,It's easy to get RAM (memory) and the Hard Disk Drive (HDD or Hard Drive) storage space confused. The HDD is where all your programs and data are permanently kept. RAM is a smaller, faster, temporary storage area. An "out of virtual memory" error does not mean your Hard Drive is getting full, and deleting files will not resolve the problem. The solution is to increase the size of virtual memory, add more RAM or both.

RAM - Random Access Memory


HHD - Hard Disk Drive

Smaller amount (typically 2 GB - 16 GB)   Larger amount (250GB to 1 TB or more)
Temporary storage of files and programs.   Permanent storage of files and programs.
A little like your real desktop - has only your current work on it.   Like a file cabinet - has long-term storage of work.
Contents disappear when you turn off power to the computer.   Contents remain when you power off the computer (they don't disappear unless you purposely delete a file or folder.)
Contents disappear when the computer crashes.   Contents remain when the computer crashes.
Consists of chips (integrated circuits.)   Consists of a HDD, (spinning disks and movable read/write heads) or SSD (solid state drive.)
A temporary copy of the opened file(s) and all changes, are kept in RAM until the file(s) is saved.   Until your changes are saved, the original file(s) remains on the HDD. Once saved ,the new changes are written to the HDD.

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