Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do you sleep, standby or hibernate?

Last year we looked at your need to shut down your computer. Today, we are going to look at the power settings. Computers have definitely improved over the years when it comes to power management. There are three different states (or settings) depending on the Windows operating system.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream - Putting your computer to SLEEP, means that everything stays the same, like pausing a movie. It reduces power, stops what it is doing (while keeping your information in memory) and allows a quick wake up. Sleep draws a small amount of power but much less than leaving it running. If you loose power, you will lose your settings and anything not saved to the hard drive.

Stirring Suddenly from Long Hibernation - Hibernation is designed for laptops. When you 'hibernate' the computer, it saves the information (called an image) of what you are doing at that time from the memory to the hard drive then turns the computer off. When you turn it on, it restores everything as you left it, but it will take a little bit longer to start your computer after hibernation, just like some of us get grouchy after oversleeping.☺

We're Back to the Old Standby? - Also found on laptops (XP), standby means you are running your machine in a very low power mode to save battery power. (This is very similar to Sleep mode.

So why would you use these settings over shutting down and booting up? Because it actually takes more energy to do that than putting it to sleep or into hibernation. Sleep is quickest but hibernation actually loads quicker that a boot up as well.

Side note... With a laptop, if you put the system to sleep (save in memory) and your battery runs seriously low, Windows will automatically put the laptop into hibernation mode.

So now you know! Tomorrow we will look at how to change those power settings so stay tuned!

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