Solid State Drive Deployment

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

When Windows runs on a solid-state drive (SSD), the SSD must meet minimum size requirements for the hard drive, RAM, application resource usage, and data storage.


When you install Windows to a SSD, we recommend that you run WinSAT.exe formal to help optimize Windows for use on SSD. This reduces the number of write operations that Windows makes to the SSD, and makes other optimizations. Run WinSAT.exe formal during audit mode while you are preparing your Windows deployment. Optionally, you can run WinSAT.exe formal after OOBE completes.
If you run WinSAT.exe formal in audit mode and then run sysprep /generalize, the WinSAT result files will be deleted. We recommend that you run WinSAT formal on the factory floor for each PC that you intend to ship to a customer.
For more information, see Configure Windows System Assessment Test Scores.

Hard Drive

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 require a minimum of 16 gigabytes (GB) of space.

Although some configurations of Windows may appear to fit on smaller drives when Windows is first installed, 8 GB SSDs are not large enough. Even if a user pairs an 8 GB hard drive with a second drive that is 4 GB or larger 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 memory footprint include the following:

  • Servicing. Hard disk space must be reserved for software patches to the operating system and for service pack releases.

  • System Restore Points. Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 automatically generate restore points. The amount of space that is required by default is relative to the size of the hard drive. For more information about restore points, see the Restore Points topic on MSDN.


Users can adjust the amount of space used on the computer for System Restore by using the System Protection user interface in the System Properties dialog box (Sysdm.cpl). Users can also use system image backups that are stored on an external hard disk to restore a system.

  • Logs and Caches. The operating system stores files such as event logs and error logs on the drive.


The Pagefile.sys and Hiberfil.sys files increase in size in direct proportion to the amount of RAM on the computer. Windows 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 that is 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, does not affect the size of these system files.


Software applications that are 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 temporary increases in resource usage during installation of applications, patches, and updates.

User Data

On computers that support removable media such as an SD card or USB flash drive, users can easily expand personal data file storage for user documents by using this removable media. However, we recommend that users reserve some space on the hard drive for these types of files.

See Also


Windows Image File Boot (WIMBoot) Overview

Other Resources

Hard Drives and Partitions