I noticed that my Windows 10 laptop takes around 6 seconds to go to sleep, and during these six seconds the SSD's activity LED is on. I imagine that Windows is writing something on the SSD before going to sleep.

I remember my Linux systems going to sleep instantly when I pressed the sleep button, which makes me wonder if I can do the same on Windows.

Given that Hybrid Sleep is disabled, what does Windows do with my drive before sleeping, and is it necessary ?

  • Linux going to sleep "instantly" sounds odd. Linux definatly goes to sleep faster on my laptop, but it still takes 2-3 seconds as opposed to windows' 6-12
    – Blaine
    Jan 7, 2017 at 18:42
  • 1
    When I tested, I could hear the fans stop after <1 second. It surely depends on the distribution. Also note that I have a SSD.
    – Hey
    Jan 7, 2017 at 19:40

4 Answers 4


I imagine that Windows is writing something on the SSD before going to sleep.

That is correct. If there is any data waiting in the disk's write cache, it must be written to the disk before the disk is powered off.

Note that disk caching can be disabled so that everything is written to the disk immediately. This ensures that data is not lost as a result of a power failure, but it does reduce performance.

Turn Disk Write Caching On or Off:

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
  3. Expand Disk Drives.
  4. Right-click the drive on which you want to turn disk write caching on or off, and then click Properties.
  5. Click the Policies tab.
  6. Click to select or clear the Enable write caching on the disk check box as appropriate.
  7. Click OK.

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Source HOW TO: Manually Turn Disk Write Caching On or Off

  • Nice answer. Are you using that High Contrast Theme to improve performance? Or is that XP? Or an old Answer? Sep 4, 2016 at 13:26
  • 2
    @Don'tRoothereplz... Windows 7 Classic Theme - I don't Like Aero :)
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 4, 2016 at 13:28
  • Which makes me wonder about the Linux behaviour... Instant sleep?
    – user542613
    Sep 4, 2016 at 14:09
  • @BharadwajRaju Perhaps he has write caching turned off in Linux?
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 4, 2016 at 14:11
  • @YdobEmos <shrug> No idea I don't run Linux.
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 4, 2016 at 14:44

To see what Windows is doing during sleep, install the Windows Performance Toolkit which is part of the Windows 10 SDK.

Now capture the activity during sleep, by running WPRUI.exe, select First Level, DiskIO, FileIO and under Performance Scenario select Standby/Resume. Number of iteration can be set to 1 and click to start. This suspends/resumes Windows and captures all activity.

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After the resume, double click on the generated ETL file to open it with the Windows Performace Analyzer, load the debug symbols, click on "Profile"-> Apply, browse catalog and select the file standby.wpaprofile.

Drag & Drop the File I/O graph from Graph Explorer -> Storage to the analysis pane.

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Select the part from the start before you see "Tracing off", do a rightclick, select zoom.

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Now put the Column File Pathto the first position and here you can see which files/folders are accessed before Windows sleeps.

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The real answer is in the Power & Sleep settings Power Settings


Before Windows goes to Sleep, it MUST write an image of the main storage to be able to come back after sleep in the exactly same state as it was when going to sleep. So When powering on after sleep state, Windows loads back the memory (instead of load every and each program again from zero) and show you exactly what was opened and on the screen before sleeping.

  • What "main storage" are you talking about ? Also, when sleeping, the system needs to stay powered to keep the RAM's content. I don't see why it should also make an image (if you were talking about RAM), ans I don't see the same activity at wakeup, when the system would read the RAM image.
    – Hey
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:14
  • Sorry, I understand in this post, sleeping as "Hybernating". That means, the computer goes Power Off. That said, the RAM (that I call Main Storage here, because of my Mainframe skills) will go off. Nonetheless, when you push the Power On button after going to Hybernation, you'll have the system back in the same state you've left when it went off. For that to happen, the contents of RAM (Main Storage) is saved on HD for quick restart.
    – MisterVSE
    Sep 16, 2016 at 12:01
  • For best understanding, you can take a look on this article on "How-To_Geek" pages (they are great!) howtogeek.com/102897/… and sorry if I did undestand wrong your question.
    – MisterVSE
    Sep 16, 2016 at 12:06

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