Last updateFri, 02 Jan 2015 5pm
Deli Ocho

Computer needs a nap? Sleep, hibernation dilemmas

My Aunt Rose, no longer an octogenarian because she proudly points out as of this summer she is a nonagenarian, asks this week’s question as she familiarizes herself with her new laptop and its newer version of Windows.  “On the computer, what is the difference between hibernate and sleep?” she emails me to ask.

Hibernate and sleep are two states situated between on and off.  Everyone already understands that if any electric appliance is on it can be turned off.  Likewise when a computer is on it can be turned off, but being a more sophisticated device the computer offers some in-between options.

Sleep is a state in which most of a computer’s operations are placed in a minimum power consumption state to save the battery.  Hard disks are powered down, screen turned off, and memory chips are placed on hold.  When you “wake up” your computer, it boots very quickly because it was actually still on. While sleeping, the computer is still running basic functions.

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