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Disabling the Hibernation File

This Tutorial addresses:
  • Hibernation
  • Computers
  • Configuration
By ,
The hibernation file is the same size as your system memory and if enabled will be on the root of the system drive. You are extremely unlikely to use hibernation on a desktop/tower computer. The chances are you will put the computer into standby or power off completely. So if you have 8GB of RAM but never use hibernation there could be 8GB taken up on your system drive for no good reason. Obviously this gets even worse with larger amounts of system RAM - imagine losing 16 or even 32GB of disk space on your system drive for a feature you will probably never use!
Hibernation is really only a feature to use on laptops / tablets. So DO NOT use this guide on a laptop or tablet.

Turning off hibernation automatically deletes the hibernation file.
The short version is this:
1) Open a command prompt
2) Type “powercfg /h off”
That’s it.

For the less quick or confident here are a few screenshots to help:

1) For Windows XP or 7 users Click Start then click Run (or hold down the Windows key and press R)

2) Type CMD in the Run Window

3) For Windows 8 or 8.1 Right-Click in the bottom left corner and choose Command Prompt

4) In the command prompt windows type
cd \
to get to the root of your system drive

5) Type
dir /a
to show all the files in the drive

6) If hibernation is enabled you will see a file called “hiberfil.sys” that is up to the same size as your RAM

7) Type
powercfg /h off
to disable hibernation

8) Type
dir /a
to show the files in the drive again

9) You should see that the “hiberfil.sys” file is gone and you have gained more disk space

10) If there was no hiberfil.sys file in the first place you may not have been in your system drive, or hibernation was already disabled – running step 6 will do no harm if you want to try it to be sure anyway

11) Type Exit to quit the command prompt

While these days on a machine with TB of hard disk space a few GB might seem inconsequential, the hiberfil.sys file can often exist on virtual machines - Think of wasting 1 or 2GB per virtual machine! If you run a few test networks on the same system as I do it soon adds up, and you wonder where that 20GB went to. :) 
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