Should we use the Sleep/Stand By mode?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Wes, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Never realized this mode was on my PC we just always use the Shut Down mode when turning it off for the night. So I started using the Sleep button on my keyboard and I think I like that better. No waiting for it to boot up every time. So is it bad to use this mode over shutting the PC down? Do you guys use it?

    (WinXP)

    Wes
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    It uses a small amount of electricity. Some machines don't wake up correctly, and lock up -- some occasionally, some regularly. You should always save files just in case.

    But I use it all the time on a couple different machines. You should occasionally reboot your Windows box, but if you wait for the periodic Windows Updates, that may be enough [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    I've had the same experience as Ken. Some machines I've had tended to lock up when woken up. I currently have an AMD machine and the only problem I have had with standby mode is that AOL does not want to start up after wake up. Other than that, all is well.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    We are talking HIBERNATION mode...right?
     
  5. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    hibernation mode is evil, disable it!
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Now that is an interesting statement.

    Why is hibernation evil?

    I have used it with no problems, though I admit
    only on a few occasions.
     
  7. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    I have a laptop and use standby and hibernation quite a bit. I love them both and they each have their purpose.

    I do a full power down once a week, just to make sure things get cleaned up a bit.
     
  8. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    OK so is there a Sleep mode and Stand By and also a Hibernation? Whats the difference?

    Wes
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I frequently "hibernate" my Windows XP Pro box. Typically I'll shut it down completely once a day or once every two days, but if I'm going to be away for a while and know I will be coming back to it, I just hibernate, and save power that way. I find that if I hibernate the unit more than six or so times in a row, it starts getting flakey, so at minimum I restart once a week.
     
  10. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Sleep (what they call it on the Mac) and Standby (Windows) are the same. The machine turns off almost everything (display, drives, fans) but uses a tiny bit of juice to keep everything in RAM so that it can wake up "immediately" (Macs generally much more immediate than Windows). If you pull the plug or the battery dies, it's as if it wasn't on standby -- you lose everything.

    With Windows' Hibernate, the OS dumps the contents of RAM onto the disk, which takes several seconds, then shuts the machine off. At this point, you don't need any power. When it starts up, it takes several seconds to read the data off disk back into RAM, and then resume.

    The Mac very recently introduced something similar called Safe Sleep, but it is supported only on newer PowerBooks (there is a hack to try it on other machines).

    I don't use Hibernate. I use the machines pretty much every day, and also have them set to automatically go to sleep when I haven't used them for like a half-hour. So I want them to be immediately available. It takes too long to wake from Hibernate. Also, as people here report, machines seem flakier with Hibernate. After you get burned a few times, you give up on it.
     
  11. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    Sleep and hibernation (and power management in general) can be a bit like Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge, etc. You'll find some people who've used one successfully with nary an incident...and you'll find people who've had nothing but problems with the extact same hardware.

    There is always a potential for data loss when using these modes which is why any responsible network admin will disable them all...including power management for the monitor. Home users, however, are stuck with a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, there usually are no other network users who rely on one specific machine being accessible, so if that machine freezes while waking it isn't a problem. The other side of that coin is that most home users have no backup for their data of any kind. If power management tips the scales toward an unrecoverable crash, then you're SOL. That's not to say that power management would be the root cause, but I've seen something as simple as having the 3D pipes screen saver lock up a customer's network server. In a way that led to the problem being corrected, but hopefully you see what I'm getting at.

    As long as you always save any work you have open you should be OK. If you do experience problems, any changes to Windows itself before a proper reboot, (updates, settings, etc.) can be lost. For my home computers I disable all automatic power management. I'll allow a "My Pictures Slideshow" screensaver, but I won't allow the computer to turn off my screen. In my case, the screen is my 50" plasma and is being used for TV 90% of the time and is off when not in use anyway. As for the computer itself...it's always on...rebooted every few days.

    The energy consumption for most newer computers isn't really that high. The EPA estimates between $7 and $52 per year to run your PC. Those numbers are relative and may or may not be a lot of money to you. Now, that doesn't include a monitor or any peripherals. CRT monitors and laser printers are the true power hogs, and I've yet to see power management cause any issues for them. Another bench test I found shows things higher and breaks out the cost of a CRT monitor. LCD's are significantly lower...less than half.

    Computers are best left to an "if it ain't broke" approach IMO. If you have a good reason for making a change, then give it a try under conditions where you're confident you won't lose anything. And I know others have seen me harp on this before, but...[rant]back up your data.[/rant] [​IMG]
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Paul is right.

    It works for some but not for all.

    In my case, hibernation has worked great
    for me as long as I don't rely on it over an extended
    period of time.

    In other words, it's a great way to turn on your
    computer within seconds with all your programs running
    exactly as you left it....

    However, in my case, if I use it over and over again
    without doing a cold reboot it tends to flake out with
    some programs experiencing operating problems.
     
  13. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    I use standby on my laptop to conserve battery. Our family uses the laptops a lot, and I don't like powering them on all the time. We set to standby when not in use and don't have to completely power up each time. A battery charge also lasts longer. After a year or so, we've had no problems. With our wireless network, it is nice to be able to sit anywhere and surf or consult our various forums without waiting for the laptop to turn on each time. We do turn the laptop off at night. The only time I've gone into hibernation mode is when I don't get the battery charged in time. My Toshiba hibernates and then turns off.
     
  14. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Well, that's just... I dunno, sad [​IMG]

    One benefit of sleep/hibernate for home users is that it makes the machines silent. Computers are better about noise than they used to be, but they're usually not quiet enough to be on 24/7 (if they're in a room where you can hear them).
     
  15. JasonWW

    JasonWW Agent

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  16. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Here's a reason NOT to use hibernate. It can severely corrupt your hard drive.

    The problem is that the computer requires that the hibernation file be stored as a single contiguous file on your hard drive, a file that's as big as your memory size and MUST REMAIN IN THE SAME PHYSICAL LOCATION on the hard drive. The reason for this is that when your computer comes out of hibernation, all the computer knows is the physical address of the file, but not the underlying operating system or the partition type where the file resides. The computer starts reading the contents of the file from the physical address stored in the BIOS and saves it into memory.

    So as long as you don't change/move the partitions on your hard drive, the hibernation file remains in the same PHYSICAL location. BUT! If you alter the partitions on your hard drive, the hibernate file's physical location may change, but the computer doesn't know it! The next time the computer goes into hibernation, it writes the hibernation file at the same location as programmed in the BIOS -- overwriting any data in its path.

    Come out of hibernation and you find out right then or the next time you reboot that your partition has been severely damaged and you've either lost data or need to do a full reinstall.

    At least with the Suspend/Sleep mode, all you risk losing is your previously saved session. The OS easily recovers from this because all previously opened files were closed before the computer went to sleep. Since no writes have been done to the hard drive, it essentially remains intact.

    I found out how destructive the hibernation file was on my old IBM 600X notebook when I had to shuffle partitions around to accomodate two operating systems on the same drive. I couldn't understand why I kept losing one of the partitions all the time.
     
  17. JasonWW

    JasonWW Agent

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    Well, you don't want to use hibernation if you are changing any hardware parts, memory sticks or partition sizes. How often do you do that anyway? It's mainly for you to shut sdown and power up a PC that you use all the time that the configuration stays the same on. If you do make a change, the OS will tell you that it can't boot from the hibernation file and to hit a key on the keyboard at which time it will boot up normally. So I really don't see any problem with S4.

    Now if the power is removed while the PC is in standby or suspend (S3) then I'm pretty sure you will lose some data. I don't see how you couldn't lose at least a few things. It's like pulling the plug on a running computer.
     
  18. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Sleep hardly saves any power at all on my PC. I usually chose hibernation and shut down completely instead of sleep, unless I am coming back to my PC very soon. I have had no problems with hibernation. Windows XP seems pretty solid vs the olde 98 SE.
     
  19. JasonWW

    JasonWW Agent

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    Are you using S1, S2 or S3? S3 is by far the most efficient if your PC can use it. The CPU is shut down conpletely and only enough juice for the RAM to stay charged and for it to listen for a wake up signal is used.

    I can understand not using any of these modes on a home PC. If it can boot fairly qiuckly there's not much point in it. Overclocked PC's are especially hard to use these modes. I started learning and experimenting with these different power options because I'm running my PC in a car. There you need low power consumption and a quick boot.
     
  20. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    That's more of a problem with the process of altering partitions. Last time I tried to alter my partition, I lost my computer's recovery files (which were similarly stored in a particular place, and could not be found after a partition change). Moral was: never repartition your hard drive!
     

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