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  1. Types of Power Conservation Modes
  2. Step by Step: Configuring Windows Vista for Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep
  3. Opening the Command Prompt as an Administrator
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From the author of Step by Step: Configuring Windows Vista for Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep

Step by Step: Configuring Windows Vista for Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep

The following sections show you how to configure Windows Vista for various sleep states.

Step 1: Access Windows Vista’s Power Options Window

  1. Click Start > Control Panel. The Control Panel window appears.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound, and at the next window click Power Options. This leads you to the Power Options window.
  3. Or, if you are using the Classic Mode Control Panel, simply click Start > Control Panel, and in the Control Panel window click the Power Options applet.

    Alternatively, if you have the Control Panel set up as a submenu within the Start Menu, Power Options should appear directly within that submenu.

Step 2: Select a Power Plan and Access the Advanced Settings Tab of the Power Options Dialog Box

  1. Select the radio button for the desired power plan, either Balanced (default), Power saver, or High performance. In this screencast, we are using the default Balanced power plan.
  2. Click Change plan settings. This displays the Edit Plan Settings window.
  3. Click Change advanced power settings. This displays the Power Options dialog box.

Step 3: Decide Whether You Will Be Using Sleep, Hibernate, or Hybrid Sleep

  1. If using regular Sleep, you can either select Sleep from the previous Edit Settings window or set the Sleep option within the Power Options dialog box as follows:
    • Click the + sign next to Sleep to expand it.
    • Click the + sign next to Sleep after to expand it.
    • Select the desired amount of minutes before the computer sleeps by clicking Setting (Minutes): and adjusting the amount of time with the arrows.
    • Click Apply or OK to apply the settings.
  2. If using Hibernate:
    • Open the Command Prompt as an Administrator. (For various ways to do this, go to the end of this article.)
    • Type the command powercfg.exe /hibernate on. (Alternatively, you can type powercfg.exe –h on.) Then, click the + sign next to Sleep to expand it.
    • In the Power Options dialog box, click the + sign next to Hibernate after to expand it.
    • Select the desired amount of minutes before the computer hibernates by clicking Setting (Minutes): and adjusting the amount of time with the arrows.
    • Click Apply or OK to apply the settings.
    • At this point, the Hibernate option should be listed in the Start Menu as shown in Figure 1. If not, you may need to restart the computer. Note: Some motherboards do not support Hibernate (or Sleep for that matter), so check your motherboard or computer’s documentation to verify compatibility.

    Figure 1 The Start Menu with Hibernate option

  3. If using the Hybrid Sleep option:
    • Open the Command Prompt as an Administrator. (For various ways to do this, go to the end of this article.)
    • Type the command powercfg.exe /hibernate on. Click the + sign next to Sleep to expand it.
    • In the Power Options dialog box, click the + sign next to Sleep to expand it.
    • Click the + sign next to Allow hybrid Sleep to expand it.
    • Click Setting: and select On from the drop-down menu.
    • Click Apply or OK to apply the settings.

Step 4: Test

Verify that the Sleep or Hibernate option works properly by accessing it from the Start Menu. Give the computer a few moments to properly enter Sleep or Hibernation mode before trying to wake it up. Some computers can be taken out of Sleep mode by pressing a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse. Other computers require that the power button be pressed. Always try the keyboard first and verify that the computer comes out of Sleep mode and places you back in the exact place you were previously working. To wake a computer that is hibernating, you will usually have to press the power button. Remember that bringing a computer out of Hibernation always takes longer than bringing a computer out of Sleep mode due to the fact that all of the data is stored on the hard drive.

If the computer cannot be put to sleep even after the procedure outlined here has been completed, consider accessing the BIOS and verifying that S3 or S1 sleep is enabled. Most new motherboards allow for the more efficient S3 power-saving state, and it is recommended that users opt for this setting.

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