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Windows 7: Sleep 101 for Dummies?

07 Mar 2011   #1

Win7 Professional 64
Sleep 101 for Dummies?

Some questions about Windows 7 sleep mode. My machine is a desktop and I know a laptop would have different answers.

I have my box set up to go to a screensaver after 45 minutes, black screen after two hours, and sleep after four. This seems to nicely fit my usual pattern of use - generally restarting the machine at bedtime around 11, the antivirus scan runs at 1:30, and I'm not on the machine at all again until 6 or 7 the next night.

So I feel like I'm doing the thing a favor with 12-15 hours a day of no spinning drives, no heat.

But I know there are other schools of thought saying "always on" is a better way to go, and that there's too much stress to the electronics, the drive hardware, etc., when jarred from dormant to engaged.

So better to do what I'm doing, or better to never put a desktop to sleep?

Also, in XP, the screensaver/black screen settings were different when logged in versus not, and the machine would blacken the display a lot faster if I wasn't logged in. In Windows 7 it looks like my current settings leave the bright blue login screen glowing for two hours. I realize I could always turn off the monitor at night, but wondering if there's a way to blacken the screen faster when not logged in.

Lastly for now anyway, I have a printer USB connected to my Windows 7 box, shared wirelessly with the other computers in the house. If they tried to print while my computer is in sleep mode, will the document print or will the printer not be found, and if it prints, would that wake the computer from sleep? I realize I could always just try this for myself and see!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


There is no need for a screensaver with today's flat screens as there is no risk of burn-in. Try the spectacular Win7 scenic backgrounds set to a slideshow.

Sleep/hibernate work perfectly in Win7 at their default so if you walk away from your work it will save the desktop and go to sleep after 30-45 minutes for quicker wakeup, then if you don't come back for longer it will save desktop from memory to HD and shut down (hibernate) ideally around 1-2 hours later - set depending on your normal likelihood to return. However hibernate wakes up only slightly slower than sleep, and faster than starting up from Shutdown.

My favorite settings for average install are 20 minutes for Display, 30-45 minutes to Sleep, then 90 minutes to Hibernate.

Here are 120 national edition Win7 backgrounds downloads, some of the most fantastic pictures ever taken: Download into Pictures, then browse and Select All for slideshow by rightclicking Desktop>Personalize>Desktop Backgrounds.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot

I disagree about the need for screensavers. I have two LCD monitors. I use the space on the second infrequently. I notice the eagle in my background is persistent on the screen. I have noticed this on other LCDs where the same image is displayed over time as well. It is not usually permanent damage like CRT burn-in, but it is annoying.

As for sleep mode, it is fine. I have always put my system to sleep (when windows cooperates to do so ) for many years. I think the folklore that this will result in an early failure arises from the fact that you are power cycling the components and that is when a impending failure is likely to happen even though it would occur around the same time even if you had left the system on 24x7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Sleep 101 for Dummies?

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