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Just a quick question really. I noticed that on either partition, Linux or Windows, that I may suspend either system and then boot into the other. Since suspending an OS does not write data to disk, the contents of RAM are preserved. As such, would it not be true then that booting into Linux would overwrite the contents of RAM and thus the context of Windows (or just the other OS that was suspended) prior to suspending?

I have been able to, for example:

  • Boot into Windows
  • Suspend Windows
  • Boot into Linux
  • Suspend/Shutdown Linux
  • Resume Windows without error

How is this possible?

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  • Are you sure that you suspended to RAM and not to disk? – Cristian Ciupitu Nov 6 '14 at 18:01
  • No, but I thought that was the point of a suspend. Namely, a suspend operation puts the computer in a low-power state but maintains the volatile memory, and a hibernate operation writes the volatile memory to disk and puts the computer in an ultra-low power state. – sherrellbc Nov 6 '14 at 18:02
  • I believe the reason this works is because, assuming that your suspend state is not bigger than your RAM Amount, that Windows Suspends to the Page File, which technically is a Hidden File in your Windows Partition. A linux box on the other hand, suspends to the swap partition, if set in the kernel. Since Windows doesn't suspend to swap, nor can it understand the format, the two systems are independent. – eyoung100 Nov 6 '14 at 18:09
  • Suspend usually means suspend to RAM, and hibernate means suspend to disk, but I wanted to avoid any ambiguity. – Cristian Ciupitu Nov 6 '14 at 18:15
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Suspend may be to RAM and/or to disk. If you suspend and can boot another OS, than for sure you have suspended to disk.

If you close the lid of a laptop and then on reopen can work almost immediately then you probably had a suspend to RAM, but this doesn't allow you to boot another OS (as the OS suspended this way immediately reactivates).

The suspend to disk can run into problems if you have multiple Linux versions and they share the space (e.g. swap) where the suspend information is written.

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If you can select the OS to boot, then it means you are going past a bootloader, so resuming from disk, not from RAM.

The scenario you describe isn't possible with suspend to RAM.

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