"Stand By"?

This is a discussion on "Stand By"? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; well, I use Windows XP, and have been using the "Stand By" feature available in Start -> Turn Off Computer ...

  1. #1
    Madly in anger with you
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    "Stand By"?

    well, I use Windows XP, and have been using the "Stand By" feature available in Start -> Turn Off Computer quite a bit lately.

    its pretty neat, I think at least, according to MS it puts the computer in a low power use state, and when I use it my computer quiets down, and the monitor becomes inactive.

    today when I used it, I got a little curious, what does it actually do? I in no way am asking this because I would like to try to implement it, but simply out of curiousity, since I am a total newbie when it comes to hardware. could it be harmful on the CPU? excuse me if this is a dumb question, I'm just curious, as I know it probably does something to the CPU.

    I know there are alot of smart and talented people here. I was hoping maybe someone would be able to tell me a little about what is probably happening internally when I use Stand By, and if it could potentially cause harm if the computer is in this state for a substantial amount of time.

    any input is appreciated here, its not important, as I said I'm just curious.

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  2. #2
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    I think it the processor is "turned off". In my computer, when I use standby, the only way to return to Windows is to press the power button very softly. That means, the processor can be "turned off" and doesn't take any other input than the power button

    Some other computers may work differently. My previous computer returned from standby when any mouse or keyboard input detected, that means the processor still "works": it takes input.
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  3. #3
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    I would guess it keeps the necessary power in order to preserve volatile memory, or else writing all the contents to non-volatile storage, to be retrieved later upon powering back up, but mostly shuts down the computer. If it's in sleep mode, there's little need to have the hard drive spinning around, etc.

    No real harm as such should be caused by it, though many people use sleep mode instead of shutting down the computer which, more so in older devices that may not sleep very well, means they end up using more power, with possibly associated issues, but by itself, I can't think of any reason that sleep mode would be inherently bad for the computer.

    The difference between standby, sleep, hibernate, and whatever else they call it would be the level of powering down as far as I'm aware.
    Standby may just be turning off the monitor, while shutting down is completely shutting down the entire computer.

  4. #4
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Some time ago I had hibernate available...
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  5. #5
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    The terms that are pretty much unambigous (unlike standby, hibernate, etc.) are "suspend-to-ram" and "suspend-to-disk".

    The first keeps the RAM powered so that it will preserve its contents, but turns off the CPU, the HDDs, and pretty much everything else that uses power. A lot of power is conserved that way, but a power loss will make you lose your data, and the RAM still needs some power.
    Upon resuming, everything is simply turned back on, and since the RAM still has the previous content (and the contents of the most important CPU registers are also restored), execution continues exactly where it was before.

    The second starts like the first, by saving all volatile CPU data to RAM. But then it takes the RAM and writes its entire content (or at least the used parts) to the disk. It then places a flag somewhere that a suspended session exists and powers down completely. The computer is shut off, and thus uses no power. Also, even if power should be lost, the session is still preserved.
    On resume, the BIOS (or the OS, depending on the implementation) notices that the flag is set, and instead of going through normal booting, it loads the memory image back into the RAM and continues execution. This takes a good deal longer than waking up from suspend-to-ram.

    There's more to it in practice: some devices need special shutdown and initialization routines called, for instance.
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  6. #6
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    This takes a good deal longer than waking up from suspend-to-ram.
    10 seconds for me.
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  7. #7
    CSharpener vart's Avatar
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    10 seconds for me.
    Lucky you
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    the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

  8. #8
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Lucky you
    Heh, that was my old computer.
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  9. #9
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator
    10 seconds for me.
    On my father's laptop, waking up from suspend-to-ram takes about a second. From disk, 8-9 seconds. So it's still a factor of 10.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  10. #10
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Now I don't have hibernate anymore
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    I wish I was a squirrel.

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  12. #12
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Actually it was easy to enable it :
    http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/...841/13841.html
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

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