Boot up. Do some work. Close. Open somewhere else. Work. Put in sleep mode. Bring to a meeting. Take home. Go to work the next day, open it, and pick up exactly where you left off.

We all love our laptops for their mobility; work anywhere without ever missing a beat. Sounds pretty good, right? And it did, up until rumors started to stir about the damages that can occur when you move your computer and hard drive around. We at Gobbler are here to let you rest easy and tell you all you need to know about one of the most popular myths: does moving your computer while in sleep mode or hibernation damage your hard drive?

Quick note before we begin: sleep mode and hibernation aren’t interchangeable. If your computer is in sleep mode, the RAM (memory) stays powered on and your data stays there so that you can instantly start your computer exactly where you left off. Battery power is still needed, and if your battery dies, all your unsaved work will be lost. In hibernation mode, all your data is moved to the hard drive. This means that it takes your computer a little longer to restart and extract that data, but your data won’t be lost. Plus, it’s still faster than totally turning off your computer and rebooting cold turkey.

The Myth: Moving your computer while it is in sleep or hibernation mode damages your hard drive.

The Rationale: Many believe that your computer can quickly restart after being in sleep mode or hibernating because the hard drive never actually stopped spinning. Meaning that it is still in a fragile state and moving the hard drive might cause disruption.

The Verdict: False, but proceed with caution. Turns out that when your computer is in sleep mode, the RAM stays on so your data is quickly retrievable, but your optical drive and hard drive (the only mechanical hardware with moving bits) is turned off. Meaning you can move it and be safe that you aren’t disrupting anything. Additionally, if you’re in hibernation mode, then everything, including your RAM, is turned off and nothing will be disrupted if you move it.

Why then do people claim they lose their data and that their hard drive doesn’t stop spinning, you may ask? Well once you put your computer in sleep or hibernation mode, your screen may turn black but it still takes a few more moments for your hard drive to fully power down. During these few moments, though, your computer is not only extremely vulnerable to knocks and bumps but this is when you are grabbing your computer to pack up. You make think it’s safe, but we suggest taking a moment to make sure your computer is fully in sleep mode or hibernating before moving it. We know it’s tempting to jump up once the better table in the coffee shop is available, but patience is a virtue.

Save yourself the trouble of having to debunk a data recovery myth on your own by backing up your projects in multiple locations. An off-site solution like Gobbler should be one, out of at least three places you have your files backed up to ensure that you never lose a file again.

Do you have a hard drive myth that you’ve tried or would like us to look into? Drop a note in the comments below!

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