If I understand hibernation correctly, RAM contents is save as a temp file on the hard disk so that all work can be resumed even after power to the computer has been cut (for a desktop anyway). Is there a way to do this before restarting? I don't understand why if its possible to do this and completely cut power to the computer it isn't possible to do it before a restart?

  • 1
    Edit your question and include what OS you are using
    – Ramhound
    Mar 27, 2017 at 22:36
  • 4
    "Is there a way to do this before restarting?" -- No, because that makes no sense at all. Either you save the machine state in order to resume later, or you discard the machine state and start over. What purpose is there in saving the machine state, and then starting with a clean initialized state?
    – sawdust
    Mar 27, 2017 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


If RAM were dumped to hard disk before a restart, and then read back in afterwards, it wouldn't be a restart. It would be a hibernation.

The point of restart is to clear ram and reload the OS and programs.

The point of hibernation is to continue where you left off after you resupply power.

If you are interested in analysing your ram contents as a file, you can dump to disk: Linux: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/programming-9/copy-ram-to-disk-502547/ Windows: How can I dump the memory of a process in Windows 7?

  • I don't typically upvote an answer like this, due to "click here for more information" type link, but the response otherwise is gold
    – Ramhound
    Mar 27, 2017 at 23:16
  • Thanks for the feedback. I'm not expecting the info in the links to be central to the question or answer. But I thought that if I had misinterpreted the question then they could lead to discussion from OP that would illuminate why he wants to do this, allowing a better answer to be written. Mar 28, 2017 at 0:40

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