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Windows 7: Can Windows 7 use a hibernate *partition*?

18 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Can Windows 7 use a hibernate *partition*?

Hello forum.

I understand how Windows hibernation usually works, by saving out the RAM contents to a file in the root of the C: partition named hiberfil.sys.

Yesterday I became aware of the existence of a special partition type, type 84h, which is supposedly intended for use as a dedicated raw partition for storing the RAM image. Intel's new Rapid Start Technology on new motherboards apparently makes use of it.

Can anyone tell me if Windows 7 can be reconfigured to use such a partition for hibernation even on older motherboards which don't support Intel Rapid Start?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2013   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Jemann, and welcome to Seven Forums.

The partition type (or partition ID) in a partition's entry in the partition table inside a Master Boot Record (MBR) is a byte value intended to specify the file system the partition contains and/or to flag special access methods used to access these partitions. That's what the type 84h is.

Windows 7 already uses it for the hibernation file. The hibernation file (hiberfil.sys) can only be on the Windows drive.
Hibernate - Enable or Disable
The link below can give you more details about all of this.

Partition type - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hope this helps, :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for your response Brink.

I perhaps should have clarified that I'm fully familiar with the concept of partition types, being an experienced IT professional. It was just that I wasn't previously aware of the allocation of type 84h specifically for use as a hibernation partition.

Normally, hiberfil.sys is saved in the root directory of the C: drive, which is usually an NTFS partition with type 07h.

The existence of an entirely separate partition type specifically for hibernation suggests that Windows might be able to use it as a raw partition (with no filesystem, NTFS or otherwise) for saving the RAM dump.

I'm wondering if I can shrink my main NTFS C: partition by an amount equivalent to the RAM I have fitted, then create a type 84h partition in the freed up space, then tell Windows to use it for hibernation instead of saving a hiberfil.sys file in C:.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Jan 2013   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

I'm afraid that I don't know about that. It would be interesting if so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2013   #5

Windows 7 64 bit

bump to the top... i have the same question as op.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2013   #6


Same reply too.

Unfortunately it cant be done. It must be on the OS partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2013   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

From what I understand the use of the hibernation partition is not a Windows feature but is implemented in the motherboard. Unless you have one of the supported motherboards it will not work.

This provides more information:

Note: If you read the article you will know as much as I do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2013   #8
Microsoft MVP


What could be the possible reason for this? It would be impossible to calculate the size it may need to expand into, which is why it is placed with the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
What could be the possible reason for this? It would be impossible to calculate the size it may need to expand into, which is why it is placed with the OS.

It needs to be equal to or greater than the size of the system memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2013   #10

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

he means that when you change memory size (Add a RAM stick) you would have to re-partition the main drive to increase the hibernation partition, which is rather annoying. Rebuilding pagefile and/or hibernation can be done at boot or with a reboot or with a couple lines in the command prompt.

Even Linux is perfectly capable of using a file in main partition for swap (its pagefile) and hibernation.

I suppose that such hibernation partition is either legacy or used by more closed systems like OSX or more obscure ones like Solaris. (although I doubt any OSX of the ones running on Intel chips do use it)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can Windows 7 use a hibernate *partition*?

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