Understanding Sleep States

When you click Choose What The Power Buttons Do (in the left pane of Power Options), you'll see that for each power switch, you can specify Do Nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut Down . What do these terms mean?

• Do Nothing disables the switch .

• Sleep switches to a low-power sleep state that allows quick resumption .

• Hibernate copies an image of memory to the hard disk and powers off the computer, enabling you to return to where you left off.

• Shut Down performs an orderly shutdown of Windows and switches off the power.

By default, when you choose Sleep, Windows 7 uses hybrid sleep, which combines the benefits of the low-power sleep state (the system uses just enough power to keep everything in volatile memory, ready to resume quickly) and hibernation (saves the contents of memory a to a hard disk so that nothing is lost if power is shut off or the battery drains completely).

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