What is the relation between installed RAM and used space on my hard drive?

Rams Varma January 23, 2013
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I have 16 GB RAM in my computer. I have installed Windows 8 (64-bit) operating system. So in my “C Drive” I have 28 GB used space after installing Windows 8. This used space included 16 GB RAM in my “C drive”.

I removed 8 GB RAM from my computer, then C drive shows 20 GB used space. So I think that RAM memory is taken by C Drive. After I re-installed 8 GB RAM, it will shows 28 GB used space.

Is there any reason for that? I know there is no relation between RAM and the physical memory, but why it is showing like this? Please tell me that what is the reason.

  1. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Usually, you can re-gain the space by disabling hibernation mode, since this essentially blocks out a certain part of your HD to save your current computer state before it goes into hibernation mode.

  2. Jordyn Bushaw
    January 30, 2013 at 3:11 am

    You must have a disk's free space mixed up with RAM, RAM or Random Access Memory, is used by the computer to make calculations and provide sufficient resources for programs and operations. The used space of a disk is where data such as documents, music, and program data is taking up in the hard drive.

  3. dekka
    January 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    windows 8 uses the old swapfile and the new pagefile also it has hibernate.now you can turn off pagefile or put it on another hdd .and you can turn off hibernate which both will return your ram to you( your space on hdd or ssd) swapfile is there for dual booting and cant be turned off. the ones to turn off are pagefile (especially if your c drive is a ssd)

  4. cubeslave
    January 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Windows insists on creating a swap file on the hard disk for virtual memory. The swap file is supposed to grow and shrink based on the needs of Windows, but windows always reserves the space in direct relation to how much physical RAM you have.

    It is one of the most basic annoyances of windows. In the old says virtual memory was a crutch for system that did not have enough physical memory. You were even asked if you wanted to turn the function on. Now, even if you have way more than enough memory for what you are doing (and sometimes when the system is just sitting there idle) Windows insists on swapping data back and forth between RAM and what ever kind storage medium your system has.

    One of the good things about Windows 8 is that the memory management (including stuff like deciding what to swap and when) is better.

  5. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    It's all about Windows's Virtual Memory (swap space=pagefile.sys). The more memory you have the more swap space is allocated by Windows automatically. It can also affect hibernation (hiberfil.sys) file size, it equals your RAM size. You can change virtual memory settings and set a fixed-smaller swap space if you wish, to decrease the HD space consumption. You could also disable hibernation to save space.

  6. Adriel Tan
    January 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Windows 8 has a new feature where start up is faster because they use some parts of hibernation to boost the speed. Hibernation keeps a direct copy of your Ram on your computer, so it will take up space. Thus, if you have 8GB of Ram, it needs an 8GB file on your computer, 16 GB - 16GB of space needed.

    Another possibility is virtual memory, which basically keeps a cache on your computer in case your computer needs more ram. ( Though I think its the Hibernation that is causing your problem :) )

  7. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    January 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    There are two files which have a direct relation to your RAM:
    hiberfil.sys is a file used for hibernation: when you hibernate, your RAM is copied there. You can find more information about this file here:

    pagefile.sys is a file used for virtual memory. Some RAM contents are moved to this file in order to get more space. You can find more information about this file here:

    Both of these files will have a size similar to your installed memory.

    • Oron Joffe
      January 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      That's an excellent explanation Manuel. Kudos!

  8. ha14
    January 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    If you have Windows set to manage your virtual memory, Windows will automatically allocate a certain amount of space on your hard drive to be used as a "cache" for your main memory.

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