Does Hibernation Really Damage Your Computer?

There are lots of people complaining that they have one or two problems with their notebook due to hibernation and that makes one wonder if hibernation actually damages a computer. As a matter of fact, I hate shutting down my laptop because of the time taken to start up and the time taken to restore my browser tabs which may be up to fifteen at times. Hibernating your computer is a very good way to save your work but people often try to convince me that it’s going to damage my motherboard eventually. Is there any truth to this? Is it a practice one should avoid?

First, let me try to tell you what happens when your system goes into hibernation. What most people do not know is that when you hit the hibernation button, your computer actually shuts down but it usually stores a file on your hard disk which is used to restore whatever you’ve been doing.

Myths About Hibernation

1. It consumes battery and reduces battery life

This isn’t true because hibernation consumes the same power as when you shut down. Practically, there is no power consumption whatsoever. Only Sleep mode consumes battery

2. Hibernation damages your hard disk

I don’t believe this to be true. Like I mentioned earlier, when your computer goes into hibernation, it stores a system file in which the memory is written.The file is stored in the root of your hard disk with the name hyberfil.sys. This stores whatever you’re doing and it’s the same file windows uses when it’s powered back on to take your OS back to it’s previous state. While your system is hibernating and the file is being created, it’s advisable not to move your computer so as not to give the hard disk any kind of shock.

So far this is observed, I doubt if hibernation can damage your hard disk.

3. Hibernation damages the motherboard

This isn’t true, it’s got nothing to do with the motherboard. If you hibernate and your motherboard gets fried, it’s just a coincidence.

4. Sleep mode is safer than hibernation

I don’t believe this to be true but it’s a matter of choice. When you put your computer to sleep, it still consumes power though it’s just a little and some amount of system resource is still used to maintain your work but it’s totally different with hibernation – your system saves your work and totally shuts down.

Precautions to be taken when using hibernation

Hibernation has lots of advantages but there are also certain things you should know to safely use it:

1. Do not hibernate when you just installed new drivers. Certain drivers need a fresh restart to fully install.

2. It’s not advisable to hibernate when you’re running heavy applications like HD games. These applications eat up your RAM and saving all that information on your hard disk can slow down your computer considerably.

3. Whenever you notice that your computer’s rather too slow, don’t hibernate. Hey, shutting down won’t hurt, right? 😛

Now, here’s the summary of the whole thing:

Hibernate: Saves your session and turns off the computer. When you turn on the computer, Windows restores your session.

Sleep: Keeps your session in memory and puts the computer in low power state so that you can quickly resume working.

Whichever you use depends on your choice but I prefer hibernating which is safe. It hasn’t damaged any of my computers all these years and I’m not so sure it will. It’s perfectly safe, those rumors are not true.Do you have a different view or had a bad experience with hibernation? Let’s hear it.

This post was last modified on December 19, 2016 9:40 PM

Categories: Windows
Don Caprio: @doncaprioHusband, superdad, ubergeek, lazy writer, serious gamer, gadget collector, amateur photographer, web designer. I'm on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

View Comments (15)

  • Great article. You nailed it here. Hibernation as far as am concerned doesn't harm your PC in any way unless your PC is faulty already.

  • i thought that hibernation use the CMOS battery but after this topic i think u are right bro!There is the hiberil.sys file and i think its not consume power just reading the .sys at start but i dont know if u damage the hard drive..Can u say something about if hardarive is damaged by this way?thanks a lot for the topic:)

  • Does quite a nice article to clear a lot of myths.
    Here is my own experience when it comes to hibernation, for the past two years now I have been using hp G60 with a completely dead battery, but whenever I hibernate about three times I have to replace the CMOS battery and so if hibernation is consumes no power why do I have to replace my CMOS battery but if I do not hibernate no CMOS problem. so I think hibernation consumes certain amount of power. but with the motherboard issue I doubt.

  • I rarely shutdown my laptop or I can say shutdown only when I'm tired of hibernating its machine. :P

    I don't think hibernation has anything to do with getting errors in your machine, if you are getting any, it must be of something else. I'm thinking to write something same for my readers as well, all have wrong faith in it. :D

  • I have always heard that hibernate eats away your CMOS Battery at a quicker rate. I was imagine your CMOS battery could only be drained at a quicker rate if you haven't had the cord plugged into a power source for awhile. Just a thought.

    • My present notebook is almost 3 years old and I've always hibernated it. The CMOS battery is still OK.

  • i hibernate a lot, like all the time, because am always on the go with my laptop, but i have never see this as an hindrance to my computer functionality. I don't know about others, but hibernate is kinda cool.

  • Yeahh right, I always use this function when I still need to continue my work and can't shut it down. but my friend never believe me when I say that hibernate won't damage the computer.... they just believe that sleep is saver. -____-'
    Sorry for bad english, I'm Indonesian :D

    • Thanks for dropping by, Simon. Hibernation is perfectly safe when used the right way. :)

  • I don't think that hibernation damage our computer.
    I usually use Hibernation instead of TurnOff :).

  • I Learnt about hibernating when,it was time wasting for my desktop to booth,when the light comes up.I thoroughly read its usefulness in the Power Mode and since then,if i was in the office and need be out couple of Mins,I hibernate.
    Well i am of the Opinion that it consumes and runs down the battery of a laptop,as against shutting it down.The Laptop Light still blinks when a Laptop is hibernated and thus,battery is used up and its life span shortens as well