Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Hibernate and standby vs. rebooting to start your computer is pretty much equal. It all has a slight wear and tear on your machine's hardware and software.
I just re-read your comment, "Is it ok to use hibernate to shut down my computer daily?" and in that you stated, "It's just that my experience on my computers, they have been unreliable." Meaning both standby and hibernate. Two questions: were they both unreliable in Windows 7 or Windows XP? In my experience, hibernation was very unreliable in Windows XP, however, in Windows 7 on my new Dell PC, it works really well. It would seem reasonable to conclude that waking a PC from hibernation is less stressful on a PC than starting a PC from a complete shut down. What do you think?
In this excerpt from Answercast #76, I look at the wear and tear on a computer when bringing it back from a complete shut down versus standby or hibernation.
So I want to be clear. I did say it was experience and I certainly heard from people who (much like yourself) have had computers where hibernation and standby work - and work well and work reliably.
Fantastic. Good for you!
I'm gonna to choose not to rely on it, because I've simply seen too many different computers where it doesn't necessarily work reliably. If you've got one that does, go for it. More power to you.
So, it's not so much a matter of XP versus 7 - although I do absolutely believe that the process was improved between those versions of the operating system. In your case, what's probably more a cause of the improvement is the fact that you've got a new computer.
Hibernation and standby both rely on some functionality in your computer's BIOS. The BIOS in fact was the result of much of the instability in the early instances of standby and hibernation on older computers.
In newer computers, those kinds of issues have kind of, sort of been worked out. So I think the combination of hardware that's supporting it better and operating systems that are also supporting it better lead to more reliable hibernation and standby.
Like I said, I personally choose not to rely on it - but that's just me. That's just the way I think.
Now, I want to address that second point because, in reality, that reflects kind of a misunderstanding of exactly what's going on.
Hibernation and standby and powering on? As far as I'm concerned, they all have the equivalent amount of "stress" on a computer. It's the same amount of stress as you would have running the computer for however long the "resume" from hibernation takes.
So by that, what I mean is your computer is working at something when it's running, when you're doing something with it. Well, for however long it takes your computer to wake up from power on, from hibernation, or from standby - all it's really doing is "computing." Pretty much like what it's doing when you're using it normally.
So, there really isn't a whole lot of difference in terms of impact on your
machine. They're very different in terms of exactly how they restore the state
of your machine. But ultimately, in terms of the wear and tear of your hardware
or on the software, there's really no practical difference between the
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 76 - Does "Do not track" work?
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