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26.11.06Safe sleep: Manually turning off

The sleepimage file located in /private/var/vm is a component of the Safe Sleep functionality offered on some Macs. It is a frequently updated, disk-stored mirror of the full RAM contents. When a system wakes from Safe Sleep this file is written back into RAM, returning the user to a state directly prior to loss of power. Also, this file does consume a significant chunk of hard drive space. There is also some concern about disk activity generated as a result of this file being updated.

Mac OS X uses virtual memory data (RAM contents naturally stored on disk as part of the virtual memory scheme) to formulate the sleepimage file. When the system is put to sleep, Mac OS X culls from physical RAM whatever data it cannot replicate from virtual memory and adds it to the sleepimage file. As such, the disk activity generated by having Safe Sleep turned on should be negligible. If you don't need the functionality and want to recover some disk space, you can disable Safe Sleep by opening the Terminal (located in Applications/Utilities) and entering the following command: sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 then pressing return.

You can then select "Go to Folder" under the "Go" menu in the Finder, and enter: /private/var/vm then press return, and drag the file sleepimage to the Trash. In order to re-enable Safe Sleep, use the command: sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3 in the Terminal.

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