This is not a contrived situation. I want to turn off my PC, a full-power-down, right now, to fit a new hard drive. But I also want to keep all my desktop settings, applications that are open, etc.
But I can’t, because Vista does not have a Hibernate option. This knowledge-base article outlines how it can be switched-on, but unfortunately, even then it does not deliver fully! The best it seems to do is enable a Hibernate option as part of the Sleep logic (see the screen-shot below). I don’t want to set my computer to go to sleep and hibernate after 0 minutes – I want to be able to occasionally tell my computer to hibernate, knowing that I can then unplug it at the wall, knowing that I will then save all of the power that it might consume, even when ‘off’. Yes, computers can use a lot of power even when ‘off’.
So, as per the KB article above, I ran the following command in the hope that Hibernate would suddenly appear in my power-down sub-menu:
powercfg /hibernate on
The result, unfortunately, is not a new Hibernate option, you only see a difference when you delve deep into the advanced power options inside the Control Panel, where the Hibernate option inside Sleep is new:
Earlier today I found a very useful post by one of the power management team for Vista, but the emphasis seems to be on laptops… and while I would agree that they have done a fantastic job implementing the Sleep, with it’s supreme speed of sleeping and then startup, I hope I have explained why a Hibernate option is a good idea.
Putting your computer to sleep may save a lot of energy, compared to say, leaving it on the login screen; but turning it off at the wall saves even more energy.