Windows XP tip of the day

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Microsoft and Windows - Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Save 500MB to One Gig of Disk Space On Your Windows XP With Just One Move.

Ready for this? All you have to do is delete C:\hiberfil.sys.

If you don’t have it, don’t worry about it. If you have it and you’re looking at it, you don’t need it. If you got rid of it before but didn’t follow up, check again because it’s back. And no, it’s not a virus. Now that I’ve baffled you with the short version, here’s the details:

Windows itself won’t let you delete the file outright, but you can always reboot with a live rescue disk and delete it. For the rest of you (“um… what’s a live rescue disk?”), deleting it and following up are the same step.

First, what is it: A new feature that came with XP is hibernate mode. In order to come back from hibernation quickly, Windows dumps the entire contents of RAM memory into this file, then when you wake it from hibernation, it reads the file back into RAM. That’s great, but it doesn’t delete the file afterwards. So it takes up however much memory you have in RAM, be it 500MB or several Gigs.

The steps to turn off hibernation are:

  • Go to Control Panel.
  • Open Power Options.
  • Click on the “Hibernate” tab, and un-check the ‘Enable hibernate support’ check box, and click Apply.
  • Reboot.

After you restart your computer, hiberfil.sys will be automatically deleted.

Now, even if you didn’t take these steps, you still might not have the file. This is because the hibernate function temporarily freezes a snapshot of your computer’s state while idle, so if you constantly have activity (like running SETI@home or downloading torrents) hibernation will be impossible.

And that was your XP tip for the day!

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