Howto Manage Hibernate Mode in Windows 7

Hibernation : Hibernate is a feature of many computer operating systems where the contents of RAM are written to non-volatile storage such as a hard disk, as a file or on a separate partition, before powering off the computer. When the computer is restarted it reloads the content of memory and is restored to the state it was in when hibernation was invoked. Hibernating and later restarting is usually faster than closing down, later starting up, and starting all the programs that were running. Going into hibernation requires no user interaction; shutting down when programs are open either requires programs to be closed properly, or user interaction to force them to close, with possible loss of data.

While starting from a hibernated state is usually quicker than starting up and opening all applications, it still requires a few seconds or more, depending on the system's general speed.

To enable hibernation the hard disk must have sufficient free space to store all non-replaceable contents of RAM.

In some cases entering into hibernation can cause incorrect operation on restarting, due to problems with the hibernation software, or with devices or software which is not fully compliant. Hibernate causes connections to other devices to terminate.

If you don’t use the Hibernate option in Windows 7, you can save some disk space by disabling it. Here we will look at a few different ways to manage hibernate options in Windows 7.

Note: Hibernate mode is not an option on systems with 4GB of RAM or more.

Enable or Disable Hibernate Through Command Prompt

Using the Command Prompt might be the easiest way to enable or disable Hibernation. Click on Start and type CMD into the search box and it will be listed under programs. Right-click on the icon and select Run as administrator.

The Command Prompt opens and you will use the following to enable Hibernation.

powercfg /hibernate on

Type in the following to disable hibernation.

powercfg /hibernate off

Manage Hibernation Through Control Panel

Click on Start and open Control Panel then click on Power Options.

On the left side click on Change when the computer sleeps.

Now click on Change advanced power settings.

In the Advanced Power Options window expand the Sleep tree then expand Hibernate after and change the minutes to zero to turn it off. Or you can specify the amount of minutes you want to pass before it goes into hibernation. After you’ve made your selection click Apply and Ok then close out of the remaining screens.

Where is Hibernate option?

What if you try the command line option to turn it on and Hibernate mode still isn’t available? Then what you’ll want to do is disable Hybrid Sleep by expanding Allow hybrid sleep and turning it Off.

Now you should have Hibernate and Sleep as part of the power options in the start menu and will also be an option when you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Enable/Disable Hibernate Through Regedit

Note: Changing registry values can cause your computer to become unstable or stop functioning and is only recommended for experienced users.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…you might want to completely disable Hibernate mode through a registry edit. Open the Registry and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Power and change both HiberFileSizePercent and HibernateEnabled value data to zero to disable it and 60 to enable it. After you’ve made the changes close out of the Registry Editor and restart the machine.

If you always turn off your computer or never do, you can disable the Hibernate mode to gain a bit of extra hard disk space. On our Windows 7 (32-bit) machine with a 300GB hard drive, disabling Hibernation gained us just over 3GB of more disk space. That may not seem like much especially with today’s high capacity drives, but if you don’t need Hibernation, why not reclaim that space?


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