Can I use SD-card to speed up hibernation on laptop

By TobiF ·
Hello all,

I've got a Vista laptop with 2GB memory installed.
I like the computer, but especially after I added more RAM, the time for entering hibernation (and before getting back on track when resuming work) is a bit longer than I really like.

I understand that the sleep mode would kick-start the computer quicker, but I'm using hibernate when turning off the computer between offices or when going somewhere.

I was thinking about using a USB-memory to speed up the hibernation process, would that help?

But, on second thought, I wouldn't like the USB stick to block one of my only 3 USB ports. (And most USB sticks would live a dangerous life, poking out too much from the notebooks body.
But what if I used an SD-card in the native card reader? I believe this is technically also a USB device?

So, 2 questions:
Is it worth it?
If yes, how do I do it and what kind of card should I buy?
Oops, that's 3 questions. Need to repeat my maths class :)

Edit: My laptop is a Compaq Presario V3000 with Vista Business 32

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RE: Is it worth it?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Can I use SD-card to spee ...

Probably not worth it as using the Hibernation between offices involves transporting the unit running. You can kill the thing very quickly doing this. It's not off just in Hibernation so the fans still sort of run and the certainly do push air over the CPU's Heatsink. In a NB Bag this isn't likely to happen. I've seen way too many NB's destroyed doing this for my liking not to mention their owners expense.

But in answer to your other question about using a SD Card in the Card Reader it should work the same as plugging in a USB Thumb Drive and it's cheap enough to do with the cost of SD Cards so low these days. But even still they do stick out of the Card Reader and are likely to suffer damage when you stick the NB back into it's bag and transport it about. The SD Card is far less secure in a card reader than a USB Thumb Drive and it's far more likely to snap in the process.


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Small correction.

by TobiF In reply to RE: Is it worth it?

Hi, thanks for your reply. We'll see what happens.
Just wanted to point out: in hibernation, the computer is completely turned off and all contents of the RAM is kept on hard drive (plus, possibly, on a flash memory, as I understand)
The mode you refer to must be "sleep", which was called "standby" in XP.
I hardly ever use "sleep". I just want the computer to be completely off. And, I've also noted that my computer handles hibernation well, but often doesn't awake well after "sleeping".

With 2 Gb RAM, I don't expect much boost during normal use, but hope that same technology is used to speed up starting after hibernation. If I got it right, it won't go quicker into hibernation, since it will still write everything to the HDD, but, in parallel, write a cache copy to the flash memory.

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Outcome: OK, I guess.

by TobiF In reply to Can I use SD-card to spee ...

Hello, all virtual friends.

I went ahead and bought a 4 gig SDHC card.
It fit very well into the card reader slot, almost within the outer boundaries of the laptop. (And otherwise I only use the card reader when uploading pictueres from my camera).
Brought up the properties and indicated I want to use this card for ReadyBoost. Windows suggested I'd use the whole 4GB for this, and I accepted.

RBMon shows that I get some benefit from the card in usual operation. But, most important, I feel that the computer now reaches a responsive state a bit quicker after resuming from hibernation.

I'll continue using this. If I not anything interesting, I'll try to post back to this thread.

Best regards,

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Lets know how you get on

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Outcome: OK, I guess.

But that is what I thought would happen. :0


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Yes, keep us updated.

by seanferd In reply to Outcome: OK, I guess.

I'd be interested to know if it comes out of hibernation appreciably faster.

Is the SD card you use faster than the HDD? Is then hiberfil.sys being written to the SD card? Or is it that ReadyBoost is just giving you more RAM? (I wouldn't thin a ReadyBoost device which has slower read speeds than the HDD would help...)

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How I understand it...

by TobiF In reply to Yes, keep us updated.

Based on what I have been reading and what I can see:

1. For large sequential reads, the HDD is best, but for scattered, short reads, a flash memory is much better, since the HDD, on average, has to rotate 180 degress before the needed location appears under the drive's read-write arm. So, for typical reads from the swap-file, the flash memory is much more responsive, than HDD. However, since my system has 2 GB RAM on board, the difference is small. With smaller RAM size, I'd expect bigger impact from ReadyBoost, but I don't intend to test this by lifting RAM out of my laptop.

2. ReadyBoost never relies only on the flash memory. Anything written to the flash memory is always written in parallel to the HDD. So, if the flash memory is disconnected, the system will simply fall back to using the HDD.

3. I can't really examine the contents of the ReadyBoost volume, since it is zipped and encrypted with AES, for security reason.

4. Going into hibernation seems to take the same time as before. I'd guess the system, while writing all RAM memory to the HDD hibernation file, in parallel copies as much as time allows to the flash memory.

5. When getting out of hibernation, the system seems to become responsive a bit quicker. I believe different parts of the memory image are read in parallel from HDD and flash.

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Interesting. Thanks.

by seanferd In reply to How I understand it...

I appreciate the information.

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