To Sleep, perchance to Hibernate or Shutdown ?

With the wide collection of new Windows mobile computing devices such as tablets and 2 in 1’s the question to Sleep, Hibernate or shut down a machine has become more of a grey area. Is there a right or wrong way?
Well No basically, it really does depend on what and, believe it or not, where/how you use the computer, as users utilising sleep often encounter issues caused by how they use the machine and in what environment.

As the computer that can be used anywhere brings in further problems which users may not even consider, how many users, do the following close the laptop lid, slide the laptop into their case and dash off after meetings. Or, at home leave the laptop on the couch/settee cushion when they work, or lay on the floor carpet.

Basically, blocking the air vents on devices with small footprints that rely on circulation to keep cool, is a bad idea and can lead to hardware problems. Try using a tablet after streaming a movie, and you’ll notice it gets warmer to hold. It really does depend on what you’re doing. Light use such as email, browsing hardly uses any power, so you don’t get heating problem as the processor isn’t breaking a sweat, so closing the lid is less of a worry.
Any way the rules of thumb I’d recommend, aren’t just for battery/power saving but also take into consideration the actual components in your machine.

The option to use if you’re away from the machine for a short period of time, and want the device to start up quickly when you return or get to the next location in a short time. As all power except to RAM is effectively disconnected. The system has basically remembered what it was doing, so it can recall that state instantly on power up.
Problem is, leave it for a long time or during lower battery and you have the risk of RAM fail and possible corruption of memory, with the system not waking correctly and having to do a reboot.

The big sleep, the entire state of your computer is saved to disk basically, so when you wake the machine from this state it takes a while longer than sleep as the saved file contents are read back to reinitialise the machine from the state prior to hibernating. So you can you this for long periods, as power save is more effective than napping/sleeping the system
Issue you have here is inexperienced users panic in the time it takes to wake, and start hitting power buttons keys, which can interrupt the reinitialise and therefore they start thinking it broken, when it doesn’t restart instantly.

Power off
For me the better option, yes it takes longer to start the machine in comparison, if it’s taking ages, I’d recommend reviewing the apps you have is start up, are they all necessary?
Why is it better? Re starting the machine, gives you clean disk caches, reloads the registry, and clean RAM, so everything is ready to go with a clean slate. The start clean ensures no memory resident stuff left from apps that you may have run still hogging memory from sleep/hibernate is cluttering, or even more dangerously still holding in memory resident possible threat (malware for example)

Lots of users have ‘bad habits’ my heart sinks when I see folk wandering around the office with an open laptop balance precariously in one hand, mug of tea in the other, knowing that another possible “repair” is coming my way. The above functions work, use them in the correct fashion and you’ll be able to come back to, or transit a machine without a problem. Also note that the battery life is a recommendation not a guarantee when using them 🙂


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