Most of the computer users leave there systems in a working state or shut down the complete system, if they want to leave for a short time from the system. May of us don’t have the right idea about what to do when we want to keep the computer idle for a short time or a very long time. Interestingly, operating system provides some options to keep the computer in different state based on our needs, but many of us don’t have any idea about sleep and hibernate mode. Truly speaking I don’t have any detailed idea about the hibernate option for a long time. I kept the system in sleep mode or shut down, when I want to leave my system. So which method you should adopt when you are leaving your desktop or laptop?

Fist I try to clear the confusion between the terms sleep, and hibernate. Sleep is clear from it’s meaning itself, it is a state of sleep, we puts the computer in a low-power state, but doesn’t turn it off. A small amount of power is used to keep the memory on, but other parts are shut down and hence these parts requires no power. We can awaken the system by touching the power button and you can see that everything will be right where you left off. In Hibernate state the system saves its current state to the hard drive including the working files of  RAM into a file on the hard drive. When you boot up the system it loads the files to RAM and opens the programs and data and kept it in a state where you left off. Hibernate is a state of shut down,but a memorized shut down. In Hibernate state the computer saves its state, then turns itself off. The computer will reload its state when you turn it on again.

You may get the idea about the sleep (stand by) and Hibernate modes. The advantage of Hibernate is, the computer powers up faster than a normal boot. In the Hibernate condition the computer uses zero power, which is a good power saver option for laptop having a limited power backup. Sleep/Standby mode the system uses power at a reduced level, in this cane all the non-essential components are turned off. But the advantage of sleep mode is, we can awake the computer faster than from hibernate mode. From this it is clear that, if you want to keep your system idle for a short time sleep mode is the best option, you can turn it one,by hitting the power button. The computer awake faster and ask for password to enter (if the password is enabled). You can continue your work from where you left off. But sleep mode requires some battery power. If it is a laptop and is connected to a laptop cooler and other peripherals, it also draws power and the battery will drain with in a few hours. So if you are using a laptop and want to leave the system for a few hours than the backup time of the battery, put it in Hibernate mode. It is also a state of shutdown, hence no power will be used.

Now you know what to do with the computer when you want to leave the system. The laptop have a power management option as seen in the below picture. If you haven’t noticed it earlier, you can set it now. The Power Management options can be accessed by following these steps.In your Windows system right-click on the desktop, select Properties,choose the Screen Saver tab and click on the Power button. You can see a set off power management options like the one in the below screenshot. You can also do it Linux system. If you are using an Ubuntu system, go to System, then to Preferences and go to Screensaver. You can find and click the Power Management button from there.

After setting the button, you can put your computer in energy saving mode, sleep mode using the power button on your computer. The computer saves all open documents and programs in to memory. You can easily resume your computer from its sleep mode and access all those documents you have been using.In sleep mode the system uses approximately 2% of the energy.  If you choose the Hibernate option the computer saves all your open documents and programs to computer hard disk and turns off the computer. The sessions is restored when we pressing the power button.

If you put your computer in an idle state, it eats up the power for some more time and it turns off, or go to sleep mode based on the power settings. If it is kept in shut down mode, all of your unsaved documents will be lost as the system will be turned off after a specific time. This is not good for your work. So set the system in sleep mode or put in Hibernate state or if you want to keep the system turned off for a few days you can shut down the system. Which option you are using? share your thoughts here.


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