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I have a number of Sharp MX-M550 printers that are at the end of their useful life. Each device has a hard disk.

Can anyone advice as to how I go about erasing the drives either whilst they're in the devices or how to remove them from the devices to erase them.

Thanks, Danny

Update: I don't have the manuals to the devices and the documentation on the Sharp website does not mention how to erase or remove the drives.

Does anyone have an pointers as to where I would start in terms of physically locating the disk or finding the menu option?

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3  
Ahh... destroying hard drives. The highlight of my year =) List of good things: Hammers, microwaves, high windows, drills, more hammers etc. – Smudge Jun 13 '11 at 9:50
    
I find HD platters make good coasters... – SmallClanger Jun 13 '11 at 10:24
    
connect em up and run "shred -zvn 1 /dev/sd<whatever>" - should do the job. – Sirex Jun 13 '11 at 10:50
    
tbh physical destruction should be the last resort for when a secure erase is impractical. Far too many people seem to jump at it right away as the only method – JamesRyan Jun 13 '11 at 11:30
    
@James, is the small resale value that can be got by not doing physical destruction worth the risks (from news papers ect) if a software method fails? – Ian Ringrose Jun 13 '11 at 11:38

I can't help you with details of how to actually remove the disks, you'll need the manuals for that, but if you're concerned about the contents of the disks then I'd suggest throwing them on a fire, the heat and magnetic field will see to the contents.

If in doubt always feel free to set something on fire, it appeal to our caveman side and is one of only two ways to know for sure...

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Ummm err I'm sure there are great toxic chemicals that you may not want to inhale. I'd suggest that you not do this. – Jacob Jun 13 '11 at 10:18
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I didn't say you had to be anywhere near the fire, i.e. from orbit would be best – Chopper3 Jun 13 '11 at 10:38

I see 2 options here. 1. The copier has a built in DoD standard wipe program(several full disk writes and deletes) 2. Physical destruction with the methods we all know and love. Degausser, sledge hammer, drill, vehicular action, target practice with your 44 holo-point, ect...

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1  
The OP, in the UK, is not likely to have access to "44 holo-point, ect" – pavium Jun 13 '11 at 10:37
    
No, but we do have a number of good tools known as sledgehammers and pickaxes. – Tom O'Connor Jun 13 '11 at 12:26

Clearly you do not have a sharp tech that you want to hire and you are not on a service contract. As such I assume you are ok with using a screwdriver to open up the machine. Each machine is unique but if you review a similar video such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s_TcQrGVhQ you might be able figure out how to get into the device. A hard drive is the same whether it comes from a computer or a copier. Take it out and then use a computer as described in some of the other posts to reformat it completely such as using the shred command listed in another post.

Good luck.

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Actually none of the other answers mention shred. So you could improve your answer by elaborating that part. Additionally, the value of your answer would not be very high, if your link would ever be broken. Maybe there is something you can do to ensure that this answer remains useful even without that link. – kasperd May 14 at 6:41

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