How to Create a Hibernate Shortcut in Windows Vista - dummies

How to Create a Hibernate Shortcut in Windows Vista

By Woody Leonhard

Using the Hibernate setting in Windows Vista is a great way to save power and to close your system quickly. And if you create a Hibernate shortcut on your desktop, you can send your computer to this semi-sleep state with the click of a mouse. In fact, unlike Sleep mode, when you Hibernate, there is no energy consumption at all.

Hibernate, like Sleep, is a way of closing your system without waiting for the extended shut down process and the even longer reboot when you’re ready to start working again. When you set your computer to hibernate, your screens and open applications stay exactly where you left them. Although Hibernate can be slower to awaken than Sleep, it has the benefit of protecting work in progress.

When you put the computer in Sleep mode, all unsaved data is stored in the RAM memory. This is fine unless the power turns off or the battery drains. Without power, the contents of memory are lost. When hibernating, Vista saves a copy of the memory files in a system file called hiberfil.sys.

Vista allows you to set up a Hibernate shortcut using a nifty but little-known program called shutdown that shuts down your system quickly — in many cases, without asking whether you want to save any work in progress.

1Right-click any empty location on your desktop and choose New→Shortcut.

The Create Shortcut Wizard appears.

2In the Type the Location of the Item box, type shutdown /h and click Next.

It’s important that you have a space before the slash and no space after the slash.

3In the Type a Name for this Shortcut box, give your shortcut a name.

Use something daring, like Hibernate.

4Click Finish.

Vista puts a new shortcut on your desktop.

5Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties. Click Change Icon to give your new shortcut a recognizable look.

Vista warns you that shutdown doesn’t have any icons and that you have to choose one from the list or specify a file.

6Click OK.

You see the Change Icon dialog box.

7Pick an appropriate icon for the shortcut and double-click it.

You can choose any icon you want, though it’s best to choose something that might remind you of shutdown process, such as the “off switch” icon in the lower-right corner.

8If you want to assign a Hot Key (a keyboard shortcut), click inside the Shortcut Key box and press the key combination you would like to use to activate this shortcut.

Some programs “swallow” hot keys, so you may have trouble getting a specific key combination to work when you’re using one of those voracious programs. Most programs, though, let unusual key combinations get through to Vista.

9Click OK.

Your new, quick Hibernate shortcut appears on the desktop.