PostPoints tip: Hibernation is for bears, sleep is for laptops
If your Windows laptop seems to take far too long to go to sleep, then wake up and get back to work, it may be set to hibernate. In this mode, Windows saves the state of your system to a file on the hard drive and then shuts down. This saves power--sleep mode will eventually drain the battery, but a PC can stay in hibernation indefinitely--but going in and out of hibernation takes much longer. For everyday operation, sleep (called "standby mode" in Windows XP) makes much more sense. To ensure that the laptop does that instead of hibernates, right-click the battery-gauge icon at the bottom right corner of the screen (you may need to unplug it to see this icon) and select "Power Options." In XP, click the Power Options control panel's Advanced tab; in Vista, click that window's "Choose what the power buttons do" link. You'll then see a list of drop-down menus that allow you to set the computer to sleep or stand by, not hibernate, when you close its screen or press its power button.
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