Hibernating is bad now?

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GCM
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Hibernating is bad now?

Postby GCM » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:59 am UTC

So I usually hibernate my computer since it starts up much faster that way than booting and going through the entire process. Today, a friend (from Steam) told me that this wears out the hard drive faster.

My question: Really?

Because I've been doing it ever since I got it 1.5 years ago. :shock:

May be the explanation for all the weirdness going on:
- Quite a few crashes, half of them blue screens
- Fullscreen programs minimizing themselves
- Some sorta broadcast playing randomly on my headphones/speakers for no apparent reason
- Internet funkiness (right now main thing visible is that the Steam in-game web browser doesn't run Youtube videos anymore)
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:21 pm UTC

Your friend is right. Depending on how much RAM you have, it writes up to 4 Gb of data every time you hibernate, then has to read it again when you load.
Also, does it continue after you do a proper shutdown? If so, it is probably a virus.
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby J the Ninja » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

Use suspend-to-RAM (S3) instead of hibernate. It's faster anyway (maybe 2 seconds to fall asleep/resume).
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby GCM » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:10 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Your friend is right. Depending on how much RAM you have, it writes up to 4 Gb of data every time you hibernate, then has to read it again when you load.
Also, does it continue after you do a proper shutdown? If so, it is probably a virus.

Ouch.
The radio thing? Yeah. I've shut down a weird looking program names in msconfig, but now that I think about it, it may have been my CD writer. No matter, I never use it anyway. =P
Also, shutdowns have mainly been hard exits, then rebooting.
J the Ninja wrote:Use suspend-to-RAM (S3) instead of hibernate. It's faster anyway (maybe 2 seconds to fall asleep/resume).

? Never heard of it. How does I do zhat?
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby b.i.o » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

GCM wrote:? Never heard of it. How does I do zhat?

Sleep/stand-by mode.

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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby Mzyxptlk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

Theoretically, yes, it does shorten the lifespan of your HDD. However, I don't know how often you set your computer to hibernate, but 2GB a day (a guess, considering the age of your PC) is not particularly significant. To compare, I listen to half a GB worth of music a day, have uploaded 6GB of data in the last 4, watched 2 TV episodes (2GB total) and that's disregarding all the other work I do on it. In any case, if you've always had these issues then it won't be due to hard drive failure as a result of excessive use of hibernation.

The weirdness you're experiencing sound unrelated to a potential HDD error, but try a SMART tool to check how well it's faring.

As for stand-by, the big difference is that hibernate does not use power, while stand-by does.
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby Emu* » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:14 pm UTC

A turned-off computer still uses more power than an unplugged computer...
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby Earlz » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:40 pm UTC

Emu* wrote:A turned-off computer still uses more power than an unplugged computer...


Yup, You know how most operating systems(not windows) have a dmesg and how it usually has more than one system boot on it.. well, thats because hardly any modern computer(including some laptops if the ac adapter is attached) disconnects power from RAM after shutting down. This is why it's extremely dangerous to dis/connect components onto the motherboard while still plugged in. If your going to do it while plugged in, you might as well leave the computer fully on as there is no difference.(PCI cards get power too, thats why there is magical LAN lights)
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby crzftx » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:39 am UTC

Earlz wrote:Yup, You know how most operating systems(not windows) have a dmesg and how it usually has more than one system boot on it.. well, thats because hardly any modern computer(including some laptops if the ac adapter is attached) disconnects power from RAM after shutting down. This is why it's extremely dangerous to dis/connect components onto the motherboard while still plugged in. If your going to do it while plugged in, you might as well leave the computer fully on as there is no difference.(PCI cards get power too, thats why there is magical LAN lights)


You needn't unplug your computer. The goal is to prevent power consumption, but many PSUs have a switch on the back.

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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby Carnildo » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:51 am UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Your friend is right. Depending on how much RAM you have, it writes up to 4 Gb of data every time you hibernate, then has to read it again when you load.


Compared to how much data your hard drive moves in normal use, this is trivial -- and if you've got enough free space on the drive, it's a single sequential write and read, which puts essentially no wear on the drive. As a point of reference, the "bytes read" counter on my system wraps around once every few days, each time it wraps around representing 2 terabytes of data read.

The weirdness you've got going on is malware. Run a virus scan, followed by a spyware check.

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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby GCM » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:37 am UTC

b.i.o wrote:
GCM wrote:? Never heard of it. How does I do zhat?

Sleep/stand-by mode.

Oh that. =P I could I guess, but I'd rather not waste the extra energy. I always unplug.

Mzyxptlk wrote:... but 2GB a day (a guess, considering the age of your PC) is not particularly significant. To compare, I listen to half a GB worth of music a day, have uploaded 6GB of data in the last 4, watched 2 TV episodes (2GB total) and that's disregarding all the other work I do on it. In any case, if you've always had these issues then it won't be due to hard drive failure as a result of excessive use of hibernation.

The weirdness you're experiencing sound unrelated to a potential HDD error, but try a SMART tool to check how well it's faring.

As for stand-by, the big difference is that hibernate does not use power, while stand-by does.

2GBs is correct. =P What's a SMART tool, by the way? Also, the defragmenter stopped working a while back (i.e. won't start), so it's in pretty bad shape right now. Last I checked (the analyzer won't start either), it was something like 75% of all used space fragmented (75% of space is used). I did defrag a couple of games using Steam, though.
Btw, the error message is just plain "Disk Defragmenter could not start."

Carnildo wrote:The weirdness you've got going on is malware. Run a virus scan, followed by a spyware check.

Maybe, but I haven't found it. McAfee scans every Friday, and SpyBot (+ TeaTimer) runs in the background. So... I dunno, safe mode check then?
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby Carnildo » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:37 am UTC

GCM wrote:What's a SMART tool, by the way?

SMART is a hard-disk diagnostic system intended to predict hardware failures. It correctly predicts about 25% of all failures, but when it predicts a failure, it's right more than 95% of the time.

Carnildo wrote:The weirdness you've got going on is malware. Run a virus scan, followed by a spyware check.

Maybe, but I haven't found it. McAfee scans every Friday, and SpyBot (+ TeaTimer) runs in the background. So... I dunno, safe mode check then?

Check from a known-clean boot disk, such as a virus-scan CD prepared on somebody else's computer.

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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby markfiend » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:43 pm UTC

GCM wrote: Also, the defragmenter stopped working a while back (i.e. won't start), so it's in pretty bad shape right now. Last I checked (the analyzer won't start either), it was something like 75% of all used space fragmented (75% of space is used). I did defrag a couple of games using Steam, though.
Btw, the error message is just plain "Disk Defragmenter could not start."

That in itself sounds to me like a symptom of malware.
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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby CrazyPirateNinja » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:49 am UTC

GCM wrote:Oh that. =P I could I guess, but I'd rather not waste the extra energy. I always unplug.


You do realize that while in standby, your computer uses ~2 watts, which is 1/30 = 3% of the power saving you would get by removing one 60 watt bulb from your house. You would have to turn of 30 computers to save the same amount of energy as just turning off one light bulb. I think you are being a bit extreme.

Edit: Heck I just looked at my alarm clock and it's listed as taking 5 W, you'd be better off unplugging that.

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Re: Hibernating is bad now?

Postby GuitarFreak » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:42 pm UTC

Check out spinrite if you want to check for hard drive errors. It's an awesome program. Takes a long time to run if you have a big drive though. It took about 2 days to check my 500GB drive.
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