Posted by: evtechie | August 25, 2008

Hibernation & Sleep in Vista

A lot of my clients really don’t know the difference between Hibernation and Sleep mode on a computer. In Vista there is a glitch that sort of deletes your hibernation option when you run Disk Cleanup. I have had the problem myself, so I did some searching to see if it was just me – I wasn’t the only Angel around who had the issue. However, let’s first explain the difference and similarities between the two.

Both Sleep and Hibernation modes provide you an easy opportunity to leave your computer in its existing state and then return to it later just as you left it, however you don’t have the long boot up of restarting your machine from an actual shutdown. However the differences are these:

  • SLEEP – is also known as a STANDBY mode. Some of the critical pieces retain power while non-critical components are withheld power from the power supply. You can emerge from sleep mode almost immediately with either the wiggle of the mouse or a tap on the keyboard. The system does not fully power down.
  • HIBERNATE – The computer puts the state of your computer and items in memory as data on your hard drive, and then powers down the computer. You must hit the power button to emerge from Hibernation, and the state of your computer is reloaded from data on your computer. The advantages of this method are that it will emerge from the boot up faster than a regular boot up, it will resume where you left off, and no electricity is being used when the system hibernates. A disadvantage is that the data that is stored on your computer can become fragmented over time and slow your system, so running DEFRAG is important.

Now, because Vista seems to have some issues with the Hibernation on computers, especially if you have run disk cleanup, it is important to know how to FIX that little issue. Some versions of Vista don’t support Hibernation, and sometimes it takes a tweak in the BIOS [Basic Input Output System – it runs when you first turn on your machine BEFORE Windows does its dance]. However, if Hibernation ran at some point and no longer does, then these are the steps to restore HIBERNATE on Vista [many thanks to Neil Patel and  Worldstart for the directions].

  1. Go to START and in the search bar, type “command
  2. When you see Command Prompt in the list of found items, right click it and select “Run As Administrator”
  3. A command window opens, and it will show a path (which is no consequence in all this) type the following command “powercfg/hibernate on” then hit Enter
  4. Once that is complete, restart your computer. Next time you click on the extended options to turn off your machine, you should see Hibernate listed in the options.
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