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When the computer goes to sleep or suspend mode, the state of the OS and all the processes are stored in your PC's Random Access Memory (RAM)

What if the RAM (physical or virtual or both) are maxed out?

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A google search would answer this question. When Windows goes to sleep everything in the memory is written onto the storage device. Since the virtual memory is also stored on the storage device it won't be maxed out. If your storage device is full, then windows will be unable go to sleep, and it will complaint. – Ramhound Apr 17 '12 at 18:50
Ramhound, no. You may be confusing Sleep and Hibernate. – Joey Apr 17 '12 at 18:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think you misunderstood something. The OS and running processes are already in memory. Nothing gets loaded into RAM just for Sleep mode. Everything just stays as it is and RAM continues to be powered while sleeping.

With suspend to disk (hibernation (and hybrid sleep) everything in RAM is stored on the hard disk and the computer is powered down. But that's something else, of course.

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You are right, I was misunderstanding it. Thanks. – Gabriel Fair Apr 17 '12 at 18:51

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