If you look at some of my previous posts, you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned about Hybrid Sleep and how to turn off hybrid sleep and how to turn on Hybrid Sleep in Windows Vista / 7. In this post, let us look in to the difference between Stand By and Hibernation options found in Windows XP.

Power saving options such as Stand By and Hibernation confuse users. What exactly is the difference between these two options? Well, for starters while Stand By option does relegate the computer to a power saving state, the essential components of the computer, the monitor and hard drive are switched off to save power. This results in the inability of the desktop configuration to save the opened documents and existing programs, thus in an event of a power failure you can lose unsaved data. However in case of a quick revert, ths is quite simple in case the computer is in a Standby mode. With a shake of a mouse or click of a keyboard you are up and running again.

This is in contrast to the Hibernate mode, which seeks to save an image of your desktop with all open files and documents, and then it powers down your computer. When you turn on power, your files and documents are open on your desktop exactly as you left them. This is especially useful when the users are away for long time. To use Hibernate in Windows XP, use this step by step process for manually activating hibernation in Windows XP.

Step1: Go to the Start menu and click on the Control Panel option. Select Power options from the tabs and click it. Under the power options, locate the Hibernate tab and select it. If there is no Hibernate tab then the power option is not available on your computer.

Step 2: Select the check box located next to the Hibernation option to activate this feature on your Windows XP.

This facility is also included in the Shut down menu in Windows XP which displays the Stand By, Restart and Turn Off buttons. To activate the Hibernate option, you need to Hold down the Shift key, and the Stand By button will change to Hibernate.

I’ve written a post on how to improve the hibernate / shut down time in Windows XP. Once you turn on the Hibernate feature, improving it’s efficiency will be the most efficient course of action.