Windows Server 2008 Hibernation

Sunday, September 23, 2007
As the Technical Editor for the forthcoming book, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Unleashed (Sams Publishing), I'm doing a lot of work with Windows Server 2008.

It seems that W2K8 Server enables hibernation by default. This is quite interesting since I'm not sure how many people actually hibernate a server. Nevertheless, it's something we need to deal with. Particularly for those (like me) who do most of their work in VMs.

As you may know, Windows creates a file named hiberfil.sys in the root of the system drive for systems where hibernation is enabled. The hiberfil.sys file is always the same size as physical RAM. In a VM where hibernation is normally replaced with the VM software's suspend feature, that can be quite a sizeable chunk of wasted space. In a production environment I would normally want to disable hibernation, too.

Trouble is, you can't disable hibernation anywhere in the GUI. It must be disabled from the command line using the command:
powercfg.exe /hibernate off
This is further documented in the following MS KB articles:


  1. Thank you, you helped me.
    In Windows Server 2008 RTM hibernate was turned on by default (I didn't do anything). After installing Svp2 there was no hibernate anymore. Found your Blog with google and "powercfg -h on" was the solution.


    ps. using Server 2008 as my home OS

  2. FYI - I have confirmed that hibernation will not be enabled by default in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  3. this caught me out, thanks for the post
    2008 SP2, ran the command, no confirmation it'd done anything but the .sys file immediately disappeared

  4. I fixed the link to "How to Disable Hibernation on Windows Vista".


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