Hibernate your Windows 7 Desktop

Windows 7 on desktop machines doesn’t have a hibernate button. It does have a sleep option which in fact is a “hybrid sleep”, a half way house between hibernation (RAM copied to disk) and sleep (RAM kept alive by a small voltage).

Hybrid sleep is a good compromise but I really prefer to have the machine turned off but I like to keep the state recorded. I need hibernation and that’s where this FAQ came in. It has a good explanation of the different sleep states, how to enable hibernation and most importantly, what to do when your machine won’t stay in hibernation (chances are your mouse is waking up your PC).

It didn’t mention “powercfg -h on” which I found recommended on several forums like this one. Odd. I ran that from an Adminstrator’s cmd shell so I can’t say for sure if it’s required or not any more.

In a nutshell:

  1. Turn off hybrid sleep in the Power Options advanced settings.
  2. In your mouse device properties disable the checkbox that allows it to wake up the computer.

Also, if you right click on the Shutdown button you can change the default action to Hibernate, sleep or any of the shutdown options. When updates are to be installed it changes back to “Shutdown”.

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Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

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