Wait until your laptop has fallen asleep
before you move it.
Maybe you've seen it, maybe you've done it, but honestly,
most of us are guilty. We're in a rush so we shut the lid on our laptop,
pack it up and we're on the road. But something that seems so innocuous
may be leading us to data loss.
Everybody knows that when you shut the lid on
your laptop it falls asleep. But what is less apparent is that, like
you and I, it may "count
sheep" for a little bit before starting its slumber. To understand,
let's think a little bit about what happens when our laptop sleeps.
We've been working on that term paper or browsing the
Internet. Our laptop is dutifully serving our every need. Maybe it's saving
a file, then thinking about what's next. Now we shut the lid and ask it
to sleep. But it was just wide awake working away.
To make sure it's ready to startup exactly where we
left off, it has to store in a safe place all of its memory and information
about what it was doing. It does this by cleaning itself up and writing
a file to the hard drive. With today's laptops having a copious amount
of memory, understandably this file may be rather large.
As such, it may take our laptop some time to get everything
cleaned up and written before it can fall asleep. In some cases, 30 seconds
or more after you shut the lid. During this time, your laptop is still
working, and more importantly to us, its hard drive is still spinning
while reading and writing data.
The hard drive contains very precise, and sometimes delicate, components
hovering above platters that are spinning at thousands of RPMs. Sometimes
all it takes is a little bump, or a quick movement, for those components
to touch the platters and cause damage. This can all lead to data loss.
So before you toss your laptop into that bag, give
it some time to fall asleep. With most laptops (check your user's manual),
watch the power light. When you see it go dark, you're
in the clear. Your laptop is sound asleep and ready to accompany you to
your next stop.