the Queue

You may think of a copier as someone standing in front of it and handling one copy at a time. Modern office copiers are more complex and not only handle manual jobs but tasks sent to them from throughout a network. The buffer generally provides just enough space to handle the current task, and so the hard drive provides a place to store those tasks and collections of tasks that are queued.

Are There Security Implications?

Yes. As with a computer hard drive, simple deletion doesn’t guarantee that a sensitive document isn’t recoverable. This is why certain industries, such as financial and healthcare, have rules even for temporary storage of such data. A HIPPA-compliant copier, for instance, may encrypt documents and employ multiple deletion passes in order to ensure that sensitive data is gone.

What to Do When Replacing a Copier

If you have a managed print provider, speak to that company about how they erase hard drives before repurposing machines. If you own or otherwise lease, then you should consider hiring a company that specializes in HDD erasure before moving the machine.

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