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System:

  • Windows 7 installed on 120 GB SSD
  • 1 TB RAID 1 hard disk drive
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Radeon 7850
  • Intel i5 chip

Brand new. No software on. There is nothing to compress or cleanup.

I only have 71.5 GB out of 117 GB left on my SSD drive. I only got 16 GB of RAM, because it was a US$40 upgrade from 8 GB. I don't think I will ever fill it up. Can I reduce the swap space?

I don't think I need 16 GB of swap space. I doubt I would ever fill up 16 GB of RAM. I am not going to play three games at once. If so, what can I reduce it to?

Also, would turning off hybernate free up space? I don't really need this either. The system boots up really fast. When I googed this, I only saw a command-line interface to turn it off, so I am hesitant that this may not be supported.

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Adjust your system restore. It is most likely using 12%-20% of your drive. –  Phillip R. Jun 1 '12 at 13:11

4 Answers 4

Disable hibernation by selecting Power Options from Control Panel and turn off hybrid sleep. Then in an administrator-level command prompt, type "powercfg -h off" - without the quotes. The first bit of that may not be strictly necessary, but I think it is prudent.

I have run Windows XP and Windows 7 without a swap file and have never had any problems; normally with a healthy amount of RAM, but only 12 GB in Windows 7, and I don't play games. You can also gain some space on your SSD drive by limiting the amount of space available to System Restore.

With no page file, no hibernation, no system restore and all my personal folders on another drive my system disk is currently using about 19 GB of space.

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If you do not use hibernate then it is safe to turn hibernate off via powercfg.

If you are confident that you will rarely use swap then you can reduce the swap file to a few hundred MBs. (Windows always seems to use a few MB, but even on a 120 GB SSD you will not miss 100 MB or 200 MB for swap.

The system I am typing this on is a desktop with a configuration similar you yours. Small SSD (Intel Postville G2/X18-M/X25-M, 80 GB), 18 GB RAM and a hardware RAID for storage of large files. I disabled hibernate and lowered swap to 16 MB. It has worked like a charm for years. :)

Also, without these large files and with most restore points removed I use 17 GB for Windows 7 (64 bit), OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, PuTTY, Opera, etc... This is about half the space your install currently uses.

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To change the size of your paging file, go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> System -> Advanced system settings (on the left) -> tab Advanced -> Performance / Settings -> tab Advanced -> Virtual Memory / Change . Uncheck the checkbox Automatically manage paging file for all drives and then set the values below.

If you want to keep a small paging file (1-4 GB), select "Custom size" and set the initial and maximum sizes to the same values. You can also opt to disable the paging file. Click "Set" when you are finished, and reboot.

I often disable the paging file on my machines. Be warned that some games and applications can require a paging file, although I've never seen this myself.

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Agreed. I do this as well and have never experienced any ill effects (even though it is officially discouraged). –  Peter Mortensen yesterday

You can reduce the size, but do leave some swap space. Some programs and parts of Windows will give weird errors and might crash your PC when there's no swap space. I was recommended to keep it between 512MB and 1024MB.

To reduce it, follow this: (from here)

  1. Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking System.

  2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.

  5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

  6. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

  7. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.

It is also safe to disable hibernate on your PC. The command line is the only way I know of. It is also the same procedure I followed.

You could also create a RAMDisk for your temp folders, this way you can use some of your spare RAM and reduce the strain on your SSD a bit. All the necessary info is available in the manual provided on their website.

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1  
I agree with leaving at least 1GB in the swap file, and on using the command line to disable hibernation. No matter where you disable it in the GUI, the hiberfile.sys file stays out there until you run that command line process. With 16GB of RAM, your hiberfile.sys is probably taking up at least 12GB that you don't need... –  techturtle May 31 '12 at 20:33
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@techturtle The hibernation file is in fact always as large as the RAM. I assume it makes a full image of the RAM. –  Simon Verbeke Jun 1 '12 at 15:40
    
I would have thought so too, but the last two computers I turned off the hibernation and it was only 75% of the RAM (my 16GB machine had a 12GB file, and my 8GB machine had a 6GB file). I'm guessing that there is a form of compression it uses to not take up as much space. –  techturtle Jun 2 '12 at 20:41
    
@techturtle Oh really? Interesting, beacuse on my PC it was equal to my RAM's size. –  Simon Verbeke Jun 2 '12 at 20:52

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