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Differences Between Hibernate and Stand By

computerHibernate vs Stand By

In Windows XP operating system, there are two different power saving or sleep options available; the Hibernate and Stand By modes. Both of these features provide the system user convenience, not only, by granting less power consumption but by also making the computer swift in recovering previous computer activity.

Stand By mode is the customary type of sleep mode. If you select it, you will reduce the computer’s power consumption to almost zero. The power to the monitor, hard drive, and other peripheral devices is cut, leaving only enough power to maintain the on state of the computerí’ memory ñ which is the RAM. The RAM saves all the data such as applications used, opened files, and ongoing documents.

In Stand By, the computer is in extremely low power mode. This power saving feature is very useful in portable computing devices such as laptops and notebooks. A big drawback however with Stand By is that you risk losing data when the power is cut for some reason. The remedy for that is to save your documents and other data before going on Stand By or opt for the other power saving option ± the Hibernate mode.

Selecting the Hibernate mode, will save an image of the desktop, with all the open windows, activated applications, and files. The data will be saved on the hard disk then your computer will turn off just as if you have shut it down. No power is used ñ the display, monitor, devices, and RAM are in completely off state. Powering on from Hibernation will recover your last computer activity with all of your windows, applications, and files open.

Stand By mode will restart and recover faster while the more secure Hibernate mode will considerably ‘wake up’ slower. By default, Stand By is readily available to be activated as a button is visible when you try to shut down or restart your computer. Hibernate button is rather hidden. When using the Fast User Switching View in XP, you need to press and hold down the SHIFT key to change the Stand By button to Hibernate.


1.    In Stand By mode, the computer will still use power to save data in memory while in Hibernate mode, power is completely shut off but only before saving data in the hard disk.
2.    Hibernate mode will save more power than Stand By mode.
3.    Restarting from Stand By mode is much faster than from Hibernate mode.
4.    When power is lost while in Stand By mode, all data in memory is lost while Hibernate mode, since it is definitely saved prior to shut down ñ, lost power is inconsequential.
5.    Stand By uses the RAM to save data while Hibernate saves an image into the hard disk.
6.    Hibernate button is not always visible particularly in Fast User Switching view while the Stand By button is visible by default.

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