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I have a Windows XP laptop. I rarely reboot and usually just hibernate it when I'm finished using it. If I'm going for lunch for an hour for example, I will always hibernate. However, if I'm just popping out for a quick 15 minute coffee, I'll generally leave it running.

My question is: is it always worth hibernating even if I'm only going to be gone 15 minutes? What is the minimum length of time it is worth hibernating?

By "worth" I mean that which will maximise the lifetime of the machine. Obviously it saves electricity hibernating, but it's clearer easier for me not to have to hibernate and reawaken, especially if I'm just gone a few minutes.

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closed as not constructive by Diogo, slhck, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Nifle, grawity May 25 '12 at 13:13

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Honestly if you don't need to save the contents of your screen you should turn the computer off instead of sleep/hibernating. – Amicable May 25 '12 at 12:52
Not saying what you are asking isn't important, but it is subjective to preference and not really answerable. Per the faq; "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page." – CharlieRB May 25 '12 at 13:03
I don't see another closed question that you asked, but regardless: Please don't take this personally. If you feel the question should be reopened, feel free to post a request on Meta Super User! – slhck May 25 '12 at 13:34

The only time you want your laptop to automatically hibernate is when it has run out of power. At all other times it makes more sense to let it sleep. Only when the battery runs down to 5-10% hibernate.

Waking up from hibernate is much more expensive than waking up from sleep. It also takes more power to hibernate and come back up as the disk is heavily involved in the hibernation process. Sleep is more lightweight and uses only a trickle of battery power. Only when there is no battery left hibernate makes any sense.

You may want to read:

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I'd disagree, after a decade of using ThinkPad laptops. I would hibernate if you are not intending to use the laptop for another couple of hours or more, and also if you are travelling with it. When sleeping there is a constant drain, from keeping the RAM charged, and you will save battery power by putting it to hibernate betwwen long breaks. – paradroid May 25 '12 at 12:58
Thanks for the reply. I have XP - is Standby the same as Sleep? – TrojanName May 25 '12 at 13:24
If you are not planning to use your laptop for a couple of hours/days and you know this then you should manually shutdown or hibernate (your choice) it. The question is about automatic hibernate. – Ali May 25 '12 at 15:02
Yes on XP standby=sleep – Ali May 25 '12 at 15:04
Thanks Ali. I'm not worried about saving battery power or life. I'm concerned about maximising the lifetime of the machine. So it's a weighup between the cost of a hibernation/reawaken Vs the cost of sleep. The question is after what length of time does the cost of A outweight the cost of B? – TrojanName May 25 '12 at 15:33

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