Printer Memory Management

Hard drives and memory are both used for data storage in printers, so what is the difference between the two and what is theirpurpose?

Every printer has RAM, as it provides print queues and holds individual tasks so they can be printed.  The data is sent from the computer to the printer memory.  The amount of memory determines the number of jobs that can be in the queue at the same time and the size of documents that can be processed, which is why machines that have expandable memory are good for growing companies.

Role of built-in RAM

  • Host printer queues for networking
  • Receive and process data from computer
  • Send tasks to be printed in consecutive order
  • Clear jobs when complete to make room for more prints

Hard drives are not a built-in feature of every printer because they are intended for specific needs.  Adding a hard drive will increase storage space, add security options and allow users to manage documents directly from the printer.

Benefits of adding a HDD

  • Track the usage and level of ink or toner
  • Track what is being printed and individual printing statistics
  • Store frequently printed documents and images (i.e. international credit card paperwork)
  • Log all printing errors
    • This information will allow for more specific, preventative maintenance.
  • Store custom styles, fonts, letterhead, logos, etc.
  • Enable password protection within a network
  • Lock sensitive documents so nobody can view them except the person printing
    • This will require the person printing to be at the machine to enter password
  • Restore history and operating system if printer should crash
    • It is advised to backup the information on a hard drive

When the printer has been used to capacity and is to be junked, keep in mind the hard drive has stored a copy of everything that has ever been printed.  Be sure to wipe it clean or remove it to avoid a breach in security.

Robyn Warner
Robyn Warner has been writing since she learned how to hold a pen. She wrote her first book of poems before the age of 10. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal in her 30s is to use her writing to inspire fellow cancer survivors and have a job that gives her the flexibility to live anywhere and never wear shoes.

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