This guide explains how the sleep power state (new in Windows Vista) works and what to watch out for when using it.
Understanding the Sleep Power State
The sleep power state is a new power state introduced in Windows Vista. It’s a combination of the standby and hibernation states used in Windows XP.
When Windows Vista enters the sleep power state it minimizes power usage by turning off most of the computer’s components but keeps the memory active so that when it comes out of sleep you can use it immediately. It also saves a copy of what’s in memory on the hard drive just like when a computer hibernates encase of a power failure. If the battery on a laptop runs low while the computer is in sleep mode it saves what’s in memory on the hard drive and turns off.
Sleep works very well on a laptop, but there’s one thing that needs to be understood. Most laptops are set to sleep when the lid is closed or when the power button on the start menu is pressed. This causes a problem for some people because they close the lid and place their laptop in a computer bag. They later take the laptop out of the bag and notice a very hot laptop and or an almost dead or dead battery.
Remember that the sleep power state doesn’t completely turn off your computer. If you place it in a computer bag while it’s sleeping it might cause your laptop to overheat or run the battery down because it isn’t completely shut down.
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