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Which one will do minimum harm to my computer


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#1 YesImOtto

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:48 AM

Sleep, stand by or hibernate?

First of all - I have a laptop. I dont quite get the difference between all three. What I normally do is, when I want to go for a few hours, I just close my laptop, and thats it. Then after I get home I open it again to be used. Overnight, though, I just simply shut it down.

Question is, what I did above - is it called standby or sleep?

Forgetting my method above, what is the best way that will do minimum harm to my computer yet saves most energy? Is it sleep standby or hibernate?
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#2 MarkGS

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:07 AM

Sleep is a power-saving state that allows a computer to quickly resume full-power operation (typically within several seconds) when you want to start working again. Putting your computer into the sleep state is like pausing a DVD player—the computer immediately stops what it’s doing and is ready to start again when you want to resume working.

Hibernation is a power-saving state designed primarily for laptops. While sleep puts your work and settings in memory and draws a small amount of power, hibernation puts your open documents and programs on your hard disk, and then turns off your computer. Of all the power-saving states in Windows, hibernation uses the least amount of power. On a laptop, use hibernation when you know that you won't use your laptop for an extended period and won't have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time.

Hybrid sleep is designed primarily for desktop computers. Hybrid sleep is a combination of sleep and hibernate—it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. That way, if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. When hybrid sleep is turned on, putting your computer into sleep automatically puts your computer into hybrid sleep. Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default on desktop computers.

That is from Microsoft.com. Standby is the hybrid sleep mode. On a Windows based computer I typically just put my computer into hibernation mode because it draws less power and it's a quicker startup than a cold boot. Sleep is going to be your fastest resume and cause the least amount of wear on the computer. So I would recommend putting it to sleep if you plan on using it not too long after, and put it in hibernation over night to conserve power.

#3 strolln

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:47 AM

What your laptop does when you close the lid is configurable by you. I don't know which OS you're running but in Windows 7 you would go to Start->Control Panel->Hardware and Sound->Power Options->System Settings. There you'll find options to tell your laptop what it should do when you close the lid, you can choose different actions depending on whether the laptop is connected to AC or on battery. Sleep requires power to maintain, hibernate doesn't so, typically, when connected to AC you want to sleep, but when on battery, hibernate. Aside from the power issue, the computer can resume quicker from sleep than it can from hibernate so you may also want to take that into consideration. One way to remember the difference between sleep and hibernate is to think that sleep is generally shorter in duration than hibernate (you sleep 8 hours, a bear hibernates all winter).

Edited by strolln, 05 August 2011 - 09:51 AM.

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#4 Animal

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 01:51 PM

Take a look here: Sleep and hibernation: frequently asked questions

And another as it's explained for Vista, but still relevant information. http://www.mydigitallife.info/what-is-the-differences-between-sleep-standby-and-hibernate-in-vista/

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#5 YesImOtto

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:02 PM

Thank you. Starting to understand sleep (or standby) vs hibernate.

Now.....Just looking for opinions. What do you guys use on your laptops? Personally I always put in on sleep unless overnight, when I just turn it off.

I heard too much sleep isnt good for the laptop....this concerns me .. :(

#6 Animal

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:07 PM

I don't use any features, and they are all disabled. I turn it off when not in use at the end of the day.

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#7 strolln

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:12 PM

I use sleep for when my laptop is plugged into AC and hibernate when on battery.
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#8 YesImOtto

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:11 PM

But I read that too much sleep/on/sleep/on can damage the computer. is this true?

#9 strolln

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:33 AM

I'm not aware of sleep causing any damage. Can you post a link to where you read that?
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#10 YesImOtto

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:35 AM

I'm not aware of sleep causing any damage. Can you post a link to where you read that?

Well, its yahoo answers :P Maybe some random people who dont know what they were talking about...

But you are in bleepicomputer forum so i am sure you have more knowledge ;)

Well, Im glad sleep doesnt cause any damage :)

#11 strolln

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:16 AM

The battery in a laptop does have a finite life but, to my knowledge, putting the laptop in sleep mode has no adverse effect on how long the battery lasts. I can't think of any other possible "damage" it may cause.
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#12 rotor123

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:28 PM

I turn everything off when I'm done.

I have seen some laptops that didn't sleep or hibernate properly when the user takes them out of the laptop bag they are hot. That can't be good for them. I suspect they started to do one thing and then shut the lid causing it to stay active in an enclosed space.

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#13 rotor123

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:30 PM

The battery in a laptop does have a finite life but, to my knowledge, putting the laptop in sleep mode has no adverse effect on how long the battery lasts. I can't think of any other possible "damage" it may cause.


It could cause more charge / discharge cycles thereby impacting battery life. Battery life is determined by how many cycles more than time

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#14 strolln

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:16 PM


The battery in a laptop does have a finite life but, to my knowledge, putting the laptop in sleep mode has no adverse effect on how long the battery lasts. I can't think of any other possible "damage" it may cause.


It could cause more charge / discharge cycles thereby impacting battery life. Battery life is determined by how many cycles more than time

That was true of older batteries, newer Lithium-Ion batteries lifetime is a set amount of time with charge/discharge cycles having no consequence. The bad part of that is that the clock for the battery's life starts ticking the day it was manufactured, not when you bought it. That means if it sat on the shelf for a few months that much of its life is gone.

Edited by strolln, 06 August 2011 - 06:19 PM.

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#15 bludgard

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:54 PM

I never use anything but power off. There are issues posted on forums everywhere with the posters claiming they get less sleep than their machines from worrying about it. As an old timer once told me: "Don't let the computer become an end to itself. It is a tool that should be used for enlightenment, ease of commerce, and the joy of mankind." (Paraphrased)

I love my sleep; to h*** with the computer. :smash:




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