When running on a solid-state drive (SSD), Windows® 7 requires a minimum of 16 gigabytes (GB) of space. Although some configurations of Windows 7 may appear to fit on smaller drives when initially installed, 8 GB SSDs are not sufficient for deploying Windows 7. Even when paired with a second drive of 4 or more GBs for application and data file storage, 8 GB hard drives do not allow for the increase in the Windows memory footprint that is expected to occur as users work on their computer.

Some of the primary reasons for the increase over time in the Windows 7 memory footprint include:

RAM Considerations

The Pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys files increase in size in direct proportion to the amount of RAM installed on the computer. Windows 7 installations on 16 GB drives have a smaller memory footprint when the computer is limited to 1 GB of RAM. An increase of RAM to a size greater than 1 GB will result in increased size of the system files and less space on the hard drive for other applications and files. Increasing the size of the hard drive however, will not affect the size of these system files.

Applications and User Data

Software applications installed on the computer may require additional space for caches, logs, and updates. Disk space must also be available on the drive to account for the temporary increase in resource usage during installation of applications, patches, and updates.

Personal data-file storage for user documents can easily be expanded with removable media such as an SD card or USB flash drive on computers where the hardware is supported. However, it is recommended that some space is reserved on the hard drive for these types of files.

See Also