Waking up from sleep (Stand By) mode
To revive a snoozing laptop, simply press a key on the keyboard or tap on the
mouse pad. That wakes the sucker up, bringing it back to active duty.
- If you closed the lid to put the laptop into Stand By mode, then opening
the lid usually wakes it up. See the section, “What happens when you
just close the lid?” later in this chapter.
- I generally push the Ctrl key on the keyboard to wake up my sleeping
- The key you press to wake up the laptop is not passed along to whatever
program is running. So if the screen says “Destroy all your data files?
Y/N” and you press the Y key to wake up the laptop, nothing dastardly
- Sometimes it’s necessary to press the power button to wake up a snoozing
- If the laptop doesn’t perk up, then the battery is probably dead. Check
the laptop’s power-on lights. If they’re off, then the battery is dead.
- If the laptop still won’t wake up, then you may have a problem with the
system’s power management software. Try pressing (and holding) the
power button until the unit either turns off or on again. Then try starting
up the laptop as you normally would. Refer to your dealer or laptop
manufacturer for updated power management software.
“What the heck is hibernation?”
Hibernation is a great feature that’s often sadly ignored despite its great benefits.
It’s like Stand By mode, but instead of merely entering a low-power state,
the computer is actually turned off. Everything in memory is saved, however,
so that when the computer is turned on again, it’s like you never left.
It just goes to sleep by itself!
Laptops are designed to go into Stand By mode
when they’re under battery power. They do this
after a set period of inactivity (no typing or
mouse movements). Again, the design here is to
save power; if the computer thinks you’re bored
or off for a walk (or dead), it’s going to slip off to
sleep to conserve power.
The delay time after which the laptop automatically
enters Stand By mode is set in the Power
Options Properties dialog box, obtained through
the Control Panel. Refer to Chapter 8 for the
Here’s how to hibernate your laptop:
1. Save your work.
Do this as a precaution; you should always save your stuff. Even so,
there is no need to quit any applications now.
2. Click the Start button.
3. Click the Turn Off Computer button.
The Turn Off Computer box thing appears. (Refer to Figure 4-6).
4. Press the Shift key.
You’ll notice that the caption beneath the Stand By button changes to
read Hibernate. Keep that Shift key down!
If the caption does not change, then your laptop lacks the Hibernation
feature (or it hasn’t been enabled).
5. Click the Hibernate button.
The laptop hums for a few moments, then it hibernates and turns
That humming is the laptop saving everything in memory to disk. When the
laptop turns itself off, it’s really off. You can touch the keyboard or jiggle the
mouse, and that won’t wake it up again.
To rouse the laptop from its hibernated state, turn it on. Refer to section,
“Power on!” earlier in this chapter. (Though that section merely says to press
the power button on your laptop.) You may have to log back into Windows,
but eventually you’ll see the desktop and any open applications just as you
left them before hibernating.
- The best way to tell the difference between a laptop in Hibernation
mode or Stand By is that Stand By mode usually has that moon icon lit.
In Hibernation mode, the laptop appears to be turned off. (Which it is.)
- I prefer to put my laptop into hibernation if I know I’m not going to be
using it for longer than an hour or so.
- A big advantage of hibernation is that it’s quicker to start the computer
than a regular start up. I know hibernation fans who always hibernate
their computers and never really turn them off.
- Unlike Stand By mode, you can leave your laptop in a hibernated state
for as long as you wish. Even if the batteries eventually drain, the system
will return to where you left it once the computer is plugged in and
- On some laptops, I believe that Hibernation and Stand By modes are
both the same thing, though I cannot prove it.
Turning on Hibernation mode
If your laptop seems to be unable to enter Hibernation mode, follow these
1. From the Start menu, choose the Control Panel.
2. Open the Power Options icon in the Control Panel.
Refer to Chapter 6 for more information if this Control Panel stuff has
3. In the Power Options Properties dialog box, look for and click on the
If there is no Hibernation tab, then there’s your answer: The laptop is
not capable of hibernating. Oh well. (You might want to also check the
laptop’s Setup program to see if hibernation can be activated there. Refer
to the sidebar, “The laptop’s Setup program,” earlier in this chapter.)
4. Select the Enable Hibernation option by clicking the check box to
place a check mark in it.
5. Review other options, if available.
6. Click OK to confirm the changes and close the Power Options
Properties dialog box.
7. Optionally, close the Control Panel window as well.
Some laptops may require you to restart Windows for this change to take
effect. If so, refer to the section, “I need to restart Windows,” earlier in this
Note that Hibernation mode requires hard drive space. When hard drive space
runs low, it’s possible that Hibernation mode won’t work. Be aware of that.
Shutting down when the
laptop doesn’t want to
Unlike a desktop computer, you just can’t yank that power cord from the wall
on a laptop. The reason that doesn’t work is that with the AC power gone, the
laptop immediately starts using its battery. This can be very disconcerting
when the system is locked up and you really, badly want to turn the sucker off.
If the computer just utterly seems to be ignoring you, press and hold the
power button. Keep on holding it down, usually for five to ten seconds.
Eventually the laptop will turn itself off.
Refer to Part V of this book for laptop troubleshooting information.