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Should I Shut Down, Hibernate, or Sleep?

by nster1 / July 5, 2007 7:33 AM PDT

I have vista, and was wondering what's the best practices for when I should Shut down, hibernate, or sleep?

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What to do...
by Papa Echo / July 5, 2007 8:00 AM PDT

?Shutdown:Overnight, or you are not using the computer for long periods.

?Hibernate: This is for laptops operating on batteries - set the laptop to go into hibernation automatically at a certain low battery level, e.g. 5%. Your work is saved temporalily until you go off hiberbation. You can also use this feature when you want to shut down in an emergency and want to save what you are doing temporary. (for desktops and laptops.)

?Sleep: When you want to go off for a little while and want to return to what you are doing. Your work is not saved unless you do it manually.

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depends on your usage
by ramarc / July 5, 2007 8:34 AM PDT

i rarely shutdown my home pcs/laptops and schedule backups/maintenance in the middle of the night. that ensures those activities don't interfere with me when i'm using the pc/laptop. both my wife and i will hop on our pc/laptop at any time during the day or evening so we just always use automatic sleep.

a laptop's sleep mode draws little power and generates little heat so it won't adversely affect any components. battery life may be lessened a bit but my wife's laptop seems to last just as long as it did 2 years ago.

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what about in the backpack?
by nster1 / July 5, 2007 9:26 AM PDT

Thanks for the tips!
I will be using my laptop in college, and was wondering if it is safe to use sleep or hibernate and then put the laptop in my backpack?

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In that case...
by Papa Echo / July 5, 2007 6:32 PM PDT

..shut it off. Why do you not want to turn it off ? After a day's work, turn the computer off. It resets itself for a fresh start the next time you boot.

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You should shut down AT least once a week.
by orlbuckeye / July 5, 2007 11:11 PM PDT
In reply to: In that case...

Sometimes when programs close they don't close down properly and use resources. You also have memory leaks that use up rwesources. I reboot once a day to clear out all those resources.

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Also, may I add
by PudgyOne / July 5, 2007 11:27 PM PDT

since you're going to college,set up the guest account with a password.

Never give them your password to an unrestricted account.

If you don't have Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc...

I would recommend Open Office. It's FREE and can be downloaded here.

Just remember to save the file extensions as .xls or .doc so others can open them. The older versions of Microsoft do NOT support the ods extension.


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sleep or hibernating in backpack (or case)
by Ardy Mattox` / July 7, 2007 3:22 AM PDT

I don't know if your laptop gets warm while hibernating, etc. Mine does, so I don't hibernate if I'm going to be closing it in a case of any kind. I'd check it after 10 or so minutes and see how warm/hot it gets and if it does warm up I'd turn it off to pack it in a case.

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Like a lot of things, it depends...
by davemartin / July 9, 2007 8:44 PM PDT

My laptop takes 8-10 minutes to finish starting when I completely turn it off. If I restart from hibernating, it takes less than 2. Secondly, the info held in memory, as mentioned in an earlier post, is helpful for me. I am a consultant and log into customer sites/personal machines regularly. When I hibernate, I can work immediately the next day without all the re-logging in and linking. If I fully restart, all the login and linking information is cleared. So for me time is the consideration here.
My HP laptop does not heat up while hibernating, and I typically perform a power-down and restart once weekly, or when I notice a dropoff in speed or functionality. I have been doing things this way for 3 years, with no adverse effects.
If I allow the machine to self-hibernate, results are less predictable. I always fully restart if the machine self-hibernates when the battery gets low.
Test with your machine. Examine your own personal and professional needs. Do what works best and safest for you.

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Hybrid feature for Vista
by RSBrown / July 12, 2007 10:10 PM PDT

Referring back to the original question, Vista has introduced a new alternative called, "hybrid", which is a blend of "sleep" and "hibernate" modes; this mode is not available in XP. "Hybrid" employs most of the energy conservation in "hibernate", but starts up more quickly, comparable to that of the "sleep" mode. "Hybrid" should allow the notebook to run cooler than "sleep" in the rest state.

Hybrid should provide the best option for moving between classes/library, preserving remaining battery power, running cooler, and providing a quicker start mode - when the intent is to access the computer at alternate times during the day. I recommend powering off notebooks when not in use for several hours.

Vista also has some alternatives to preserve battery life when connected to AC sources for long periods of time. It allows for a "less than full" charge option (i.e., less than 100%) and discharge to a low percentage, theoretically allowing the battery to have a longer life. This aspect is debated in many circles and is not the optimum charging state for someone planning to run on batteries during the day for business or school. It is meant to work for those who stay connected for long periods to AC power.

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Here's the low-down
by froasier / July 10, 2007 10:43 AM PDT

I have Windows XP, but it's pretty much the same with both versions.

"Stand By" ("Sleep" in Vista) only shuts down certain parts of the machine, so it still will use some battery power and may be a bit warm, but less so than when it is running normally. This is the quickest to do and to "wake up" from, and generally laptops will automatically go into stand-by mode when you close them and wake up when you open them, so it is useful for short amounts of time such as walking to class. Usually I just close my laptop and once the power light shows it's in stand-by I put it in my bag and go. This seems to work fine, and if I leave it in there for too long (depending on power settings, mine is 30 minutes) it will automatically go into hibernation. You might want to test and make sure your laptop doesn't get too warm in stand-by mode, but most laptops should be fine, and if you don't hear any fans running it should definitely be fine to put it in the bag.

"Hibernate" stores the contents of the memory to the hard drive and then completely shuts down the computer, so there is no concern about heat or battery drainage. Use this when you need to shut down for an extended amount of time but then immediately resume what you had open. This takes longer to do and "wake up" from than stand by (sleep) but not as long as shutting down and restarting.

"Shut Down" your computer if you won't be using it for a while and you can close everything you have open. This takes the longest to do and to "wake up" from but it's generally the healthiest for your computer.

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Put your laptop to sleep
by open4energy / July 21, 2009 8:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's the low-down

For any who are interested

$2.98 - the savings that can be made by putting your laptop to sleep each time you take a break, rather than allowing its power manager to do the job.

It takes a little attention, but so does remembering to turn off the light, in fact just about everything that we need to do to save energy at home.

The complete article is at

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