For some users the ability to hibernate their PC instead of shutting down is disabled on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. All modern PC hardware supports hibernating and it is a great alternative to using sleep or the standby modes that continue to use power and can drain your battery if you have a laptop. Hibernation does not use any power after and it saves the state of your PC so you can resume just like you never turned your PC off with all of your applications running and open that you previously were using.
There are some negative aspects of hibernating compared to using the sleep function instead. First, entering hibernation is a slower process as the PC must write the contents of RAM to disk and then shutdown. Second, as the PC boots up it must load the contents of RAM from disk back into memory and that can take some time on a machine with a lot of RAM.
Enabling hibernation requires a simple command that must be run from an administrative level prompt:
- Open the Start Menu/Screen and type in cmd and then hold down Shift + Ctrl and hit Enter. This will open a administrative level prompt.
- Type in powercfg /hibernate on
- Hit Enter and hibernation will be enabled immediately.