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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: How to save space on Solid State Drives (SSDs) - Part Two: Disable Hibernation

**EDITED**


Description: This is a technical article on to the topic of saving space on Solid State Drives. Part Two covers disabling Hibernation mode, which will free up several gigabytes of space on most systems.

The purpose of this article series is to show how to save space on Solid State drives, which are typically smaller than standard hard drives. In this second article we will be disabling Hibernation Mode, which saves several gigabytes of space by removing the hibernation file, which is typically 75% as big as your total system RAM. In other words, if you have 4GB of ram, the hibernation file will be about 3GB in size.

Netbook and Notebook Users
Hibernation is a commonly used feature for notebooks to save battery, and typically is the "go-to" mode for laptops when the battery is running low. If you are using a notebook or netbook, we do not recommend disabling hibernation.

Hibernation File
Let's start by seeing how much space the hibernation file takes up on the system, and then remove it. Note that this document uses the command line. Be sure to enter only and precisely the commands as they are displayed in this document. Failure to do so could result in damage to your system.

Hibernation is a feature that isn't often used - its purpose is to save energy by putting the machine in to a low-power state, but it sometimes takes several minutes to go in to and resume from hibernation and only saves marginally more power than Sleep Mode, which is nearly instant to enter and resume from. For most people, sleep mode is more than sufficient and doesn't take up any of your hard drive space. If you are unsure about whether or not you need the hibernation feature, consult a technician or just skip to the next document.
  1. Go to Start, enter CMD, then right-click on it and choose Run As Administrator.

    Run as admin

  2. On the new window, enter "CD C:\" (without the quotes) in to the box and press enter. The Command Prompt will return a C:\> prompt.

    command prompt

  3. Enter "dir /as" (without  the quotes) and press enter to see the size of the hibernation file.
    • Note: It displays the size of the file in bytes, so just think of the left-most number (in this case ‘3’) to be roughly the number of gigabytes it is using on your hard drive.

    dir /as

  4. To turn off the hibernation file, enter "powercfg -h off" (without  the quotes) and press enter. It will return a C:\> prompt.

    powercfg -h off

  5. Now enter "dir /as" (without  the quotes) in to the box and press enter. The hiberfil.sys file should now be gone, and the space is freed up on your SSD. If not, then it should disappear after a reboot.

    dir /as

  6. Once this is completed, restart your computer to complete the process. Hibernation is now disabled on the system, and the space is saved on the SSD.
For more assistance contact Technical Support here.

5 comments:

  1. Hibernation is a feature that isn't often used - its purpose is to save energy by putting the machine into a low-power state, but it takes sometimes several minutes to go into and resume from hibernation and only saves marginally more power than Sleep Mode, which is nearly instant to enter and resume from. For most people, sleep mode is more than sufficient and doesn't take up any of your hard drive space.

    There's a BIG difference, especially with desktops, but also holds true for laptops as well.

    When in sleep mode, the computer is suspended, but still turned on, in a low power state, Pull the plug (take out the battery) and it's gone.
    Hibernation is dumping the contents of ram into a file, and then turning the power OFF. Take the system apart, come back 6 months, a year later, it's still going to power back up to the state you hibernated from.
    It's also what laptops tend to do when they run out of battery power.

    I NEVER power off my desktops, haven't for about 10 years. I always hibernate, and if need be, I'll restart afterwards.
    it's also very handy for things like system work. 2 weeks ago I had to clean out my main desktop, replace a fan, and redo the cpu thermal paste. I ran a baseline using speedfan, and then hibernated. I did the cleaning and part changes, and then powered back up. Because I knew the same software was running both times, I had a direct comparison of temperature (went from 54C under 98% cpu load, to 41C)

    Sleep has it's uses, which is when you're going to be coming back to it soon, and don't think there's any risk of the power source going away. But otherwise, hibernation is the way to go.

    And if your guide says "The second document in this series covers moving the Hibernation File from the C:\ (SSD) drive to the secondary E:\ (HDD.)" Then show THAT. Don't show how to disable hibernation. If you need help, just email me, and I'll show you how to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is especially helpful when you have a large amount of RAM, as the hibernation file is set to be equal to the amount of memory installed. It's also worth noting that the pagefile behaves similarly, and with an SSD should typically be either removed or reduced to a more reasonable size.

    ReplyDelete
  3. K`Tetch, to my knowledge, you CANNOT move the hibernation file. So, if you feel you can help with this, I'd love you to contact me. However, the following article tends to disagree:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.11.windowsconfidential.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have edited this document to include further clarifications of disabling Hibernation.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know you can't Visualcode, I was talking about helping with factual checking. Like the differences between sleep and hibernation (and their uses) or checking that the article does what it says it does, or just 'help in general'

    Since it's a file that's intended to replace the standard boot sequence, it has to be on the primary boot drive.

    ReplyDelete