Can hibernating the computer damage the RAM


I always hibernate my laptop. One of my friends said that hibernating the computer will cause damage to the RAM. From his point of view he said that suspended RAM data stored on the hard disk will burst into the RAM when the system is turned on and decrease the efficiency & lifetime of the RAM by creating black spots.

Is that true? Are there any other disadvantages to hibernating the computer?

Best Answer

Hibernation will not damage your computer's RAM. In fact, your computer's RAM must continuously rewrite itself during operation to maintain its stored data.

  • When you place your computer into hibernation, any RAM in use is compressed and stored onto disk. When you turn your computer back on, the compressed RAM image is loaded and normal operation is resumed.

  • As with most devices requiring a non-trivial amount of working memory, the type of memory your PC uses is called dynamic RAM (DRAM). DRAM must be continuously refreshed to maintain its contents, and this refreshing is nothing more than rewriting the stored data. Your computer does this up to 16 times a second (every 64┬áms). As such, hibernation does not unduly stress the RAM and will not damage it in any way.

  • Your friend may be confusing this with the fact that hibernation involves writing a potentially large amount of data to disk. If the system uses an SSD as a boot disk, frequent hibernation (more than a few times a day), especially if many programs are running, can reduce the lifespan of the SSD, as flash memory does have limited write endurance. In normal usage, this is not a concern as modern SSDs are designed to handle tens of gigabytes of writes per day over five years or more. (Do note that the memory image is compressed as it is written to disk, which itself reduces the total amount of writing.)