Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

June 6, 2008

Windows XP Standby and Hibernate Problems Solved (finally … I hope)

Category: Household,Save Electricity,Technology,Tips – Tom Harrison – 9:05 pm

Standby or Hibernate Control Panel WidgetWindows XP will not go into standby or hibernation in many cases. As I learned a few weeks ago after installing my Smart Strip and measuring the result with my Kill-A-Watt, when the computer is on, it uses a lot of electricity. But my Windows XP PC would not go into standby mode or hibernate. I believe I have finally solved my stand by issues.

(Update, 10/2008: See comments and responses below for troubleshooting and a updated windows hibernate and standby problem post I am maintaining as further information becomes available)
(Update, 2/2009: I am going to try to highlight notable comments in the comments thread below, as there are some good ones)

When the computer is on, it uses around 68 Watts. With the Smart Strip, when the monitor is off, other devices are also turned off, but it still draws 28 to 30 Watts. Standby gets me down to almost nothing, Hibernate gets me to nothing. Now my computer goes into “suspend” (sleep, stand by) all by itself, just as it’s supposed to. While I have tried to be good about turning the computer off (actually, hibernating manually), nothing beats automatic.

What are Suspend / Sleep / Standby / Hibernate Modes?

If you don’t know, Windows Standby is a very cool feature (even if you don’t care about saving electricity). Suspend, Standby, and Sleep all mean pretty much the same thing. When your computer is in Standby, it remembers everything you are doing. You don’t have to close your browser, or game, or iTunes or email program or anything. The monitor turns off, and the computer uses much less energy — just enough to remember.

Touching the keyboard or mouse wakes the computer from standby: the screen turns on, the disks spin up and connections reconnect — all automatically, and all in a matter of a second or two. It is brilliant! Of course Macintosh also has this feature (and I am sure it always works on a Mac :-).

Hibernation is pretty much the same, except it uses the computer’s hard disk to store everything that was in memory. Because it is on the disk, the computer can turn off completely, and use no power at all. Hibernation takes about 10 or 15 seconds to complete on my computer, and about 20 to resume, so it’s not as snappy as Standby mode.

I almost never shut down my computer. It takes a great deal longer for everything to start from a clean start, and then you have to open up all the programs you want to use. For me, this can take 2 minutes just to get to the point where I can start opening web browsers, and all the other programs I use, which usually takes another couple of minutes. Resuming from hibernation takes only 20 seconds to end up in the same place.

Using the Power Options in Windows (XP or other versions)

Windows XP Power Options Control Panel SettingsEven better, you can set your computer to do 4 things that save power, based on how long since you have used it.

  1. Turn off the monitor (screen) (20 – 40 watts when on, maybe more)
  2. Turn off the hard disks (1 or 2 watts when on, maybe)
  3. Suspend, or Standby (about 5 watts when in this mode)
  4. Hibernate (computer is off: no watts!)

Open the Power Options window by clicking Start, then Control Panel, then Power Options. If you don’t see an option to Hibernate, there’s a tab near the top of the window that will let you “Enable Hibernation”, after which the option should be available.

You can set how long you want before each mode kicks in. Notice that on my power settings, since I have a laptop, there are different settings you can use for when plugged in versus when on batteries.

Bottom line: when it works, it’s awesome.

But standby and hibernate don’t work all the time

If you make the settings above, but your computer doesn’t turn off at the appointed time, as was my case, I hope your patience and perseverance didn’t have to be as extreme as mine :-). I have been working on this problem on and off for about a year — I thought I had solved the issue, but then it started not working again … or maybe it never was working.

It is simply unbelievable to me how little help Windows gives you in diagnosing these problems. In my real job, I am a computer systems and software engineer: I know how they work, and how to do what could be dangerous things without messing things up too badly.

So the first resource I used was this link from Kelly’s Korner which is a well-maintained list of various issues people have reported over time. I tried a lot of things, but none of them worked for me.

One tip: set the monitor timeout to 3 minutes, standby to 1 minute and hibernate to 2 minutes so you can see if things work in the least amount of time. I set my watch timer so I would know when to give up.

Another tip: write down what you do. I wish I did, since I am not exactly sure which of the things I did that actually resolved the problem.

Tip #3: Work on not starting programs automatically first. There’s a nice tool (free) called nCleaner that does several things. One of them is to allow you to see and change some of the programs are getting run when the system starts. Two good things happen here: 1) you can usually find a number of unnecessary programs that take time to load and use up memory unnecessarily, and 2) you’re going to be rebooting a lot, so the faster things start, the better.

Tip #4: You would be amazed at how much crap gets loaded by default. Then computer manufacturers cut deals with various companies to install their programs, or trials, many of which also load some annoying things when they start.

Why Standby and Hibernate Fail

The main thought about why standby fails is that there are bad “drivers” (the software that makes things like mice, keyboards, screens and other parts of the computer work). They need to cooperate in the whole game of turning off when told to. The first thing to do is use Windows Update to make sure everything is up to date (just recently the latest “service pack”, #3 was released). (Start » Programs @raquo; Windows Update … or possibly Microsoft Update).

I also went to Dell and looked for updated drivers for my system. None of these things helped me. I was amazed at how … lame Dell’s site was

I tried disabling devices that I knew I wouldn’t need at the moment (DVD drive, wireless network connection, various other things). I unplugged all the USB devices. Go to Start » Run » and type in devmgmt.msc. Expand groups of “devices” and right click on the ones you think you won’t need, clicking Disable. For me nothing here helped.

Then I got rid of everything out of the Start » Programs » Startup folder. Mostly these were programs that kind of “warm up” programs so they seem to take less time to start when you want them to load. Grrr.

Then I uninstalled as many programs as I could that I was sure I didn’t need. This is a little tricky, but if you aren’t sure what a program does, Google it. Go to Start » Control Panel » Add or Remove Programs. Keep in mind that most programs can be easily reinstalled (except for ones you have to pay for, and actually use). Go wild. Use the nCleaner program afterward to finish up all the uninstalling that the actual uninstallers don’t do.

So in my case, the main culprit seems to have been some software called Wild Tangent whose purpose is to make 3D Games played on Yahoo work. Which is great for all the people who play 3D Games on Yahoo. Me, I play my 3D games in places that actually have three dimensions, like my living room, or on the field with a Frisbee. Yahoo, not so much.

And after this (I think) my problems were solved. I could reliably see my computer go into standby mode, then a minute later hibernate. Hallelujah!

All Systems Go (because All Systems Stopped) … but not so fast

I watched in admiration and glee, several times as my computer, all of its own accord turned itself into a non-energy sucker. And just as I was getting complacent, I was slapped in the face with the reality of things.

I like music, and we are an iPods and iPhone kind of family. So I use iTunes. But I am also a geek, and think that things we all use should be in a central place, so have a computer in our broom closet that does things like keep our photos, music, TiVo’d programs we like to keep, Virtual CDs (so all those games we buy on CDs can be used without having the CD on hand), and a few other geeky kinds of things like that.

So it turns out that when iTunes is open, or perhaps any program that is using a file located on a remote computer (like the one in my broom closet), Windows decides that’s reason enough not to shut down. No warnings, no errors, no messages, no indication whatsoever that this state has prevented standby, just … nada.

Quick note for people looking to diagnose standby/hibernate issues: files open on remote computer seem to prevent standby.

And iTunes starts every time I plug in my iPhone or an iPod to charge, so that it can sync up and back up whatever it needs to. And I listen to music during the day when I am working at home on And by default, iTunes nicely stays in view in the alert area. So, it’s pretty much usually on. So now I have to shut it down in order to make my computer shut down automatically. Foiled again … sort of.

Naturally, I am highly inclined to blame this on Microsoft. Except it seems like there may be similar issues with Macs, as we’re conscious of this at work, too, and are using Mac’s there. Harumph.

Ok, so anyway, I am now pretty expert in diagnosing standby and hibernate issues. Post a comment if you have one. But remember: my goal is to solve these problems so your computer can save energy.


  1. I have been struggling with this issue for a while now. After following steps similar to yours outlined above I thought I had solved this issue by removing a bluesoliel application from my startup folder. Now the problem is back with vengence. Before it used to work intermittently, now never. I am back to square one. I believe it resurfaced after I installed an adobe acrobat reader and flash player update, but I am not sure.

    Comment by ozzie — July 4, 2008 @ 5:13 am

  2. I have had a couple of similar cases, but several, at least, can be traced back to having files open on our local network. Notably, I use iTunes with a music library on a shared file server; if iTunes is open, Windows will not hibernate. Same for Quicken and a couple others. But I also suspect Acrobat Reader.

    It is simply infuriating that there’s no reasonable diagnostic tool to identify what is preventing shutdown — it’s the most basic of software rules that a function like this be traceable. Grrr.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — July 6, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  3. I too have been struggling with the problem of STANDBY no longer working in Windows XP. However, this occurred immediately after installing Service Pack 3, so it is a Microsoft issue to some extent. To make it more frustrating, I use MS Wireless keyboards on both of my computers. On one, Standby works and on the other, it does not. It goes through the motions, shutting down the monitor but will not longer put the CPU into Standby.

    Comment by Gary McClelland — July 14, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  4. I’m too trying to be energy efficient. In my opinion energy efficiency is a Good Thing, even if there was no energy crisis.

    Anyway, I’m too trying to troubleshoot why my hibernation fails from time to time.

    I am aware of the event logs Windows XP keeps, but I’m just wondering if there are any other log files too, have you found any during your adventures?

    Comment by dreamlusion — July 26, 2008 @ 6:40 am

  5. @dreamlusion —

    With XP, there appears to be almost no relevant logging for hibernate problems or standby issues. I have never seen anything show up in the Event Log, or any other log I could find (and I looked!). Apparently Vista does has some better diagnostics.

    Judging from the traffic my site is getting on this issue, apparently we are not the only ones struggling with this problem — I am getting hundreds of visitors every few days looking for answers. I am working on a more systematic guide and set of links to reasonable and current XP-specific resources, so add the site to your RSS feed reader if you use one.

    For me, standby (a necessary pre-cursor to hibernate, I believe) is a touchy thing. I came down this morning and found only my browser (Firefox 3) running with a couple tabs open, and for some reason the machine had not gone into standby. I had the Task Manager window open — maybe that caused some sort of problem. When I closed task manager, and did my normal test of standby, which is to set the power options to go to standby in 1 minute, it worked fine. Who knows whether task manager was to blame.

    I am certain that having open network connections on a local network will interfere with standby. I am suspicious that some browser plugins may also be at play, for example Flash, or even some websites that do a lot of JavaScript stuff (like gmail), although these are not confirmed yet.

    My best advice is to get as few things running as possible, and make sure your system is as simple as possible. Two nice registry and system cleaner utilities have helped: nCleaner, and Glary Utilities; I like both but recommend the latter as it seems to be a little more thorough. These both have tools to help you prevent certain infrequently used items from running on start-up; even if they don’t cause with standby and hibernation problems, they use up memory and CPU resources.

    I’ll write more in a post coming soon, so stay tuned.

    Oh, and conserve energy in other ways, too :-)


    Comment by Tom Harrison — July 27, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  6. Thank you for all the useful information Tom.

    Comment by dreamlusion — July 28, 2008 @ 6:41 am

  7. I have opposite problem; my computer goes to sleep/Hibernates when I am using it ?
    Some days it never happens, other days it happens 3 or more times – it already happened twice today.
    The computer I am using is a Dell Latitude D820 with Windows XP Professional with SP 2 on it. I got it in May 2007.
    Any advice on this?

    Comment by Sarka Friedl — July 29, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  8. Sarka — think of the power you are saving! :-)

    You are not alone; I googled “computer goes into standby” and found a lot of (seemingly unresolved) questions from people as frustrated as you.

    The main thing to check (which I suspect you may have already) is the Power Option on the Control Panel — for testing, set all the different states (monitor, disk drives, standby, hibernate) to “Never”; with a laptop you’ll probably have two sets of options, one for when the computer is plugged in and the other for running on battery; set all options to “Never”. This probably isn’t the problem, though, right?

    The other thing that might be going on is that some combination of keystrokes are set to make the computer go into standby. I have some weird thing with my Dell Inspiron where if I press Shift and the left arrow, Windows Messenger decides to start. I have never figured out why, but it might be because I have done something fancy to turn on “gestures” or some other related features of the mouse or touchpad. Look at keyboard and mouse settings in the control panel to see if maybe something is set to make the computer go into standby.

    My Dell came with a huge boatload of “helpful” utilities that run when the computer starts. One of the first thing I did was uninstall all of the ones I knew I didn’t want. There are some good system cleanup utilities (free) that do a good job of identifying these kinds of things. My current favorite is “Glary Utilities” which you can find at — it does a pretty reasonable job of getting rid of a lot of annoying and useless things.

    The last suggestion is to check the Windows Event Log (Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer) and see if there are any warnings or errors that seem relevant. It’s probably a long-shot, but maybe it can help you find what’s causing the problem.

    The last last suggestion is to try to identify what you are doing (or not doing, or anything that happens, or any pattern, or anything like that) when the problem occurs. If you can describe exactly what symptoms you are seeing, I or someone else might get a clue that can help isolate the problem. What’s the completion to the question “it always happens when …” or “I haven’t ever seen it happen when…”.

    May the force be with you. These problems require super-natural amounts of patience and resolve :-O\


    Comment by Tom Harrison — July 29, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  9. […] In June I wrote about how I had solved my problems with windows XP not going into stand-by or hibarnating. That post is a good overview of the problem, with suggestions on how to diagnose and narrow down […]

    Pingback by Windows XP Standby and Hibernate Problem (Update 8/2008) | Five Percent: Conserve a Little Energy — August 15, 2008 @ 11:24 am

  10. Running XP with automatic updates, my Standby/Hibernate button has recently gone grey. If I try ‘powercfg /hibernate on’ from the command prompt, I get ‘System does not support hibernation’. Well it used to! When I tidied up my discs I noticed hiberfil.sys had been deleted and I cannot get it to stay put with a restore, it just disappears again. Automatic updates has failed to install SP3. Anyone got any suggestions as to how to get Hibernate back – it’s essential to me. Would a system restore maybe recover it, then switch off automatic updates perhaps?

    Comment by Frank — September 13, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  11. Frank —

    Three things I can think of (the first is probably redudnant with your command line):

    1. Control Panel > Power Options > Hibernate > Enable Hibernation — most likely the exact same thing as your command line option tried
    2. Check free disk space. If you have less free disk space than your system has total RAM, hibernate cannot work. Another similar thought: de-fragment your hard drive; it may be that a contiguous free space to write the hiberfile.sys is required.
    3. Check your system BIOS. Usually this involves pressing some key as your machine is starting up (often F2, Del, or other depending on the make of the computer — Google for “bios key” if you’re not sure). There should be options for power savings — if there’s not a default setting, try “S3” if listed.

    It sounds like the update to SP3 has partially hosed your computer. I am working with someone who had a more destructive issue when updating to service pack 3 and now is reinstalling everything. In their case, reverting to a restore point didn’t fix the problem. Grumble.

    You may also want to see if there are other system diagnostics that might indicate some sort of latent problem. I am not up to date with all the latest and greatest utilities, but something like “windows xp configuration diagnosis” might turn up some possible options.

    May the force be with you :-}

    Comment by Tom Harrison — September 13, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  12. Tom
    Thanks for your useful advice.

    The update to SP3 had taken over the space for hiberfil.sys and completely fragmented the drive way beyond Windows Defrag’s poor ability to cope.

    My Norton utilities defrag (SpeedDisk) from 2005 could not deal with Windows’ current interpretation of NTFS, to give me 0.5GB of clean space to restore the file.

    All my Ghost 2003 backups are useless for the same reason, I discover – Ghost 2003 no longer sees all the invisible stuff (besides files) that needs to be backed up (though you can just image the partition).

    So I bought Ghost 14.0 and SystemWorks, increased the size of my main drive partition, and wasted an entire week of free time. SystemWorks defragmented the drive to a fair degree but could still not provide 0.5GB clean, but Windows Defrag was able to go on from there. (The two programs have a different view of where things should go.)

    To cut a long story short, I have managed to recover a hiberfil.sys and get a defragmented copy of it on to the drive, but Windows just deletes it at boot.

    I’m going to keep trying, but I am not going to re-install everything (especially as I have no confidence hibernate would recover even then); equally I am not prepared to leave my machine on all the time, or suffer the 10-15 mins it takes to get up to speed after a boot.

    Comment by Frank — September 29, 2008 @ 12:23 am

  13. Frank —

    hiberfil.sys is a special system file and must be managed by Windows; it is reserved space that is used to write the hibernation data, plus some other state information. It does not store any files or configuration data.

    My advice would be to go into Control Panel > Power Options and on the last tab, disable hibernation temporarily. If the old hiberfil.sys is still there, you can delete it). Make sure you have as much free disk space as you can find. Then run another defrag. Then back in power options turn on hibernation again — this will cause Windows to create the file (it’s size will be the same as the amount of RAM your computer), after which you can set the time delay for hibernation in the power options.

    Another option would be to try restoring from the System Restore point made before the SP3 installation. (Although having spent a good deal of time trying to help someone else out who had SP3 related woes, that took a lot of time and didn’t work).

    Good luck.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — September 29, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  14. Hi Tom
    Windows has deleted the last tab – and Standby has gone too.
    Life is too short for system not-restores.
    Re-installing Windows and every single utility is not on either because it would take weeks if ever to re-download all the SPs and updates and I don’t expect it to help anyway.
    I’m looking at Linux VERY seriously because I don’t intend to waste my money and half of my computer’s performance on Vista.
    I’ll just have to squander the energy and leave the computer running all day.

    Thanks for all your help and patience,

    Comment by Frank — October 2, 2008 @ 11:32 am

  15. It’s windows SP3, I have 2 Dell D420’s, one is a core duo the other a solo, the solo has the problem since updating to windows service pack 3. The screen says preparing to hibernate, then it goes grey and never does anything else. Just hangs. I had it fixed once after a continuing failed install of SP3. I finally got it to take using the web based update. This then FIXED the problem which seemed to be a result of the failed update. All was good until I did a the latest set of updates and the problem has since returned and I’m confounded by the it again and unable to find a solution at this point. I’m currently trying the defrag option and I then try to disable various hardware to see if I can solve it from there.
    I’ll let you know.
    Thanks and SCREW MSFT! I cant WAIT for google to get a web based operating system that does away with the MS POS that we are all forced to sacrifice out computers performance to. I will NEVER move onto Vista.

    Comment by TR8R — October 20, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

  16. @TR8R —

    We share your pain! I spend a number of hours volunteering at my daughter’s school trying to get a machine un-hosed after a failed SP3 update killed it. We eventually had to do a re-installation. The degree to which MSFT has failed to resolve this larger issue is truly mind-boggling. Meanwhile, I am running on a Mac at work, and my son has one and they pretty much just work.

    So, to your issue, take a look at this:

    and this, from a MS forum:

    unlikely, but possible:

    And for those experience general (non-hibernation) failures relating to installation of SP3, here are a couple:

    Here’s a looooong list of things to check from good ol’ MS:

    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 21, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  17. ive had absolutely no issues with sp3 whatsoever..ive deployed hundreds of pc’s from scratch with it on – the only issue being ie icon disappearing which can be reenabled with a registry fix. i’ve had more problems with ghost solution suite 2.5 used to deploy these images.

    to the people who are installing sp3 on machines which have had the same build of windows – wake up! – microsoft cant examine every single possibility of different oem software, hardware and configurations and id never expect them to.

    notice how everyone does the same thing, install windows xp sp2 from scratch, add sp3…no problems…a bit of thinking for these so called ‘computer geniuses’…

    Comment by james — October 22, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  18. James —

    We’re not talking about people who have hand-built computers, here. I don’t think we’re talking about computer geniuses, just regular folks who expect their computers to work.

    Apparently HP has “modified the kernel” of their XP installation (by changing the XP splash screen) and this appears to be enough to hose an SP3 upgrade, or at least in the case of the person I worked for, it was.

    The machine was purchased a couple years ago with SP2 installed, and the user had successfully applied all available updates. They did backup their data, but because it was XP Home, there was no option to do a full backup, just a regular restore point … which did not work to undo the failed SP3 update. As a result, she had to install all of her software over again after a clean windows install, and now I have no good answer for her as to whether she should proceed with the SP3 upgrade.

    So yeah, if you’re a system administrator, SP3 upgrades should be fine. For the other 99.99% of the world, it should most certainly just work for a relatively modern OEM built machine, assuming the user hasn’t done anything nefarious.

    Installations and updates are perhaps the most critical and difficult part of shipping an OS. It is entirely unacceptable for MS to have so many common problems left up to the user to deal with.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 22, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  19. hi tom,

    you’ve got it in one. microsoft provides sysprep to manufacturers such as hp/compaq, acer etc to provide a ‘manufacturer’ spec copy of windows.

    as youve said hp has modified the kernel; and now responsibility for further updates to the operating system become hp’s problem – as they have chosen to make their own modifications to the operating system.

    if the system had been loaded with a normal off the shelf copy of xp sp2, drivers added for hp hardware, used for a few years and then had sp3 applied – there will be no issue.

    i am not a fan of microsoft, but i dislike how a lot of blame gets placed on the company when it is often the fault of separate companies for the problems like you have mentioned.

    there was a similar situation for the new load balancing features provided by the new intel gigabit cards; where microsoft had told intel that their hardware doesnt work correctly with server 2003 sp2, nothing happened on intel’s behalf, and now we are stuck with unreliable server failover protection.


    Comment by james — October 23, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  20. In my Windows XP (sp2), there’s no Standby/Hibernate option, and there’s no option of Hibernate etc. in Control panel’s Power options.

    Comment by hotcoder — October 27, 2008 @ 6:32 am

  21. @hotcoder — the absence of Hibernate option may be due to settings in the computer BIOS … that’s the part that starts as the computer is just booting. If it’s a relatively modern computer (e.g. post 2000), the BIOS should provide a setting for certain power controls. Depending on the maker of the computer, you enter the BIOS by pressing some key as the computer is just starting, the “Del” key on Dells, sometimes F2 on others. You’ll see a rather ugly, texty screen and somewhere it should say something about power savings or power management or something similar. I believe the setting needs to be “S3” (intuitive, eh!), but it may be different for you. Once that’s done, the Hibernate tab should show at the top of the Control Panel => Power Options window.

    One other thing I am not so sure about: you might want to make sure you have enough free disk space on your computer; this would be equal to the amount of memory (RAM) installed on your computer.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 27, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  22. Here I am again – just got fed up with my computer running like glue, so I’ve uninstalled Ghost 14.0, and re-installed Ghost 2003, freeing 400MB of space. Sorry, Symantec, you’ve let me down, Ghost 14.0 is useless to me. That’s not relevant to this forum though. (Just one comment – to back up everything with Ghost 2003, you need to use Image all, otherwise the backup is incomplete.)

    Due I’m sure to there suddenly being 1.2GB free space, Hibernate and Standby have reappeared, with no other action on my part: no SP3/BIOS/powercfg changes or anything. Advice to hotcoder – is there enough space free on your boot disc, and is it reasonably contiguous?

    I’m pretty sure the reason SP3 killed Hibernate was SP3’s sheer size. That would explain why James’ suggestion of a clean SP2 reinstall/SP3 upgrade would work – no bloat from incremental upgrades, plenty space.

    Comment by Frank — November 16, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  23. Frank —

    This is most certainly one cause of the Hibernate option going away, and it would tend to occur during a significant system upgrade (or also, a memory upgrade) when disk space is low.

    Hibernate works by writing an image of what is in system RAM to a special file on the hard disk (plus a few other bits of data). This means, if you have 512MB of RAM, you’ll need that much free disk space … and it is possible that that disk space needs to be un-fragmented.

    So, before doing a system upgrade (including an upgrade to SP3), make sure you have plenty of free space, by which I mean probably 4GB or more. Also, you should de-fragment the disk drive (My Computer > C: > Properties > Tools > Defragment Now). There’s also a “Disk Cleanup” option on the “General” tab which can get rid of some unnecessary files. (Do the cleanup first if you do both).

    Comment by Tom Harrison — November 16, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  24. My Notebook will not go into standby as long as my internetconnection is on. When i close the connection, it will go into standyby after one minute, if i set it this way. no progs running. :-(

    Comment by Fisch — November 17, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  25. @Fisch —

    Try Slawdog Smart Shutdown Classic 2005. As I report in my other post on XP standby problems, it solves the kind of problem you’re having with open network connections.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — November 17, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  26. Wow I feel so much better now knowing I actually save energy when I put my computer on stand by. I usually come in and out of the office garage to use the computer often and instead of having it to load up right after I just shut it down I just put it on stand by. Sweet.

    Comment by greg — December 14, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  27. Its important to note that, in windows, any program has the right to block the systems sleep request. The idea being that a program might be in the middle of something important, that may cause horrible problems if interrupted at that time. So what a program *should* do is block the sleep request, finish things up on its side, then let the system resume standby. However, most programs just block standby and leave it at that.

    Comment by Zak — December 18, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

  28. Hello everyone,

    I’ve been googling this problem for the last couple of days and I haven’t found a solution to my problem which may be a rare case, if you have the time please read it and see if you can think of an answer, it would be much appreciated.

    I work in an office of 30+ windows xp computers and from my proposal to save energy I am going to have all the users Log off at the end of the day, Virus Scan, Windows update, than after an idle period of 2 hours hibernate.

    With that example aside let me tell you what works and doesn’t because of course that example doesn’t otherwise I wouldn’t be writing right now :p

    Hibernate works when the timer is set to 1 or 2 minutes, and I can be either logged in or logged off.

    Anything after 3 minutes, hibernate and/or standby does not go into effect, even when logged off!!!

    All pcs have the newest updates.

    the only thing I can think of is that the network that these computers are hooked up to, something is happening every 3 minutes, but I can’t track down the activity since I’m logged off, and I’m not sure what the network would need from a logged off computer to be keeping it active.

    Any ideas or questions would be extremely helpful, and power saving!!

    Thanks for your time!

    Comment by Ryan Duclos — December 19, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  29. Ryan —

    The key bit of data here seems to be the 3-minute threshold — some bit of software is resetting the timeout clock, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something on the network. To rule that out, just unplug the network connection (or disable it in the Network Connections window).

    If unplugging/disabling the network connection works, then most likely you can resolve this by setting the network adapter so that it is not allowed to bring the computer out of standby. (Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Network Adapters, then right click the one in use and select Properties > Power Management and un-check “Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby”.)

    However, it is just as likely that something running on the computer is (inappropriately) doing something that resets the standby timer. That this happens even when users are logged out doesn’t really help that much. Look in the Services panel for all the started services (Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Services). Try stopping 2 or 3 at a time (write down which ones they are), test and see if things change. If not, restart these, and try the next three, and so on. This may cause the computer to stop working, depending on the service, so be prepared to restart.

    If none of the running services change things, then you might open the task manager (right-click on Start bar and click Task Manager) click on Processes, and then sort by the CPU usage column (click the column header) until the highest CPU usage is listed first. Watch the computer for between 2 minutes and 3 minutes and see if which processes become active, even if just for a moment, during that period. You can try killing these — you can also Google the process name (e.g. “lsass.exe”) to find out what it does and if it is part of Windows or part of something else installed on the computer.

    Finally, double check the Event Viewer (Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer) to see if there are any errors or warnings recorded that might give you a clue.

    Hope this helps! Please write back if you find anything.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — December 21, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  30. […] 3 computers to standby and […]

    Pingback by Top 10 Things We Did To Cut Our Electricity Bill in Half | Five Percent: Conserve a Little Energy — December 21, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  31. Thank you Tom for the quick reply and I do believe I have found the solution with your help.

    After writing about the network connection did I realize I could just unplug it and watch it, of course that had no effect so I was back to square one, but at least I could rule out certain things.

    Today I watched the Task Manager for about 10 minutes and wrote down one little process that kept catching my eye, rtvscan.exe.

    This little process is from Symantic Client Security, Anti-virus program. The easy way would have been to right-click and end process, unfortunatley a window of continuing dismay was brought up telling me that the access is denied.

    I checked out Symantic’s site to see if there would be anything on this problem and even though I grew up with the internet their site is not friendly nativigating for even the IT professional.

    But after some digging I found this in a release note:

    Maintenance Patch 1 for Symantec Client Security 3.1 and Symantec AntiVirus 10.1
    Versions of this patch are available for installation over Symantec Client Security 3.1 or Symantec AntiVirus 10.1.

    Unable to enter Standby with Symantec AntiVirus service enabled
    Fix ID: 1-4XG3PT
    Symptom: The computer will not enter Standby mode while the Symantec AntiVirus services are still running.
    Resolution: The Symantec AntiVirus service was preventing Standby mode by calling the DefUtils library unnecessarily. Changed it to call DefUtils only when there are new virus definitions.

    BINGO, after checking out my version and downloading this patch did my sweet little pc go into hibernation.

    Thank you Tom for pointing in me in a fruitful and obvious direction :p

    Comment by Ryan Duclos — December 22, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  32. Ryan … I hope you’re problem is solved. I’ve had this problem for months too and tried everything I could, following much of what you posted. My problem is a little different in that it goes into Standby just fine if PC has been restarted … but won’t do it the second time or after unless the PC has just been rebooted. I don’t use the hibernation feature. Now …. like magic, it’s working again. So what did I do? I really wish I had written every step down but I didn’t realize I was about to fix this Standby problem … I was tinkering with the audio but here are the steps I went through. My personal opinion is step 3 is probably the one that fixed it.

    1. I took the sound card out of my PC and in BIOS, enabled the on-board sound chip.
    2. When I tried in install the drivers for the on-board sound chip it wouldn’t let me. It said there was a problem with the boards chipset drivers. I found my CD and reinstalled the chipset drivers that came with the mother board.
    3. That night I put it into Sleep mode and it worked which I expected since it had been rebooted from above steps. The next day is when I got the pleasant surprise that it kept going into Sleep mode every time I tried it.

    I suspect that somewhere along the lines one of the original chipset drivers/files got updated/modified, whatever and just going back to originals fixed it. For others having this problem … it’s another thing to try if you’re solution doesn’t work for everyone.

    BTW the Chipset drivers included a Registry (INF) Driver, AGP VxD driver, ATAPI Vendor Support Driver and PCI IRQ Miniport Driver.

    Comment by John — December 22, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  33. Thanks Ryan and John for posting solutions. I’ll update my other post summarizing known problems and solutions and add yours to the list!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — December 27, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

  34. I have the same problem as you did. PC will enter S3 mode only when 3 min is used for standby. As soon as I up the time limit PC won’t enter standby mode. I have only 23 processes runing and ESET antivirus runing. I have my Bios configured correctly. Worked fine with SP1a. Any tips.


    Comment by cameron — December 28, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

  35. My mother called me concerned because her computer would not go on standby and she felt that her security was compromised. I installed a cod writer for her about 6-8 months ago and she thought that it started around the same time. I went thru tortuous hours sifting thru software that might cause it. If I disabled the internet connections it would go into standby – but that is a pain in the neck for her so I kept looking for what might be keeping an internet connection and hanging up standby. Nothing worked so she insisted that I take out the cod writer. Never would I believe that a cod writer would cause this problem. Lo and behold! it worked – or so I thought – again UGH! After checking it over and over I figured I had learned something about cod writers and I left her house (2 hours away). She called that evening saying that standby was not working again. She does have Wild tangent installed and she also just updated Adobe so I guess either of those could be the problem and I will have to walk her through deleting / changing those. I tried several times making sure that nothing was attempting to go online but it still seems like the internet connection has something to do with the standby issue. After working on her computer, I checked my desktop and laptop computers and neither of them will go on standby either. My laptop will only hibernate. I’m a little baffled. I’m checking to make sure that all my drivers and software are up to date. I’m getting a little worn out on this and I have no memory (in my head not my pc) to speak of so it’s time consuming.

    Comment by Lorrie Marsiglio — January 5, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  36. My problem is with a Dell Latitude D830. Running Windows XP (Pro) SP2.
    We’re barred (at work) from going to SP3.
    I’ve tried all of the available updates from Dell.
    I tried contacting Dell. This has been going on since June.

    Here’s my problem … not that it won’t enter Standby; rather, that the OS believes that Standby isn’t supported. Specifically, I need state S3 (aka D3).

    Now, I *can* get this computer to sleep/standby … if I dock it.
    And I’ve gone to “Warm” undock (it was previously set to “Hot” undock), I thought that would help but … the problem has been there for 6 months (as long as I’ve had this thing) … I realized it first when I went on a business trip. It’s awful when you can’t put the system to sleep.

    Now, when I undock, I can still get Suspend (via the lid, etc.) UNTIL the system is shutdown/restarted Away from the Dock. After that restart (undocked), then S3 isn’t supported.

    I’ve been through the BIOS settings, and I don’t see anything that I can alter there, that would seem to help. I already tried disabling unused motherboard devices, etc.

    Running powercfg.exe (/a … etc.) shows that S3 isn’t supported. After redocking, it shows there that it’s supported.

    dumppo.exe (which you can download from Microsoft) is interesting … but it hasn’t fixed my issue. It sure seems like either a BIOS issue or an XP SP2 issue, or the Dell/Intel drivers. Waaaaaaahhhhh … !

    I hate to have to carry that docking station around.
    I wouldn’t restart the d@#%’ed thing undocked but … occasionally it gives a Blue Screen Of Death when I wake it up (undocked); that just happened today, so I’m back to running-full-time won’t-suspend mode.


    Comment by Larry — January 10, 2009 @ 2:01 am

  37. powercfg.exe shows that S1 and S2 are not supported.
    I went through the hardware manager (device-> details-> power state) and saw that for some devices S1 and S2 was not assigned.
    For S1 I have S1->D3

    This is a big issue, you if you lay on the couch, leave you PC/notebook on, it will stay on until next morning, because no standby :-(

    Comment by Wilhelm — January 11, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

  38. My XP SP3 PC will correctly go into StandBy mode but when coming out of it, it will re-StandBy and I have to come out of StandBy mode a 2nd time. Then I can use my PC.

    I have to go through this routine every time I wish to bring my PC out of StandBy.

    Anyone else experienced this?

    Comment by Kevin — January 19, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  39. Kevin — I have seen this happen, too. In fact, I can reproduce a similar case using my keyboard’s sleep button. I suspect that the sleep button puts it to sleep, and then the “wake on keyboard” thing kicks in. Doh! But I don’t know why it works fine the second time.

    I have gotten into the habit of using the keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + U, then S. There are probably others, and your computer may be configured differently, but it works for me.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — January 19, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

  40. Hi,
    I have a problem of a different sort but related to standby and I hope someone will have a helpful suggestion. Often when I put my computer (Dell Windows XP Professional) into standby, when I try to restart it the next day it does not start when I press a key on the keyboard. The power button has its green LED lit, indicating the computer is still on but the only way I can get it to restart is to hold down the power button until it forces the system off and then restart it.
    Any suggestions?

    Comment by Jessica — January 26, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  41. Jessica — you may need to set your keyboard so that it can wake the computer. Here’s how:

    Start > Right Click on My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager


    Select Keyboards > Double-click


    Power Management > check “Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby

    You can do the same procedure with the mouse, also, if you like.

    Hope this helps!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — January 26, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

  42. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the prompt response. I should have given more detail. The computer only refuses to come out of standby some of the time. Most of the time I can wake it back up by pressing a key on the keyboard. But about once a week it refuses to come out of standby.
    I followed your instructions but both the keyboard and the mouse are already set up to take the computer out of standby.

    Again, thanks for your suggestion!


    Comment by Jessica — January 26, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  43. I have the exact same problem, Jessica. I’m researching it and will post back here if I find something.

    It appears to be fairly random (except for the once a week interval). I think it is related to Symantec AV, but I can’t be sure at this point. I don’t have my system set to automatically standby, I manually do it at the end of the workday, resume it at home, standby, then resume the next morning. About once a week (estimated) it will either hang going into standby or (most common) not come out of standby. Nothing in the error logs either. I’m a computer tech and this has stumped me so far.

    Comment by Scott — January 28, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  44. Hi Scott,
    Thank you for the post. I also standby my computer manually at the end of the day and resume in the morning. I also use Symantec AV. I am not sure but it may be that I have trouble getting my computer to come out of standby on only on Monday morning. I have Symantec set up to do a full scan of the hard drive on Sundays. I usually am using the computer on Sundays and shut the Symantec window after it is finished. I wonder if refusing to wake up from standby is related to the Symantec scan. I will be interested in anything you might find.

    Comment by Jessica — January 29, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  45. Greetings to all,

    It was a little comforting to see that other users also had the problem of computers not going into stand by, into a domain.
    I am in a mixed mode domain (2000 and XP) and had the same problem, monitor sleeping while computer was not, and when I pulled out the ethernet cable everything worked fine.

    Well I have some good news to share with everyone.
    I think i’m on the right track of finding the solution.
    After a week of everyday testing for many hours
    (and reading A LOT) i finally found out that the problem has to do with NetBios over TCP/IP.
    I disabled it from the connection and eveything worked fine!!!

    Well, to prevent the smart guys, of course this is not the solution itself, but i’m at least glad i found the ACTUAL problem.
    Now I know i’m on the right track. If anyone could help more,
    it would be much appreciated.

    Used Microsoft Network Monitor 3.2 for my findings, will give update for further news.

    Comment by George Kostis — February 4, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  46. Jessica, no answer yet. Do you have any external USB drives plugged into your machine? I still haven’t narrowed down the cause for what I am seeing, but it is pointing more and more to a USB drive that is accessed and having the state change between standby and wake-up. I am starting to see a correlation between times I fire up my virtual machines and this lock-up. Those VMs are stored on an external drive.

    The other ideas are programs with memory leaks still running when going into standby (firefox, outlook, for example), a USB mouse getting bumped when going into standby, or Symantech scanning a file while going into standby. I have killed Symantech and ruled out the USB mouse here, but I am still watching it.

    Comment by Scott — February 4, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  47. Hi All,

    I have Lenovo R60 notebook with XP Pro Sp3 installed on it
    and it can´t do the standby or hibernate. Standby button in
    Shut Down menu is grey, “powercfg /a” shows that S1,2,3,Hibernate are not available also “powercfg /q” shows that AC/DC standby/hibernate is not supported (this is not true because with fresh install of win Xp – without any updates it is working great…). When i try to check “Enable
    hibernation” in Lenovo Power management (there is no other option in XP power options for hibernation mode) and then apply it unchecks automatically. BIOS is Ok (i think), no hardware problems, lots of space on C drive for
    hiberfil.sys, all latest updates… I dont know what else can I do…
    Can somebody help me please?

    Comment by Mario — February 9, 2009 @ 7:43 am

  48. Mario — I am having difficulty locating the reference, but I am sure that people have seen issues with Standby/Hibernate options going away after applying SP3 to Windows XP. All of the MS documentation suggests that somehow the “S3” power options are not enabled in the BIOS. My suspicion (based only on an educated guess) is that the process of applying the SP3 upgrade required turning off the S3 state, then turning it back on again later. So I would take another look in the BIOS settings. While I don’t see anything specific to Lenovo, they do have some relatively recent BIOS update which might be worth trying, if only to reset the configuration to a default (, or perhaps even just try that with your current BIOS — usually there’s some option to reset to factory settings, or something like that. The other thing to look at is ACPI support — check the section on this in this MS document, about 1/2 way down:

    I know this isn’t really that helpful, but it looks like you have done all the right things and that your machine seems to have forgotten that it can indeed do S3 level power configuration options :-)

    Comment by Tom Harrison — February 9, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  49. Hello Tom,

    I have good news – i have solved my problem with hibernation and standby mode. The problem was in one application that i am working with, i have reinstalled It and now Hibernation is working and Standby is working great. What a happy day for me ;). I have also tried to update BIOS but I have the most recent version also I have tried to set BIOS to default settings but it did not worked. So i want to thank you for your qiuck response and for your advice. Thank you so much and have a very nice day!

    Comment by Mario — February 11, 2009 @ 8:27 am

  50. Mario — great news … but what application was the culprit? What did you change to fix the problem?


    Comment by Tom Harrison — February 11, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  51. Hi Tom,
    Just wanted to email you with another possible fix for a computer that will not go into Standby mode. I was having this problem with a new HP DC5750 XP desktop that I just purchased last fall. I always have used standby in my home office, as I often leave my desk and computer, put on my other hat, and do household duties. With this new computer it was a while before I realized that Standby was not working because my monitor would be off and I just assumed the computer was in Standby. My tower is in an enclosed portion of my desk, so I would not see the lights that were actually lit or hear the hard drive spin. But I was always puzzled when I “woke my computer” to find that new email had been downloaded while the computer “was in Standby.” After I finally discovered that Standby was not working, I left my desk tower door open to observe. The computer was going into stand by, but immediately waking back up, but the monitor would stay off until I touched the mouse. I searched on the internet for a solution and found your very detailed list of fixes to try. Sorry to say, I did not find my fix there. I went into the control panel just to “squirrel around” to see if any red flags jumped out at me. I clicked on “Broadcom Control Suite 2” and there I found my fix – I think. Standby is working now. I will contact you again later to let you know if it was a lasting fix. This is what I did. In Broadcom Control Suite 2 I clicked on Advanced, and noticed something that says “Wake Up Capabilities“. It was set to “Both.” I did a quick search on the net to see if this setting could be my problem. From what I read, it appeared to me that it could. I changed the setting to “none” and now Standby is working. I may be wrong, but it appears that my always on DSL internet connection was restarting my computer. Is this correct?
    Thank you for all your help to me and others in trying to solve this Standby mode problem.

    Comment by Sally Hunt — February 20, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  52. Hi Tom,

    I think that my problem with hibernate/standby mode was causing one application that i am working with. It is an Automation Studio (from Bernecker and Rainer, simply B&R). With fresh installation of Win XP hibernate/standby was Ok but then after installation of this software it was not Ok and I think that this app has blocked those modes. So I have uninstalled it and installed again and now it is still working… Now the S3 state is available on my computer and S1,S2 are not.

    Comment by Mario — February 23, 2009 @ 3:17 am

  53. @Sally — you found what is generally called “Wake On Lan” settings, which were given another name by Broadcom, who makes the network hardware for your computer. Any request from another computer on the network would have brought your computer out of standby.

    @Mario — the S3 mode is the one you want. I am surprised that an application would make such settings.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — February 23, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  54. I also have the non-hibernating/standby problem.

    Mine is a new Toshiba netbook NB100 (Atom processor) running on WinXP with SP3. Everything is updated according to MS update site (except Explorer 7 that refuses to get installed).

    The system used to hibernate correctly until one day it just stopped doing so. The auto update feature was enabled so several MS updates took place in the meantime.

    It displays an error message saying that “the 101/102 keyboard controller or the MS natural keyboard controller does not allow the system to hibernate

    I have tried deleting itunes, closing all applications, unplugging all USB devices and stopping the internet connection before the hibernate command but it does not help.

    I installed the slawdog utility but it has the same problem and trips the same error message.

    I cannot find the hiberfil.sys doing a windows search. Could that be the problem? If so, I have no idea how I could restore this file.

    I do not know what else to do. I tried deleting both kbd controllers but they are reinstalled on reboot.

    Any other idea? Thanks….

    Comment by joseluis7696 — February 25, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  55. When I was tempted to buy a new laptop I made some calculations. The results are interesting:

    An easy and cheap way to save elecricity is to forget about old P IV and the like and switch to Intel Atom based Netbooks.

    Typically a full grown dual core or pentium draws some 100 -150W when in operation. The Intel Atom and its chipset is about 10W. To this I have to add the big TFT screen, as it takes 50 W more, but the screen is used also with the old PC.

    In 8 hours a day, the difference amounts to aprox 800 Whr or 24 KWhr a month. My utility claims to produce 0,4 Kg of CO2 per generated KWhr., so I will be saving some 120 Kg CO2 per year.

    Not too much, but if multipled by the several millions of older design computers currently in use, the difference could be very important.

    If I save 300 KWhr a year, the saves in the electricity bill (at the local costs I have now) amounts to about 50 USD. The cost of the netbook could be paid in abour 6 years, just with the savings in electricity.

    I know this unit will be obsolete in six years, but still I think it is a good choice.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — February 26, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  56. I solved the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After days of struggling with every idea I coudl find in Forums everywhere, someone at the Toshiba Forum suggested me to remove:

    Adobe Type Manager

    I did so and it solved the problem. This may be valid for Toshiba Netbook NB100 users or also to other computers models and brands, I do not know.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — February 26, 2009 @ 10:24 am

  57. @joseluis7696 — thanks for the find! I’ll post it on the other xp standby and hibernation summary thread.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — February 26, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

  58. If you are using Win/XP SP2 and have 1GB or more of RAM, see

    “The computer occasionally does not hibernate and you receive an ‘Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API’ error message in Windows XP with Service Pack 2, in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, or in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005”

    In fact, I have been having this problem occasionally since I upgraded the RAM on this machine. I found both this discussion and the MS KB article today when I got fed up enough to search for a solution. I am about to install the hotfix from the KB.

    Comment by H Z Marshall — March 1, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  59. Hrmmm,

    Strange problem I have. Sometimes my computer will into standby normally but other times (25-33% chance) the computer tries to go standby but LOCkS at the blue screen (windows is going into standby screen)………………

    My computer is kinda old but I rarely used it until half a year ago. It is very clean, no apps besides micorsoft associated or my antivirus Avira. It has no virus or adware and I do not play games.

    My computer is 750 mhz Pentium 3, 256 ram, Windows XP SP3 and connected to US robotics router.

    One more thing, I usually have to reboot (holding down the power button) … get it out of the blue screen lock

    any help would be appreciated Mr. Harrison.


    Comment by PETER — March 6, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

  60. @PETER —

    The fact that the computer is locked is potentially interesting, but it’s really hard to say what it “should” do, since it’s usually a momentary thing … not what you’re seeing.

    A couple of questions:

    Have you checked to see if there’s any information in the Event Viewer? (Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer) — check for errors under the “System” folder.

    Can you correlate the failures to having any specific software running (or even having run some software since the last standby. Based on what we’re seeing here, the majority of failures seem to be related to ill-behaved software. One experiment to try would be to start from a clean boot, run no software (other than the services and programs that start normally) — do you still have the same rate of failures?

    When you say the computer is connected to US Robotics Modem, do you mean that at the moment the computer is going into standby it has an open dial-up connection? In either case, how it the modem connected — USB? Serial Port? I have been blessedly free of modems from some years now, but my main recollection was that they frequently resulted in IRQ conflicts that might cause a hardware lockup — XP should prevent this, but it’s a thought.

    What is the make and model of the computer? (I can do some Google sleuthing with that info).

    That’s probably a good start. Let us know what you find.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 6, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

  61. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    1.) Regarding errors in eventviewer: most common error sources are:

    Dhcp (from my isp comcast i think)
    MrxSmb ( no clue what it is)
    atapi ( ?)
    Browser (firefox or internet explorer)

    2.) Clean booting has same rate of failure. Sometimes just when I awake my pc from standby and after a couple of minutes try to standby again, it locks.

    3.) My us robotics is not a modem, just a router and yes it connects to my computer via a USB adapter (from ethernet cable). I have cable internet.

    4.) Make of computer is: Sony VAIO V20R2.0.0/ENU
    Intel Penitum III 751 mhz, 256 RAM

    Maybe I mention some start up items : quicktime, safely remove hardware (from my usb/ethernet connection), avira antivirus, picture package software from sony, quickbooks 2002.

    When I check msconfig, only running processes are avira antivirus and office source engine.

    The major things I did with my computer six months ago:
    1.) upgraded to windows xp,
    2.) installed MS office 2003
    3.) cleaned up viruses/adware and added Avira antivirus
    4,) partitioned my hard drive using PartitionMagic
    5.) installed SP 3
    6.) added router connection using USB adapter
    7.) setup a network and secured it with firewalls
    8.) uninstalled all non-essential software and defragmented my hard drive.
    9.) Opened the tower and vacuumed a decades worth of dust

    Thanks for your help!


    Comment by PETER — March 6, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  62. The event viewer errors are most likely benign (You might want to Google the MRxSMB error, because it’s something you can probably fix, and might make opening files a little snappier).

    I couldn’t identify your computer based on the model number, either on the Sony site or in Google. But that probably doesn’t matter.

    The 256MB of RAM is a bare minimum for Windows XP (and as of SP3 it’s even “barer” :-), and this would be my leading suspect — your computer may be running out of memory. I would stop the quicktime, picture package and QuickBooks items from starting at startup. Just as a diagnostic you might also try to stop the anti-virus package, and even unplug the cable modem and try the clean-boot test again and see it that affects things.

    In the clean-boot state, check the Task Manager (right click an empty part of the start bar to find the menu item) and check under the Performance tab — do you have any “Available” memory? XP should be able to get by, if slowly, by swapping unused memory to the disk, but standby might be a trickier proposition. Also — do you have a reasonable amount of disk space free (if you have multiple partitions, the one where Windows swaps to is the key — (My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Advanced > Virtual Memory > Change).

    The reason I was interested in the computer is that a box of that age may not fully support all the power management modes required to suspend (sleep/standby) properly. As I recall, this was a fairly dubious proposition 10 years ago … and apparently is not that much better today :-) There are some other good comments here that explain some of the issues (search for S1, S2 and S3 modes).

    Good luck!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 6, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  63. [editor’s note: combined multiple comments into one — Tom]


    May I dare say that using WinXP SP3 on a PIII 750 MHz with 256MB RAM may be asking too much to this machine.

    I would not go over Win2K with it.

    I do not like to follow the trend of declaring obsolete a hardware that stills works OK; but in my case I was forced long ago to pass my PIII 833 MHz to my wife as she only uses it to surf internet and I use Win2K on it.

    My next PC, a PIV 1800 with Win2K SP4 has also suffered from premature obsolescence and I have replaced it recently with a Toshiba netbook NB100. Not a downgrading, as you could be your first impression.

    My daughter still owns a IBM Thinkpad PII and I would not install anything more complex than win98 on it.

    I mean, it is not necessary to throw older HW to the trash and I also believe this would be contrary to the spirit of this site, but In my opinion, one should avoid overloading older machines with OSs that were designed for newer hardware.

    For the unknown services running, I received lots of -almost- junk SW pre-installed by Toshiba. I googled their names one by one and decided which could be disabled and which were interesting to keep. Google is good information source for such strange names as atapi or MRxSMB.

    Good luck with your efforts.


    I forgot to mention that I also un-installed the free demo version of McAffe antivirus that came with the netbook. It was too much intrusive and controlled my machine to an extent I would no t allow. It also slowed things down considerably.

    I replaced it with Norman AV, that I know from long and I am quite satisfied with it. It does its job OK (no virus infections in several years of heavy use) and without too much control of your equipment. This was to say that may be the avira AV could be causing you problems, but I do not know that SW.

    Try running the PC without it for a short while.


    MS Office 2003 could also be too heavy for your PC. That is the problem with keeping too old HW: we are temped by newer and more sophisticated SW, but our machines can not cope with it. For this reason I left oldie Office 97 in my older PCs and everything runs OK.

    And if you have problems with fresh boots, IMO the HD is to be suspected. I suggest you back up any important data sitting on your old HD as it could fail catastrophically at any moment.

    Replacing it with a new HD (do not go over some 80GB, the BIOS could have problems supporting it) could be cheap and still justified on a high level brand unit as your Sony Vaio.


    The USBs on your machine are most probably 1.1 and not 2.0. It is no longer well supported by newer HW and there could be problems with the USB adaptor to interface with your router. If your PC (and router) have Ethernet interfaces, try using this connection instead of USB 1.1 You will also free a probably needed port for other peripherals.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — March 7, 2009 @ 5:02 am

  64. Make sure you do not have Java quickstart running in the background (jrq.exe). That was the problem preventing my laptop from shutting down.

    Comment by Paul — March 7, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

  65. Hello from Brazil…
    Must congratulate Tom all the people here who – computer troubles aside – are also keen on responsible use of energy. On another hand, it is absolutely flabbergasting that thousands (if not millions) of Windows users must endure such tribulation. This is basis for a class action lawsuit. As with many of you, I have missed two days of work at my home office due to this uncanny absurdity.

    Going (of course) through the same stew here, after reformatting a quite robust HP dv2140br series laptop whose four buttons used to work like, as I now see, magic before. With a fresh XP Pro install, over 50% of resources available, and NO updates I only got the shut down and the restart buttons. Stand by is gray, hibernate is 7 feet under, and I don´t plan to rest its soul. Downloading SP3 was useless. After days of trying to sharp shoot this issue (googling both in English and Portuguese) I share what I have coined so far:

    1 – Microsoft Hotfix KB893056
    “When you click “Turn Off Computer” on the Start menu, the Hibernate button does not appear in Windows XP or in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005.”
    Quite a star in this imbroglio, it was never published and one can only get it by request here: I´ve discovered the files are named WindowsXP-KB893056-x86-ENU.exe and WindowsXP-KB893056-x86-Symbols-ENU.exe (symbols? go figure…) A few lucky people were able to resolve the issue after installing the fix and following the instructions on the Microsoft page.

    2 – “Access the ‘Standby’ or ‘Hibernate’ function by pressing [Shift] in the shutdown menu.”
    Did not work here.

    3 – Here´s a “hack” I dare not try, but maybe a few brave professionals might risk and report back:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ; part 1 – the actual setting for show hibernate on shutdown



    ; part 2 – the menu item – to get to it, open any folder and go tools -> folder options -> view
    “Text”=”System Settings”

    “Text”=”Show Hibernate Button on Shutdown Menu”
    4 – Microsoft states: “Note This hotfix is already included in Windows XP SP3, However, you must follow the previous steps to enable the hotfix if you want the Hibernate button to appear on a Windows XP SP3-based computer.”

    NOT. I went through each file and the darn KB893056 was not listed on SP3.

    5 – Went into bios and reset it to default. Bad, bad, girl… I had disabled SATA to downgrade to XP after the Viasco. The machine would not boot at all, not in safe mode, nor on last known workable config. After I checked my heart, was able to go in and disable SATA again, and it booted. (Not so sure but I guess I nearly cried…)

    There you have it. I will try some links posted here. Uncle Bill will not be the victor. Thank you Tom Harrison, for giving us this place to join forces. Good luck to you all and please report back with success stories. I promise to do the same.

    Cheers from Rio,

    Comment by Karen — March 11, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  66. P.S.: powercfg /hibernate on on DOS prompt returned
    “System does not support hibernation”.

    Yet, before reformatting it was fully functional.

    Comment by Karen — March 11, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

  67. @Karen —

    First let me congratulate you on one of several comments here that are simultaneously funny, well-written, and report a real problem. Were we all so able to savor the rich flavors of the frustrations of Windows, we would be better able to tolerate the vagaries of life. Well done!

    But I digress, for I think you have identified the root cause of your computer’s standby-less (sleepless? anti-hibernacious?) life. Items 1 and 2 on your list merely point out that Hibernate is hidden in the Shutdown options unless you press Shift. I think the third item (the registry edit) is just another version of the first two, and the fourth just another version of the first three. In short, regardless of any of these, if your computer truly believes it cannot hibernate, it will not.

    To confirm, run “powercfg /AVAILABLESLEEPSTATES” — I suspect it will say that the S3 state is not supported.

    Yet, as you know, it is … or at least it was!

    So why is your formerly bear-like computer anti-hibernacious? I think one of two things. The first is that some BIOS setting was changed as a result of some update. But you reported being a “bad, bad girl” and resetting your BIOS. I think you might have been merely “naughty” or perhaps just “whimsical”, but let’s avoid characterizations of your failure to be righteous, for now.

    In my BIOS, or should I say on the BIOS of my Dell computer, I have the option to set certain sleep states, including the all-important S3 state. So you should consider checking through the various pages of BIOS settings to see if any looks like it might relate to this. Rather than the (draconian, tear inducing) “Reset” option a more nuanced selection of the S3 state may solve the problem.

    But I doubt it. I think there may be something a lot simpler going on here.

    Hibernate works by saving the current “snapshot” of your computer’s memory to a special file (hiberfil.sys) on the disk. However, if there’s not enough disk space, or the file is corrupted (by which I mean “messed up”, as opposed to “taking bribes”, or “failing to live in a righteous way”), this is a more likely problem. And this condition can appear spontaneously, as it seems to have in your case.

    So I advise the following. First, in the Power Options control panel applet, select the “Hibernate” tab. What? No Hibernate tab? Then move on to the next step. If you do see a Hibernate tab, uncheck the “Enable Hibernation” option. This will cause Windows to remove the “hiberfil.sys” file.

    Now (in either case), do you have enough free disk space? Check each partition (probably C:, D: and maybe others) to see how much is free. If close to, or less than the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer, then you know the problem — there needs to be at least this much space free. I’ll leave freeing up disk space as an exercise for you.

    I then recommend defragmenting your disk partition(s) — (from My Computer, select C: and then Properties, then Tools). Once complete, check back with Power Options and see if Hibernate is available. If so, check “Enable Hibernation”. If not, check your BIOS.

    Report back!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 11, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  68. Thanks Tom, it´s always nice to wake up to a compliment. Amidst this invisible, lonely feud, humor must be summoned. Yet, Karen and a big hammer, against a sleeping zombie created by the big bad Microsoft witches and sorcerers, comes to mind…

    1 – powercfg results:

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    The following sleep states are not available on this system:
    Standby (S1)
    Standby (S2)
    Standby (S3)

    2 – BIOS and SP3: Brought it into the picture AFTER my buttons failed me, or better yet, the failing buttons on my HP computer. I reformatted C:/ 5 x before I touched the BIOS and loaded SP3. Roaming around that strange BIOS land, where a wrong action means “no soup for you”, could not find any power settings. Last time it was a little hard on my heart. I´ll “go in” again after I recover…

    3 – Disk space: Why is it that men have a hard time processing 100% of the info we girls provide? (Especially if we´re blond, gorgeous, righteous and regardless of my I.Q. of 125…) Harrison, I just reformatted – the machine is so light it might levitate if I decide to throw it out the window… Moreover, I am quite an advocate of order/hygiene X clutter. So, yes, defrag is an ongoing practice in this neck of the woods. (And thanks, instructing me on how to do it was rather cute…)

    4 – New fact: I partitioned the HD where D: is a document only tool (currently 36GB free space, and C: 17GB free so I´ll skip the exercise). Just noticed a “System Volume Information” rascal with zero bytes, who denied access. I wonder what this means…

    Tend to side with you. It must be something simple I can´t get a grip on. Inoperable or half way efficient are rare in my office. I´ll have to stop trying to resolve it for the time being. Work is piling up…

    Thanks Tom. Have a great day, with or without working buttons…


    Comment by Karen — March 12, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  69. Karen —

    The report is that all Brazilian women are indeed as you describe yourself, which could be the only rational reason I failed to grasp your report of plenty of disk space. I blame the Y chromosome.

    So, your computer does, in it’s (evil) heart believe it supports the S3 state, or so says PowerCfg. That’s good, and most likely means you need not venture into the heart of darkness/BIOS again. I wouldn’t worry about the disk volume thing (this gives Windows the ability to do software RAID, which wouldn’t make sense on a single disk).

    Do you see the Hibernate tab on the PowerOptions control panel widget? If your disk has been de-fragmented then, just turning off Hibernate, rebooting, and turning it on may fix things. (Chances of this working: 3%, but easy to try). If you don’t see the Hibernate tab, I seem to recall that this was a symptom with a cause; let me know.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 12, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  70. The legendary mathematical anomaly of the Y guy has done it again. 50% blue blooded Russian, 25% Yankee at heart, and only 25% Brazilian…

    Your humor attenuates this unfair tribulation imposed upon me, so here´s to you!

    No. I was not graced with a “hibernate tab” (in spite of deserving it). Hence, this entire Odyssey began. Took a deep breath and clicked on the KB893066 Hotfix (which I got a hold of) and the Y guy told me the one I had was newer than himself. At least he was frank, which is unlike most Y´s : ).

    Never thought I´d miss Windows 3.1 (anybody remember?). I´m nearly going back to Windows 2000 Pro, which I have on my backup machine, a quite obedient old lady. For some reason I see my erratic power HP as a man…

    I know a few nerds here. The top one is so good he´s always on a plane off to places like Prague and the Netherlands. Shall summon them as soon as I catch up on the work pile. Let´s keep our fingers crossed. (Albeit absolutely unacceptable that luck plays any part in this.)

    Comment by Karen — March 12, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  71. Time saving update: Harrison, I´ve grouped a few lines to a quite accomplished computer pro across the Atlantic, thanks to the rare competence of Mr. Tim Berners-Lee. Let´s wait for his take on this tantalizing, temper testing… preposterous torment.

    Comment by Karen — March 12, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  72. I have a XP system that will not go into standby by itself during long periods during the day but always hibernates at night. I can be away from the computer all day and it will be on when I return but without doing anything it will be in standby the next morning. It doesn’t seem to matter what programs are running. If I set the standby timer to 1 min, it will always work.

    I have no idea how to troubleshoot this.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 13, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  73. Could it be that the LAN is keeping it active during the day? Try deactivating the LAN awake feature in the BIOS configuration

    Comment by joseluis7696 — March 13, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  74. @Alan —

    There’s nothing specifically different about night and day for the computer, so this suggests one of two causes. Either

    1. As joseluis suggests, something about the environment the computer is in changes. The network idea is a good one … assuming the computer is on a local network with other computers — you can check in the Device Manager (Start > Run > devmgmt.msc) and make sure the Power Management properties of your network adapter(s) are set so the “Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby” is unchecked. Another possibility, motion in the room is enough to make the mouse move and wake up the computer (especially likely if you have a cat … a tip you’re unlikely to get anywhere else).
    2. Some scheduled program is running during the day … or night, that affects things one way or the other. Check in the Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks item … although this is far from the only place scheduled tasks could occur. Look at any of the program run automatically, either in your “Start > Programs > Startup” folder, or those in the “tray”, in the lower right corner of the screen. Try to turn off as many of these as possible (even if just as a test) and see if that changes anything.

    If these don’t work, try different variations of the settings for Power Options — shorter, longer. If you can get it to always fail, or always work, this might provide some clues.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 13, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

  75. My comment was based on my own experience with my Toshiba netbook. I do not quite understand what was going on, but the battery discharged heavily in a few hours during hibernation and I solved the problem just by de-activating the LAN wakeup option in the BIOS.

    Some programs try to perform scheduled (or maybe, automatic) operations at certain hours, for example the Antivirus Norman and probably most other similar applications.

    I believe that modern SW applications do much more than we notice, without telling the user. The control we think we have on our PCs is less than what we think we have and is increasingly being reduced with the evolution of SW and OSs.

    If you have a Firewall and enable the notification messages, you will see there is a lot of non requested attempts to connect to servers and who knows what, coming from services and applications in the PC that one consider to be idle. As this happens all the time it cannot explain, however, the difference between day and night you mention.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — March 13, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  76. Thanks for all the comments.

    A funny thing happened when I cam back to my computer today… it was in standby. So, let me amend my statement: My computer usually will not go into standby during the day but does sometimes but almost always goes into standby at night.

    I have checked all the BIOS configurations for events to bring it out of standby and all are disabled.

    Some other things of interest that I could not figure out the correct setting for:
    1) Suspend mode ACPI state has the options of S1 only, S3 only or where it is set: AUTO (whatever that means).
    2) ACPI 2.0 specification is disabled. Correct???
    3) ACPI SCPI table pointer to RSDT pointer list… Should this be enabled or disabled?


    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 13, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  77. I should add that the network adapter is set to have the computer turn off the power to it but it is not set to enable the lan to bring the computer out of standby.


    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 13, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  78. I wanted to report back. Thanks to the good suggestions here the computer has been going into standby when it should for several days. The suggestion that did the trick (I hope) is to change the standby timer. I had it set to 30 min and changed it to 15 min. I did not have any scheduled tasks going more often than once a day so I still have no idea what was keeping the computer alive and I may never know.

    The other strange thing is that moving the mouse will wake the machine even though all the wake on activities are disabled in the bios.

    Thanks again for the help, great site.


    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 18, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  79. If you have an PS2 type mouse and it causes you problems because it can be moved inadvertently, I suggest you replace it by a USB type and check that the USB is not powered during standby (I think this is another BIOS setting)

    (Ed Note: Corrected typo. Also, check power settings for the Mouse in the Control Panel; usually they are set to let the mouse bring the computer out of standby — TH, 3/18/09)

    Comment by joseluis7696 — March 18, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  80. Aha! I changed the control panel setting. That explains the mysterious mouse behavior. This should help.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 18, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  81. Another follow up. My wifes machine never did go into sleep mode. I changed the timer from 30 min to 15 min and it was nicely sleeping as it should. There was nothing running and I had previously cleaned out almost all programs, run tests but with a 30 min timer, it never did work. Thanks to this site, we are saving some more energy for other uses. Thanks!!!


    Comment by Allen Edwards — March 22, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  82. I really want to use standby, and my system has no trouble going in to S3 standby mode — but it’s got a bizarre problem after it come out of standby: The mouse pointer’s movement will be jittery or jerky. Instead of moving smoothly as I move the mouse (actually, a Logitech trackball), the pointer will intermittently pause for about 1/4 second, and then jerkily “catch up” to the mouse’s movement. The only way to resolve the problem is to restart Windows. This makes standby useless.

    Here are the details: System is a Dell Dimension 4500, BIOS version A04, 1 GB RAM, Windows XP home SP3. The trackball uses the PS/2 mouse port. The same problem occurs with the trackball connected to a USB port. The problem occurs coming out of Hibernate as well. The problem occurs even if all USB devices are disconnected from the system (leaving only a PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 trackball, speakers, phone line for fax modem, and ethernet connection). The problem occurs even if I do a ‘diagnostic startup’ in msconfig.

    This puzzling problem is driving me crazy, and is wasting electricity. Help! Many thanks.

    Comment by Torrence Pinetta — March 31, 2009 @ 10:55 pm

  83. Torrence —

    I suspect the mouse (trackball) is the main issue here. If you open the Device Manager and click on the Properties of your trackball, there’s a Details tab that has a long list. One of the items on the list should be Power Capabilities. It’ll need to support S2, at least to handle standby.

    I suspect this is an older mouse, right? If so, it’s worth rooting around the Kensington site to see if there are updated drivers available for it. I have often found that Windows Update doesn’t know about new drivers, but the manufacturer has ones that are better.

    (I think there are instructions earlier on this thread for finding the Device Manager — let me know if you would like me to investigate. Make sure to find the specific model number.)

    Comment by Tom Harrison — April 2, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  84. Hi Tom,

    The mouse is a Logitech Marble Mouse trackball (that can connect to either a PS/2 mouse port, or to a USB port). Although Logitech has software for it (SetPoint v4.72), even if the software is installed, the driver used in Windows XP is the standard ‘Microsoft PS/2 Mouse’ driver, as shown in the Device Manager. If connected to a USB port, the mouse uses the standard ‘USB Human Interface Device’ driver, as shown in the Device Manager.

    Surprisingly, as I mentioned in my post, the problem occurs after coming out of both Standby and Hibernate. (Other than the mouse problem, the system behaves normally after coming out of Standby or Hibernate.)

    Any other suggestions?


    Comment by Torrence Pinetta — April 2, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  85. Torrence —

    No surprise that both standby and hibernate cause the problem — before a machine hibernates, it first goes into standby, and vice versa.

    I think the trick is to get the Logitech driver (sorry, not Kensington as I wrote earlier) to be used for the mouse, not the generic mouse driver. The mouse is current (2006 according to Amazon, not old as I guessed earlier) and I am quite sure there should be a way to get XP to recognize the Logitech mouse and have it play nice with the rest of the machine.

    If there’s no obvious option for instaling the Logitech drivers in the SetPoint software or other software for the mouse, you might try 1) make sure the latest version of SetPoint is installed (and, superstitiously the mouse is installed in a USB port), 2) right-click “Microsoft PS/2 Mouse” in device manager, then click “Uninstall”. Shortly after Windows XP should detect “new” hardware, and, God willin’, it might even pick up the Logitech drivers. If it doesn’t, click the Scan for New Hardware.

    Another option might be to try the Update Driver option and choose the “I have a driver” option and then point to the Logitech CD, or where you downloaded the driver files to.

    Logitech is a pretty good outfit; I am confident that if you can get the mouse driver for their mouse to be picked up, all will be happy in standby and hibernate world.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — April 2, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  86. Hi Tom,

    I downloaded and installed the latest Logitech software (including driver) for my trackball, and I’m sad to report that the jerky mouse pointer problem after coming out of Standby still occurs! I even tried bringing the system in and out of standby with the keyboard and power button — but that didn’t help.

    Oh well, I guess this will not be resolvable on this old system of mine. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Comment by Torrence Pinetta — April 11, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  87. @Torrence —

    Did you try to uninstall the mouse driver from Device Manager? I read a few other posts on the web and people report this having solved problems. You can go ahead and uninstall all of the drivers, if you like. Once done, XP will detect missing hardware and reinstall, and hopefully this time get the Logitech driver, not the MS one.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — April 12, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  88. Hi Tom,

    I verified via the Device Manager that the latest Logitech mouse driver was indeed installed (not the MS one). [The problem still happens with the mouse connected to either the PS/2 port or to a USB port.]

    Kind of frustrating that no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t get this problem solved. Maybe it’s an issue with the system’s BIOS; I can’t do anything about that either because my system has Dell’s latest BIOS available for it.

    I appreciate all of your suggestions. If you think of anything else for me to try, I’d be happy to give it a shot.

    Comment by Torrence Pinetta — April 12, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  89. You should still remove the drivers and let Windoze reinstall them as the OP said. I have seen that fix similar problems.


    Comment by Allen Edwards — April 12, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

  90. Dear Allen,

    That’s exactly what I did!

    Comment by Torrence Pinetta — April 12, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  91. This is an aspect of computers that most people tend to ignore. Thanks for raising it. And nice blog too! Will be sure to return! :-)

    Comment by Greg @ PCnirvana — May 5, 2009 @ 10:17 am

  92. Hi all, Karen reporting back!

    Tom, after tribulations too many to name, gone is the hibernate issue!

    My screen began to flicker (again), turning pink, reason why I reformatted in the first place. Broke down and wrote HP, but kept researching. Installed sp33224 from the HP website and oh, the magic!!

    Is it uncanny or what?! I have 3 obedient buttons now (yet before reformatting I had four). HP answered promptly with a bunch of procedures, including tampering with BIOS. I tried none of them. The above sp – the NVIDIA GeForce Driver – did the trick. Go figure…

    For HP users, here are a few drivers that might be useful:

    Thanks again, Tom, for your help and this forum.

    Cheers from Brazil,

    Comment by Karen — May 5, 2009 @ 11:02 am

  93. Hi Tom,
    I would like to ask you if there is a possibility to set Windows XP to hibernate automatically from the log on screen (on PC there are set 2 users – 1 admin and 1 restricted).
    I have set the hibernation mode after 30 minutes of inactivity (by both users).
    If I am logged as any user (admin or restricted) there is no problem and WinXP hibernate after this time. But sometimes I need to leave from the pc and want the PC waiting on the log on screen (Start-Log off-Switch user). In this position the PC does not hibernate although both users have set the hibernation time after 30 minutes of inactivity. Is there some malfunction or Windows could not manage this? Any idea?
    Thanks for reply in advance!

    Comment by Orwel — May 12, 2009 @ 7:23 am

  94. Orwel — I looked around a little and couldn’t find anything on this topic. XP has an option called Fast User Switching which allows one user to remain logged in while a different user uses the computer — is this how you have things set up? If so, I could see how it would might interfere with Standby/Hibernate. An alternative would be to turn off Fast User Switching and set the account to require log-in again. That’s all I can think of for now. Let me know if there are other things going on.

    Comment by Tom Harrison — May 12, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

  95. Tom – thanks for the answer. Yes, on the PC is the Fast User Switching turned on. I need it to be turn on, because I use this for protecting the station (the admin user is protected by a password) and often i need the programs are still running although I’m away. So there is probably no chance to force windows to hibernate from the log on screen, isn’t it?

    Comment by Orwel — May 13, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  96. Orwel — are you sure the programs are actually running when Fast User Switching is turned on? (I assumed they would be suspended similarly as they would be in Standby mode). Just as a test, it might be worth seeing if things work when you use the old log-out/log-in method instead of Fast User Switching. Mostly I am just curious :-)

    Comment by Tom Harrison — May 13, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

  97. I too have struggled with this problem for months – and been frustated by no obvious way to debug it. However yesterday I came across the following alternative :
    ShutdownOne Home

    The Home edition is free , and it worked perfectly on the XP machines I tried it on . It doesn’t do all the things that the MS builtin is supposed to do like just turn off discs – but it does standby or hibernate, which is all most people need, and it works reliably. I suspect there are millions of pcs around the world where auto hibernate/standby doesn’t work and most people just give up trying to fix it. So this little utility (maybe there are others like it ) could potentially save a huge amount of energy.

    Comment by Jonathan Walker — May 14, 2009 @ 3:47 am

  98. Jonathan & Tom – thanks for your help. The small utility Jonathan has adviced is very useful and works fine – also my problem is thanks it solved!

    Comment by Orwel — May 15, 2009 @ 2:52 am

  99. Hi,
    I have a kind of unique problem. When I set my system to standby(Start -> Turn Off Computer -> Standby ) ……. nothing happens. I can then double click on a folder on my desktop and the computer goes into standby as soon as the folder is opened. This also happens to me when I try to shut my computer down. I can not figure this out. Why would the computer respond to my directions AFTER?

    Comment by Mark R. — May 22, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  100. 4 Thumbs up! (mine and my partner’s) for an excellent article. We too have been struggling with this for some time. The latest (untested) theory is that if Firefox is started anytime in the session, automatic hibernate fails. Maybe FF leaves a “calling-card” behind.

    I haven’t read the previous comments, just want to add a suggestion, re the “wanted-on remote-connecting-program (IPod Service)” issue: Make a scheduled task to run after [standby-or-hibernation-time] minus 1 minute of inaction that runs a WSH script or “taskkill” command or some such to end the program in question (requiring a restarter on resumption).

    That timing assumes that the standby-or-hibernate timer runs independently of such program. If it turns out that the timer only continues once the program is closed, then you simply set the scheduled task to the real [standby-or-hibernation-time] minus 1 minute and the [standby-or-hibernation-time] equal to 1 minute.

    On second thoughts, maybe Scheduled Task’s inactivity-timer works just like standby-or hibernate’s (or, more likely, is the same timer), in which case none of all this will work.

    Some experimentation seems in order. Has anyone investigated this?

    Comment by LloydW — June 14, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  101. I am pretty sure Firefox alone is not the culprit — standby and shutdown work fine. However many plugins and add-ons exist for FF that may get in the way. You might try disabling them all and see if that changes anything. The first test would be to do a clean boot, ensure standby works, then start FF (nothing else) and see if that makes it stop working.

    The Scheduled Task timer has an option to determine if the task will bring the computer out of standby. Hibernate is different, as the computer is completely off, but standby can definitely be interrupted by a scheduled task … if you set the task to allow it.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — June 14, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  102. Firefox is permanently on in my netbook or I have to restart it sometimes; but it has never interfered with the hibernation of my equipment.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — June 14, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  103. Tom:

    My problem is different. My systm, a HP PC w/ MS XP, goes to standby & hibernates OK. But is wakes up automatically, (at wrong time), w/o my touching anything. The problem began this time after installatn of an ethernet modem cord to replace the USB cord. This iscreased my internet download speed by >2 xs.

    I had this problem before, but it fixed itself; or ? an auto downld & install of a MS SP may have fixed it.


    Comment by Ernest — June 18, 2009 @ 10:30 am

  104. Sounds like you need to disable “wake on lan”

    Comment by allen edwards — June 18, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  105. TOM:

    I just left a post this morning, (Thurs. 6-18-09). After I left the post I kept searching for ‘A FIX’ of my problem & EUREKA!! I FOUND IT:

    The subject behavior is expected if Wake-on-LAN or any ISP connected feature is configured.

    To workaround this feature:

    1. Right-click My Computer and press Properties or TYPE ‘devmgmt.msc’ IN
    2. Select the Hardware tab.
    3. Press the Device Manager button.
    4.OR Press ‘Start–>Run’ & or TYPE ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the ‘RUN dialog’ & hit OK
    5. Double-click ‘NETWORK ADAPTERS’
    6. Right-click your specific type of ‘NETWORK ADAPTER’ and press Properties.
    7. Select the Power Management tab.
    8. Clear the Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby box.
    9. Press OK and close the open Windows.
    10. Repeat above FROM #5 -To #9 for ‘MODEMS’ , (& For repetition of #6: Right-click your specific type of ‘MODEM’ and press Properties.
    Give GOD the credit!!

    Comment by Ernest — June 18, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  106. ALLEN

    You are Right!!!


    Comment by Ernest — June 18, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  107. I am looking for a utility to log the Windows system idle state, and track events that break the idle state.

    It appears that no such utility exists and I am probably going to be forced to try writing such a program myself, though I am not a Windows programmer (yet).

    In general the concept is simple… hook into the message queue for idle activity, and directly log the queue messages to a window and a text file. (The program itself would not generate or block idle events.)

    Since the mouse breaks idle I would only update the log every 0.5 seconds or so, so that a long string of hundreds of duplicate (mouse moved) messages in rapid-fire across many microseconds as the mouse is moved around would get logged as a single event once every 0.5 seconds.

    I also need to know what prevents idle when the user is logged off so this is probably going to have to be installed as a service with SYSTEM account priveleges to function at the login screen.

    Also it’d be nice to show the idle status window even when people are logged off, and I believe some extra programming weirdness is required to make a SYSTEM program window appear while the login screen is visible.

    Any other more experienced programmers want to try their hand at this? (Free utility? Please? Heh)

    – Dale

    Comment by Dale Mahalko — June 21, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  108. Dale —

    If you can do this utility, you’re a good guy indeed! I think the general issue is that there is an event that a running process can listen for (WM_SLEEP, or something), but I think the question is what they do after that. Most use it as an opportunity just to say “No, don’t go to sleep” … hence the problem. The trick would be that since the event message is asynchronous, there’s no way to be sure your app will get a look at it before some other that might invalidate it. I haven’t done serious Windows API programming for 10 years, so I might be all washed up on this.

    But this is obviously a problem that many people have run into, and there are a number of utilities out there, but none do what is needed. Apparently Vista, and presumably Win 7 actually have logging for this event, but I think it’s somehow just not wired into the OS deeply enough for an application or service to get at the data soon enough to do any good — even just to log it.

    But don’t let me stop you, by any means!


    Comment by Tom Harrison — June 21, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

  109. Hi, facebook prevents my computer from going to standby, I also have a yahoo toolbar, what causes this ?

    Comment by Greg Cox. — July 7, 2009 @ 9:25 am

  110. The yahoo toolbar is tricky, with hidden features that are active by default.
    I would try un-installing it and trying again. You can always reinstall it if not the culprit.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — July 7, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  111. An added “advantage” for hibernating your computer:

    Apart from the obvious advantages of hibernating the PC instead turning it off, is that some demo SW applications stay active after the try period has elapsed. This is because the computer date is reloaded by the SW on PC start ups only.

    You may be interested in this advantage or not, because in a way, is like cheating with the SW owner. But it is relative, as we are in our complete right to hibernate the PC as long as we wish.

    Anyway, sooner or later you will have to restart the PC, at that moment all your aged demos will end abruptly.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — July 7, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  112. HI,

    Comment by BARRY MARKSON — July 19, 2009 @ 1:16 am

  113. I suppose you have selected the google mail page as the home (i efault) page in your present browser.
    The problem could be due to the browser you are using. I suggest you try with a different Browser. I use Firefox 3.5 and it’s great. If your problem is solved with a different browser, then you know the problem is most probably with the one you are currently using.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — July 20, 2009 @ 4:22 am

  114. Sorry, i efault = default

    Comment by joseluis7696 — July 20, 2009 @ 4:24 am

  115. I’m having a problem with the standby/hibernation tabs not being on the power config page.

    After reinstalling XP on my Dell machine, (Which I had enough problems with, due to lack of SATA support) the standby button is greyed out, and there is no tab on the power config screen. I didn’t check before adding SP3 back on, but I suppose that could be it. It’s been wiped and defragged, so I know that isn’t the problem. The BIOS is set to S3.

    I’m really worried about how much power I’m using; my brother is on and off it all day, and shutting down/restarting everytime almost seems worse.

    Comment by Andrew Ames — July 22, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

  116. i found that if you turn off Java Quick Starter
    (xp, svc pack 3)… it will now go into stby or hibernate.

    control panel… java… advanced… miscellaneous… uncheck quick starter.

    hope that helps.

    Comment by md — July 23, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  117. Thanks md. That java tip solved my problem of hibernate hanging on hibernating message “prepare to hibernate”.

    Comment by Lanny — July 26, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

  118. Dear Tom:

    I really appreciate that you spend your time helping others.

    I recently installed XP SP3. I have no problem let it go standby. When I press a key on keyboard, instead of waking up, my computer reboots itself. If I press a key just BEFORE the CPU fan stops completely (the whole system is down at this time), the computer WILL wake up instead of reboot. I have updated all drivers. Any idea? Thanks.

    Comment by Shone — July 28, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  119. Shone —

    This problem sounds pretty strange — a reboot is triggered by a “hardware interrupt” — a signal sent by software to the BIOS of the computer. The two seemingly important facts here are 1) it started after upgrade to SP3, and 2) correlation with the hardware fan. I would run a full file-system check using the Windows utilities (chkdsk or scandisk, as I recall) — it’s possible that some file was corrupted during the upgrade operation and that might find it. There are some other tips in this thread to help understand the power configuration (search “powercfg”) on this page. Perhaps someone has something more concrete to go on…

    Comment by Tom Harrison — July 28, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  120. I still have just SP2 but my problem is that the PC will go into hibernation, just not STAY there. It’ll shut down and then turn back on by itself. Don’t have a clue how to stop it.

    Comment by Patti — July 28, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

  121. Wake on lan is peobably on. turn it off.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — July 28, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  122. My wife has a problem about once a month and twice yesterday her monitor would not come out of hibernation. She has to shut down the computer and restart it. It is a Samsung 24 inch with DVI. It is usually OK so I was unable to find anything on the internet about on intermittent problem like this.


    Comment by Allen Edwards — July 28, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  123. After dealing with the not going into standby problem for a couple of weeks I determined that it started with the install of Firefox 3.5.2 it was the only thing changed other than MS security updates. Finally isolated the problem. If you have a site using shockwave computer will not go into standby. Disable shockwave and things work fine


    Comment by ozzy — August 23, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

  124. Hi!

    Thanks to Tom for great job. I have got the same problems.
    Both standby and hibernite stopped working sometime last spring -09 (about the the time of huge Windows update)

    I have tested all possible drivers and update those, none of those helped. After checking everything in the hardware, Windows updates and update the drivers, nothing helped.

    I have Windows XP Home edition running.

    I have checked all process running. Nothing was found and nothing helped.

    I have F-Secure enterpise Client Security v. 7.12 (firewall and virus checking) runnig and it has never found anything. I’ve checked the system with very many other virus checking programs and other eg. HijackThis for to check if there is vulnerable prosessies running. And nothing again.

    But now it has (hopefully) solved.

    I ran Panda’s online check and it found vulnerable issue.

    I made a cross check with Bitdefender and a2squared. Nothing, but after running Panda’s full check, the system went in both, standby and hibernite. And it still does.

    Why Don’t ask me

    Comment by Paul — September 10, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  125. Hi, Please help me with my hibernation problem. I’ve tried deleting the hiberfil.sys file and looking everywhere I can think on the interwebs to find a solution, but have been unsuccessful. I’m hoping some of the smarts here can help me figure it out.

    When I try to hibernate, I get this:

    The device driver for the ‘WDC WD6400AACS-00G8B0’ device is preventing the machine from entering hibernation. Please close all applications and try again. If the problem persists, you may need to update this driver.

    That’s my boot drive. It’s a Caviar green. From what I’ve read, it’s rarely a driver problem, but caused by something indirectly.

    Any ideas?

    P.S. standby works fine, but I’d rather use no power than a little power ya know

    Comment by ken — September 15, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  126. I have a little bit of a problem. I am running an Acer Aspire One with Windows XP SP3 Version 5.1.2600, and my hibernate is not working correctly. I can easily enter Standby or Hibernate, yet the power button turns orange every time, and the screen always stays on, but it’s “blank”. I cannot do anything but take the power cord out and then take the battery out. I have tried to press the power button, and I’ve tried using CTRL+ALT+DEL. That won’t work. I have unchecked everything so far in that category, so my computer is an energy drinker at the moment. I’ve been shutting down, but since I need the computer for school, it’s fairly imperative that I have my computer at hand. Also, the microsoft drivers for just this problem are already outdated for me, and not working. Are there any downloads or drivers to get? Also, I am not afraid to use the Registry or Command Prompt. I am fairly well versed in these, and any use of these or combination of uses of these are easy for me. I just need to know what to do. I thank you, and hope you can help.

    Comment by Chris — September 15, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  127. Ahh, also, I cannot use the power button to shut down my computer when this happens. I knew I was forgetting something. Thank you again!

    Comment by Chris — September 15, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  128. @ken — (in response to comment 125)

    The report is for the WDC device (western digital drive). The fact that the machine goes into standby suggests a different problem than the ones most are having — specifically just not hibernating.

    Not sure about deleting hiberfil.sys — should be benign, but it is a system file. Go into Power Options on the control panel and check for the 4th tab, and check “Enable Hibernation” — if it’s checked, uncheck it, and apply the settings (maybe even reboot). Then re-check it — this should allocate a file on your hard disk (hiberfil.sys) that can be used to store system state.

    If that doesn’t work, I wonder if there’s a disk error in one of the blocks used by the hiberfil.sys. Go back and uncheck the hibernation option, reboot, then run scandisk and have it fix any errors (you’ll have to reboot again, I think) and probably a good idea to defragment the drive while you’re at it.

    I think you’re probably right that the issue isn’t with the abilities of the disk itself (unless, for example, it’s really old and doesn’t support some capability required … but that seems doubtful).

    @Chris (in reply to #126 and 127) —
    This sounds like something pretty late in the process is getting in the way, but the symptom is kind of unusual, based on what others have written and I have seen (normally, it just doesn’t go into standby). Check the Event Viewer to see if there’s anything interesting there.

    Check the comments on this thread by other on the use of the “powercfg” command, which may help diagnose the cause of the problem. Also, you might check my other post on the topic of standby and hibernate problems with Windows XP.

    I would think that if the machine gets in this state, you should be able to hold down the power button for 6 seconds to get the machine to power off. If not, something is well and truly hosed up!

    Just some pointers to possible diagnostic steps — I have given up on Windows (still supporting my wife’s and family’s computers) — I just don’t have any of these problems on my new Mac, happy to say :-)

    Comment by Tom Harrison — September 15, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  129. Thank you for letting me brain-pick you. And yeah, the 6-second hold doesn’t work…it really sucks. I mean, I’ve had this computer for about three weeks now, and it shouldn’t be messed up already. At this point, I’ve already had to fix my computer twice. Removing McAffey made my restore, account settings, and WMP inoperable, then (seperately) my welcome screen was stuck in classic mode. Now this? I love my computer, but this is discouraging. Hopefully someone will find out some solution to the problem. Also, I hope that these peripheral problems aren’t just pointing to some larger problem. Well, thank you for your time, and if you have any other possibilities or information to add, feel free to email me at “ ” as well. Have a good day!

    Comment by Chris — September 15, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

  130. Chris — if you have had the computer for three weeks, I would suggest having a talk with the company that sold it to you. If the power-button interrupt is not working, this sounds like a BIOS issue or something even lower-level. That should “always” work, and if it doesn’t, something else may be wrong.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — September 15, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  131. On one page Microsh*t claims Nero is to blame. But i uninstalled mine, and problem persists [“Preparing to standby”-itus]. Then i found its Hotfix and installed it. Problem disappeared for about a week, and is now back.
    About the author’s attribution of the problem to bad drivers, and/or lack of updates. I’ve not installed any new drivers recently, and am all up to date. So i think he’s wrong. The real problem is that MS OS’s are incredibly bloated rats nests of old code glued together. Flake-city!
    Anything Microsh*t makes is hot wet brown stinky stuff. [W7 is just the same old… with plastic surgery]!

    Comment by marinus — October 5, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

  132. Someone please help me out.

    My hibernate button was grey right from the day I installed XP on my Dell Inspiron 1525.

    I have tried various options, all to no avail. The Hibernate option is not in the Power Options tab. Running “powercfg /hibernate on” says the system does not support Hibernate.

    I am really distressed by this. Please a couple of guides would help.


    Comment by Martins — November 4, 2009 @ 5:45 am

  133. I last posted here on 10-Jan-2009.
    Still annoyed at the Dell Latitude D-series, but I have depended on it as being my “workstation” (dual-display, when docked) at work.
    2nd annoyance, I’ve decided that having only 2GB of RAM has been slowing me down … despite defining 4GB of on-disk paging, just the dang paging activity (due to filesystem caching, or whatever) is becoming intolerable.

    Anyway, I was finally able to swap over (am not done yet) to a T61, that was left by a co-worker who had left. I really love the (Lenovo ThinkPad) T61, over the Dell.

    Similarities include, same OS level (WinXp, SP2) … and also using NVidia … also an Intel PROSet/Wireless onboard i/f (this one might be slightly newer).

    Guess what, after moving to the nicer computer, it does the same dang thing that the Dell Latitude did. (!!!) If I boot it up UNDOCKED, then there is NO EXISTENCE OF STANDBY. Not happy.

    But, here’s the saving grace, my trick still works. (Though not the most convenient thing) If I put it on the little docking station (redock it), then shut it down and boot it up, I can then Un-Dock and voila, I HAVE STANDBY CAPABILITY.

    What this tells me (preliminarily) is that my problem wasn’t Dell-specific. It might be Windows Xp SP2, or it might be the NVidia software. I don’t think it’s related to Intel. (And I still have the “allow this … to bring computer out of standby” Power-related option disabled, on the wireless interface.)

    I don’t think I’m gonna rev this to SP3 very soon (we’re allowed to do that now), because I sometimes do software builds on this one, and am not totally sure that I’ll not create a baseline build that barfs on some other SP2 PC. Will not load Windows 7, in the foreseeable future.

    One of these days I’ll figure out what the heck is the problem that causes Standby capability to vanish. Larry

    Comment by Larry C — November 22, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

  134. This one solved it for me:

    Comment by Ezra — November 24, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  135. I have a Fujitsu tablet which will suspend but not hibernate, running the battery down and making me frustrated.

    After reading this great page and comments I found a fix. The wireless client was constantly searching for a connection. It’s made by Prism.

    All I had to do was turn radio off. This may not help everyone, especially if you are falling asleep while browsing, but in my case I am usually just reading PDFs so it is not a big deal.

    Comment by DanK — November 26, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  136. Here is my issue: I’m running Windows xp home on a Toshiba NB205 netbook. What it is doing is when it tries to stand by, it stands by fine, whether by selecting from the start menu or closing the screen(which is how I set it) the problem is, as it tries to hibernate, as it gets to the time when it goes from stand by to hibernate, the big light-up power button comes on and the little power indicator on front goes from orange to green. It can’t be woken up from this state, even though power button is lit, the screen is black, and computer has to be rebooted. I’ve scanned many different ways. No viruses, updated drivers, used ncleaner, run checkdisk, all kinds of things, checked for unsigned drivers, etc. no idea what the problem is.

    Comment by Mike — November 28, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  137. Some frequent issues with the Toshiba netbook are:

    – deactivate the “wake up from network” feature (BIOS)
    – turn off the radio
    – install SP3 if you have not
    – Toshiba comes with lots of garbage SW, get rid of all you can.
    – the McAffee security set can cause problems. Try dactivating or uninstalling it

    Sorry cannot help more in detail

    Comment by joseluis7696 — November 28, 2009 @ 11:42 am

  138. I had a standby problem that was resolved by removing my UPS Battery Backup Software on an XP system. I thing the Microsoft ACPI Power Management conflicts with the Aftermarket UPS Software, in my case that being Cyber Power Systems Power Panel Plus. Note it was working at some point prior to many Windows updates so I’m not bashing Cyberpower Systems, but they need to Work with Microsoft to make their software work together more streamlined.
    SB Toronto, Canada

    Comment by Steve — December 12, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

  139. A few months ago, I dropped my laptop and had to replace the hard drive. After reinstalling XP, I discovered that I no longer had the option to standby or hibernate. The “hibernate” tab on the Power Options is gone. There is plenty of free space on my hard drive, so that isn’t the issue. Any ideas?

    Comment by Kristin — December 15, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

  140. Kristin —

    Chances are that when your hard drive was replaced, you would need to re-apply the setting that allows your computer to use disk space for hibernation.

    Select, Start > Control Panel > Power Options and then in one of the tabs there should be an option to enable Hibernation. If not there, then it may need to be enabled in the BIOS — the settings that rule your whole computer, even before Windows starts — usually there’s some special key, like “Del” or F2 or F12 that you need to press as the computer boots that will cause it to open the BIOS settings screen.

    In this screen, look for something relating to power options, standby, hibernate or other similar sounding things. If there’s an option set it to allow the highest level of power management (perhaps “S5”) available.

    Another option (seemingly less likely) would be that your hard disk does not have enough free space to allow hibernation — you’ll need at least as much free space as your computer has memory — so if your computer has 2GB of RAM, you’ll need at least that much disk space — hibernate just stores what’s in RAM on the hard disk in a special place. If not, free up some disk space and see if the option becomes available.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — December 15, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

  141. I have read some of the posts. Seems like most issues have to do with systems not going into standby or hibernation. My problem is opposite. My system will go into standby, or hibernation, not sure which. If left idle too long, it goes to sleep with the computer on/off light flashing, no activity on hard drive, and I cannot wake it up with the mouse, the keyboard, or the power switch. Only way to get my system back is manually switch it off and reboot! Any comments?

    Comment by Gail Grainger — December 20, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

  142. Hi,

    Similar to the problem above. Using a Dell Latitude D600 on XP (SP3). It recently started not waking up from standby. It does wake up from hibernation, however. If I send it to standby mode and then immediately wake it up, it works. But if I wait for a while and then try to wake it up, I get a black screen which doesn’t go away and I end up resetting the computer.

    This all feels like the memory is not supported during the standby and I suspected that it may be a reserve battery issue. But this is all happening while the computer power cord is plugged in. I don’t know if the memory needs the CMOS support when the computer is plugged in.

    I did not upgrade any drivers or install anything unusual recently (knowingly). I have tried restoring to several earlier checkpoints but didn’t help.

    Any suggestions?

    Comment by Yener — December 28, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  143. Kristin,
    When you had your HD replaced, you also had Windows XP reinstalled, check you have SP3 reinstalled also. Install it if necessary.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — December 28, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  144. I’m having a weird problem. On my NEC Versa LitePad running XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, I recently replaced the 20G hard drive with a 32G SSD (by cloning the partition over using Linux). Since then, hibernate causes the computer to shut down completely — it gets about halfway through the progress bar of “hibernating”, then shuts off and when I turn it back on it does a full startup (including needing login). I have disabled and then reenabled hibernation to no effect, and have disabled Java Quick Start. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Jim Trigg — January 5, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  145. Sorry, I left out that this is using the Start menu to hibernate manually.


    Comment by Jim Trigg — January 5, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  146. It could be you have not the right partition size for the storing of the RAM information when hibernating.

    The cloning of the HD with Linux could have partitioned the new HD wrongly; it cannot be a true cloning as the HD sizes are different.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 5, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  147. OK, I wasn’t specific enough. I created a 20G partition on the SSD, cloned the HD partition to the SSD partition, then resized the SSD partition to the full 32G.

    Comment by Jim Trigg — January 5, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  148. I am not sure, but when you resized the SSD partiton from 20 to 32G, you may have damaged the partition necessary for the system to store the information on RAM when trying to hibernate, This should be at least the size of the RAM installed (typically 1 or 2 GB). I am not sure how you can check and eventually rebuild the partition, I think it is done when installing Windows XP.
    If this is correct, you may need to reinstall Windows. But wait until somebody more expert advises here about it.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 6, 2010 @ 3:18 am

  149. JosieLuis and Jim — I think all you need to do to recreate the hibernation space on the disk is to uncheck the option in the Power Options control panel, then apply and (maybe) reboot. It’s a system file (hiberfil.sys), but otherwise not special. And (as JoseLuis rightly says) there needs to be enough free space on the system at any given time in order for the system to enable and use the space, which is equal to the amount of RAM installed on the system.

    If you cannot enable the hibernation option, you might try to delete the hiberfil.sys — a safe operation. If Windows doesn’t let you do it, you might be able to if you start in Safe Mode (press a key at boot time to get the option).

    Final thought on this is, I wonder if Windows thinks the SSD drive is removable media — if it does, this may be an alternate explanation for its recalcitrance.

    I’m very interested in the outcome here — report back when you get it resolved,


    Comment by Tom Harrison — January 6, 2010 @ 7:53 am

  150. I have disabled and then reenabled hibernation to no avail. I ran Glary and nCleaner twice each last night and that has given mixed results — when it hibernated automatically due to low battery it worked, but when I then hibernated manually it shut down without hibernating.

    Comment by Jim Trigg — January 6, 2010 @ 9:05 am

  151. I have a SSD on my desktop and it hybernates just fine. In fact, it will go into hybernation in about seconds.

    Comment by allen edwards — January 6, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  152. Well, I don’t know what my problem was and I couldn’t find a solution! I got tired of having to manually restart my computer to get my system back out of hibernation/standby (whatever it was, it was going to sleep and wouldn’t wake up) so I just went into the control panel and set hibernation and standby to ‘NEVER’! No more frustrations now! :-)

    Comment by Gail Grainger — January 6, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  153. Hello, recently, my power supply decided to fry itself, and I bought a new one. Specifically, I installed a Rosewill GR530-S12, a power supply that advertises itself as green. Somewhat amusingly, I can no longer enter standby mode. Hibernate works fine, as it always did, but now when I enter standby, it almost immediately starts up again and gives me the “This computer has been locked..” screen.

    I’ve gone through some of the comments, and nothing I can find seems to be related to my issue. I have also changed mice recently, but I am fairly sure the issue started before that, immediately after I installed the new power supply.

    Is it possible that the catastrophic failure of the previous power supply burnt out something on the motherboard? I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head.

    Comment by Luke — January 6, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

  154. Though obvious, re-check that the new PS has the right voltage for your computer or if adjustable, that it is set to the right output voltage

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 7, 2010 @ 5:24 am

  155. I am confused, it is a standard ATX case and motherboard with a standard ATX power supply. They all have 12V, 5V, and 3.3V rails right? 20+4 pin Main board connection, plus normal in line 4 pin connections for the Hard/Disk drives with an extra for the fan. As far as I am aware, the Motherboard won’t even post if the voltages are wrong. Is it really possible to screw this up?

    Comment by Luke — January 8, 2010 @ 12:53 am

  156. Sorry I was thinking of a laptop/netbook with the external Power supply.

    For desk PCs I believe there may be some adjustments on the BIOS concerning the CPU voltage, but this does not interact with the PS directly. So there should be no issue with that, although I had once a problem because the voltage setting was wrong, but it was probably my fault. But if you have not interacted with the BIOS settings there is no risk I could think of.

    Just in case, check that your CPU requires those voltages (3.3V) and not other slightly different.

    Maybe Tom here or somebody else could explain about compatibilities of PSs and different types of CPUs.

    But your problem with hibernating seems to point in some other direction.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 8, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  157. This link maybe of some help:

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 8, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  158. I had the problem of both Stand-by and hibernate not working on my laptop, plugged in or not. I started ending processes on the task manager, and I believe it was after I closed “jms.exe” that my problem was solved. I’ve searched for it and i’m still not sure what this program is or is a part of, but apparantly I don’t need it, that I can tell of anyway. Hope that helps.

    Comment by Walter Sobcheck — January 18, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  159. jms.exe is reported as a worm here:

    Please note I am not suggesting that you use the “clean this infection” feature on that page, as I do not know the site and so doing could be *very* dangerous for your computer.

    Use a good commercial antivirus to perform a thorough check of your laptop.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 19, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  160. Hey all — I just wanted to thank joseluis7697 for his work on this thread. Since I started the page, I have bought a Mac (partly because I was so frustrated with XP and Windows in general) so am going on memory in some cases (my wife has a PC still).

    Anyway, joseluis has regularly answered questions from people writing comments, and frequently before I can look at them.

    His comment above is just right — all the jms.exe search results suggest this program is installed by others and may do bad things — at the very least, it’s a potential threat. Most of his other comments are right on, so if you’re following the thread, give him a high-five!

    By the way, my Mac has problems with standby, too. Ain’t nothin’ perfect :-)

    Comment by Tom Harrison — January 19, 2010 @ 9:08 am

  161. I found that leaving reader programs like Acrobat and Myscribe open can cause problems with Windows going into hibernation or sleep mode. I fixed the problem by simply closing the program when I walk away from it.

    Comment by J. Fowler — January 24, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  162. Unchecking all the Wake on LAN options in the Power Management Tab of the Network Adapter solved my problem.

    Right Click on My Computer
    Hardware/Device Manager
    Click the + sign by Network Adapter
    Highlight the Network Connection
    Right Click/Properties
    Click on the Power Management Tab.

    Perhaps you could show a screen shot of your NIC.

    Comment by Ron Spruell — January 27, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  163. My computer won’t hibernate, when I try to it briefly flashes to a screen that says “preparing to hibernate” then it returns to the regular working screen.

    In Event Viewer it shows an Error, Source: ftdisk, Event: 45. Is my computer totally screwed? Anyway I can fix this?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Comment by Justin Edwards — January 28, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  164. Justin: The trouble could be with the Daemon tools being installed on your computer.

    Check this post:

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 28, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  165. Interesting topic. I feel for the person who had issues with Logitech’s SetPoint software. Logitech’s forums have been full of complaints about it in recent years with the company’s mods usually telling people to uninstall and reinstall. There are all kinds of other (user-provided) tricks to try. I had that same problem at first, trying to get the computer to recognize the software at all. I’m using an older version of it now because updating causes my mouse to lose horizontal scrolling with the scroll wheel, which is one feature I INSTALLED SetPoint for in the first place!

    Anyway, the mouse is now suddenly causing an “error 43” in XP, not allowing the system to hibernate. I suspect that it’s because I made the mistake of using Window’s Live OneCare’s online registry cleaner after I had been trying and uninstalling a lot of free programs. My multifunction printer got screwed up too (scanner wouldn’t work) so I had the PITA of completely removing all traces of those drivers and software from the computer and reinstalling. I don’t want to have to do it with the dang mouse now, but will probably have to. Unchecking the box in the power options doesn’t work. Any other suggestions?

    Comment by koze — February 16, 2010 @ 2:16 am

  166. I have a six year old HP Compaq nx9005 which has been a great laptop.

    I bought a new disk, resintalled XP with nothing else and all the updates MS provided.

    The new disc will not hibernate but the old one still does.

    Maybe I need to add some Compaq drivers but it would be better if the OS gave a warning or clue.

    Comment by Jon — February 21, 2010 @ 8:28 am

  167. Solved. (See above)

    I applied the drivers from Compaq’s web sit and finally got the hibernate tab to appear in Control Panel -> Power Options.

    It would be great if XP provided warnings and explanations of why the hibernate tab was missing.

    Comment by Jon — February 21, 2010 @ 8:57 am

  168. No problem, but a request for info about how a BIOS checks whether or not a computer is restarting from hibernation. Everything I’ve read says that such a check is made and that the BIOS will skip some to the POST steps if it finds that it’s starting things up from hibernation. Any info about how the POST sequence is affected will be greatly appreciated. By the way, I’m not taking a shortcut by asking for this help. I’ve made a very extensive search pf the web for an answer.

    Comment by Larry — February 22, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  169. Reset the power configuration in the registry (Windows XP

    This worked for me – taken from

    Let’s rebuild the power configuration portion of the registry:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg]

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\GlobalPowerPolicy]

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies]

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies]
    “Name”=”Home/Office Desk”
    “Description”=”This scheme is suited to most home or desktop computers that are left plugged in all the time.”

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\1]
    “Description”=”This scheme is designed for extended battery life for portable computers on the road.”

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\2]
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the monitor on for doing presentations.”

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\3]
    “Name”=”Always On”
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the computer running so that it can be accessed from the network. Use this scheme if you do not have network wakeup hardware.”

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\4]
    “Name”=”Minimal Power Management”
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the computer on and optimizes it for high performance.”

    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\5]
    “Name”=”Max Battery”
    “Description”=”This scheme is extremely aggressive for saving power.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg]

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\GlobalPowerPolicy]

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies]

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies]
    “Name”=”Home/Office Desk”
    “Description”=”This scheme is suited to most home or desktop computers that are left plugged in all the time.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\1]
    “Description”=”This scheme is designed for extended battery life for portable computers on the road.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\2]
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the monitor on for doing presentations.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\3]
    “Name”=”Always On”
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the computer running so that it can be accessed from the network. Use this scheme if you do not have network wakeup hardware.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\4]
    “Name”=”Minimal Power Management”
    “Description”=”This scheme keeps the computer on and optimizes it for high performance.”

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies\5]
    “Name”=”Max Battery”
    “Description”=”This scheme is extremely aggressive for saving power.”


    [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]
    Highlight the above (between the asterisks) with your mouse, right click Copy. Open a new notepad session and right click, Paste. Do a File, Save as, C:\powercfg.reg

    Then Start, Run, regedit C:\powercfg.reg

    Now right click a blank area of the desktop, Properties, Screensaver tab, and set the Screensaver to (None).

    Reboot and reset your power configuration.

    Comment by Alan Lewis — March 21, 2010 @ 6:20 am

  170. Further to the above – the problem that I experienced was the laptop waking up out of Standby about 30 seconds after I had put it into standby.

    This happened after I installed Logmein Free remote access software (which gives an option during the install which says something like “prevent the computer going into Standby when connected to a power source”). Obviously the intention is that a remote PC that you want to connect to, could go into Standby. So when you install Logmein you want to prevent that scenario.

    I had ticked this box but then thought better of it, and although I uninstalled and reinstalled (and used Revo Uninstaller to do an exhaustive uninstall) the changes that Logmein had done to the power configuration seemed permanent. When reinstalling Logmein there was no opportunity for changing this option – so it appears that Logmein had made this a permanent change.

    Resetting the Powerconfig settings in the Registry with the above fix seems to have done the trick.

    I’m posting this in detail on this useful thread, for the benefit of people who have this problem with Logmein and can’t find a fix.

    That said, resetting the power configuration settings in the registry may well fix other problems people are having.

    Oh – and also I found that Slawdog Smart Shutdown – a small freeware utility also enabled me to get my Standby back – see

    Comment by Alan Lewis — March 21, 2010 @ 6:35 am

  171. Hi All,

    I have had the same problem with computer ( Windows XP PRO SP3 ) not going to standby mode, i got frustrated when i always had to shutdown the computer, i have a laptop an i looked at all the power settings and still nothing . After using process explorer i have tried killing processes and i found out that my problem was from a software that has installed a postgresql database . after i killed the process tree of the database all went back to normal.

    I think the problem in general is with different process that need to keep connection alive or listening on specific ports and keep the connection to the application opened , this can cause the win OS to not take into consideration the standby command.

    Please let me know if you had problems with such applications .


    Comment by Bogdan — March 31, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  172. Bogdan — I had PostgreSQL running as a Windows service on my old Win XP computer. I was able to get Standby and/or Shutdown working successfully while it was running.

    Sorry :-}


    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 31, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

  173. My laptop is an HP Compaq Presario with AMD Turion 64 2.0 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 80GB HDD using Windows XP SP3. I was able to restart/standby/hibernate the laptop without any problem until recently. But now, though it can enter restart/standby/hibernate status smoothly, it would not wake up or resume most of the times. Only the lights for power, volume etc. would come up but the screen remains blank and there would be no light from the USB mouse. The hard disk indicator would not blink and the system sound will gradually become louder (may be it is heated up).

    However, when I press the power button for a while, the system shuts down and it would resume/wakeup from whatever state it was before – from hibernation or standby or restart.

    Please help me to resolve the problem.

    Comment by evangel — April 26, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  174. hey, my pc used to hibernate and standby just fine until a couple of days ago. now it goes to standby but when i click on hibernate … it goes to preparing to hibernate and then just quits and i am back to the normal computer screen. I run XP SP3. could this be bcos of a virus infection???


    Comment by Dheeraj — May 1, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  175. On my ThinkPad T61 (the successor to my Dell Latitude D830)
    at some point in the last few months I finally upgraded from Xp SP2, to SP3.
    Then a few weeks ago I got a new (7200rpm) hard drive and did a clean install of Xp SP3. Also installed the Lenovo Thinkpad drivers and packages from their website. I’m using the Nvidia 140M and Intel Proset/Wireless software packages (for Xp Pro, 32bit) from Lenovo.

    My general problem (absence of Standby capability) still exists, in that if I boot the computer undocked, there’s no Standby capability known to the Windows system. If I boot up in a Docked configuration, then it can Standby (sleep).

    Aside from that, on those occasions when (undocked, but had been booted docked) it should go Standby (when you close the lid), and it refuses to, I’ve found that by terminating an application such as the Cisco VPN client or some application that’s actively using a remote filesystem mount, it’ll then go into Standby when you close the lid.

    But I still wish I could figure out why booting up Undocked causes the system to refuse to make Standby available. Larry

    Comment by Larry C — May 9, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  176. Larry —

    It’s for sure that an active network connection, such as a VPN or open file (e.g. iTunes using a networked disk drive) will prevent standby, or at least automatic standby.

    The docking scenario is a bit odd. I assume there’s no additional drive or anything on the dock. If so, check settings to make sure the location used by Windows for hibernation is not there.

    You might want to do something like this:
    * in docked mode, turn off hibernation ability
    * undock and restart Windows
    * then try enabling Hibernation

    Undocked, is standby not available even when you click Start > Shutdown? Or is it just when automatic shutdown is invoked.

    Not sure if this all started after the new drive or was around before.

    Make sure to look through the thread here, especially comments — there are a number of known applications (one in particular, Java Quick Start) that will prevent Standby/Hibernate from working as expected. Also, there’s another similar thread on my blog (see at the top of the post, I have a link to it) that might have even more suggestions.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — May 10, 2010 @ 7:16 am

  177. I have a problem that no one else here seems to have experienced. My computer seems to only know hibernate. When I tell it to go into standby it goes into hybernate instead. Another interesting behavior: If I have external power connected (docked or external supply) it goes into hibernate mode and then comes back on. I really prefer standby. Hibernate is too slow (or I am too impatient :-). So I often hot dock/un-dock which sometimes seems to cause my laptop to blue screen.

    Power settings:
    Pluged In On Batt Power
    Turn off Monitor/Hard Disks Never 15 minutes
    Standby Never 30 minutes
    Hibernate Never 2 hrs

    Any ideas?

    Comment by RV8R — May 19, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  178. Hello RV8R, this may be of some help…

    I had a Hibernation problem and I had to look around quite a bit.
    My hibernation disappeared one day, and I I went through all the usual suspects. Power management, video drivers…

    Then I use the PowerCfg.exe on a DOS prompt, that if you combine properly, gives you a lot of good info:
    First calling
    Powercf /a to see what were the none available mode can give you a clue on why a PC will only hibernate or not accept Standby etc..

    PowerCfg /DEVICEQUERY all_device_verbose > C:\DevicesList.txt

    This will create an exhaustive list of device and their different mode support… Although a bit rough to decipher, this can give you clue on what is give you a problem

    I also use dumppo.exe cap admin ( google dumppo.exe which is a Microsoft utility) Dumppo will most likely be your friend as it allows you to configure the Standby/Hibernation scheme properly

    Finally, in my particular case, I used an utility call SigVerif.exe, I remark that I was able to get Hibernation/Standby to work for few seconds before logging on (on he logging screen of XP, you may find the Turn Off icon, showing the different off options). After 30sec or so the Standby will gray out…

    I use sigverif exactly like describe here ( and bingo, I found 29 unsigned drivers and one of them just wasn’t letting my system to standby

    Only cost me 4 days of hunt….

    Comment by Malo — June 4, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  179. Whilst everyone seems to be having problem with their device not going into standby/hibernation mode, I have a problem with one of our staff member’s PC going into hibernation mode instead and it won’t turn off.

    All power settings have been checked and the BIOS also checked and still can’t find anything to fix this. Does anyone know of a fix to this?

    Comment by Alvin — June 14, 2010 @ 2:55 am

  180. I neglect to mention that this problem only occurs after XP SP3 was installed. Previously the user did not have any issues with the PC not going into hibernation and it wasn’t until SP3 was installed that it started doing it on its own.

    I am curious if the video driver will have anything to do with? Windows released an update back in Dec 2009 which caused quite a bit of problems with Dell Optiplex 745 and this is the same model the client is currently using.

    Comment by Alvin — June 14, 2010 @ 3:01 am

  181. I have a sleep/hibernate problem w/ Xp-SP2.

    Start from a cold boot, everything works fine. Write a file to a remote network drive and the computer fails to sleep or hibernate (unless you do it manually). This after closing all running applications. Reboot and everything works OK again.

    There’s a microsoft knowledge base entry (from Cyanna at The Elder Geek on Windows XP) that addresses part of this problem.

    It seems to be for SP3. I tried it with SP-2 and had to take it out as my remote network computers were no longer visable from the machine I installed it on.

    Comment by Al — June 25, 2010 @ 8:28 am

  182. Ok, I don’t see my exact problem listed here, so here it goes… My XP sp3 desktop will gladly go INTO standby, But upon coming OUT of standby, it does a full reboot, and then displays ‘windows recovered from a serious error’. For me, the main purpose of standby is the quick shut-down and fast start-up time. I have the quick shut-down (so to speak), but with the current situation, the start-up is the same as turning on from off.
    No networked drives or anything, and of course windows boots up fine from off. If it boots up fine, and everything in windows (and all other programs) works, why would windows freak out upon trying to wake up?

    Comment by AD — July 3, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  183. My PC will Standby, but won’t Hibernate, which means the hard drive keeps running and not going to sleep. I’ve had this problem with my Dell Dimension 4300 desktop PC running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (32 bit) with Service Pack 2 AND with Service Pack 3. I believe that it’s related to “Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007” which I installed a few weeks ago when I had XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2, because a year or so ago, when I installed “OpenOffice” from , a Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) program that works like Microsoft Office with the PowerPoint features, I had the same exact problem with not Hibernating, but when I uninstalled “OpenOffice”, my PC would Hibernate again, every time, with no problems at all, until recently when I installed “Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007” (which is free by the way, as is “OpenOffice”). I don’t want to uninstall Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007 because then I can’t read emails or emails with attachments that have “pps” extensions without some type of Microsoft Office product or a similar one like OpenOffice. I’ll continue to work on the problem, or just have to deal with the inconvenience and extra time that it takes, when not using my computer to turn it completely off and when wanting to use it, turning it on with taking about 10 minutes to completely start up.

    Comment by Jeff Conte — July 22, 2010 @ 4:41 am

  184. Hi Jeff,

    I’m just reposting a previous mail I sent here as there are now so many entries you might not pick it up. I think for most systems this is the simplest quickest solution which is reliable :

    I too have struggled with this problem for months – and been frustated by no obvious way to debug it. However yesterday I came across the following alternative :
    ShutdownOne Home

    The Home edition is free , and it worked perfectly on the XP machines I tried it on . It doesn’t do all the things that the MS builtin is supposed to do like just turn off discs – but it does standby or hibernate, which is all most people need, and it works reliably. I suspect there are millions of pcs around the world where auto hibernate/standby doesn’t work and most people just give up trying to fix it. So this little utility (maybe there are others like it ) could potentially save a huge amount of energy.

    Comment by Jonathan Walker — July 22, 2010 @ 4:53 am

  185. Why would you want to put a desktop in hibernate? The hard disks should shut down with standby. If they don’t just set them to turn off before the system goes into standby. My suggestion on timing, by the way, is standby after 15 minutes. On my system there seems to be something resetting the timer periodically and if I set the standby timer to 15 minutes, it will eventually beat the reset and I will go into standby. The only thing that occasionally stops it is a connection to another computer.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — July 22, 2010 @ 9:43 am

  186. Hi Jeff,

    The Open Office suite is quite well supported by the developing group, with several knowledgeable people participating at their Forum. I wish I could say the same in the case of MS Office…
    So, if you traced your problem down to presentation applications, you could post there about this detected problem and possibly receive an useful answer.

    At the same time, you could be providing your five cents of good feedback to that very active group, always trying to debug and improve the free OOF suite.
    Posting the results here will also be useful for everybody.

    Comment by Jose_Luis — July 22, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  187. I have an unusual problem: when I try to put my laptop (Vostro 1520 running xp sp3) on standby it turns off instead. When I press the power button to “wake it up”, it actually reboots. Any unsaved file is lost. It doesn’t matter if you click the standby button (start -> turn off computer -> standby), click the sleep button (Fn/F1), or shut the screen. Any ideas?

    Comment by David — August 9, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

  188. Haven’t read thru the entire blog, so don’t know whether this cause has been mentioned previously; the MAGIC JACK USB device… Last week my multiple displays (XP) suddenly stopped shutting off after 5 minutes of inactivity as they are instructed to. This led me to try hibernate and standby (which I do not routinely use); they didn’t work either. Stopping the Magic Jack program by ending the magicJack.exe process in Task Manager cured all three problems. Then I remembered the Magic Jack update that downloaded and installed last week. Some programmer clearly has decided that if your computer supplies your phone service, it shouldn’t be allowed to time out and disconnect you. Since i only use the MJ for outgoing calls, this doesn’t make me very happy; fortunately simply unplugging the device also cancels the process.

    Comment by Ed Carlson — September 1, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

  189. Ed, thank you for reminding me. I too have 2 monitors on XP that were shutting down fine until the Magic Jack update. Once I unplugged it, the displays powered off fine. I hope this helps others.

    Comment by George — September 6, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  190. Hello There

    Unfortunately, after using this program
    windows 7 tranformation pack to change windows xp themes
    i’m unable to
    my Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3.

    Thanks in advance

    Comment by Ahmadreza — September 23, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  191. […] most popular posts have lots of comments — hundreds in a couple […]

    Pingback by Keeping Your Hands Dirty | Tom Harrison Jr — September 24, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  192. Tom, thanks for the blog and all the comments. I wanted to add my solution to the mix. Perhaps it will help others.

    Note: While I’ll only talk about Hibernation, the same thing would happen when Standby was used. Shutdown has always worked without issue.

    After selecting Hibernation, Windows XP would display the Hibernation screen and then “shut down” the computer. Only, the hard drives and fans would immediately power back up. The GFX card remained off. This left the computer in a nowhere state. It was on, but it was, as far as Windows was concerned, Hibernated. I would then have to hold down the power button to shut the computer off completely. Whether a few seconds had passed or if was days later, upon power up, Windows resumed from Hibernation as if nothing was wrong.

    Ultimately, the solution was found on the Power Management tab for the Mouse properties in Device Manager. Here, no matter what the APM BIOS settings were set to, Hibernation ONLY works properly when the “Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby” option is disabled. Somehow this Mouse option became enabled. Now that the option is disabled, Hibernation once again works perfectly.

    Toggling the option, followed by placing the computer into Hibernation produced the same results every time the option was enabled. So, it is repeatable. Therefore, I recommend that for anyone having a similar issue, make sure the Mouse Power Management option is disabled.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Dan — October 2, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

  193. Hello

    I do not know why anyone give me answer
    but this I know that this happens after the installation of the slag program
    called Windows 7 theme for XP SP3!

    Through the power options, i activate hibernate but
    when I click on it nothing will happen ):

    Comment by Ahmadreza — October 3, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  194. Hi, Not sure if this specific problem has been faced and reported above (although similar problems have been reported). I have a Dell Latitude D620 with a WinXP SP3. No hardware/software changes have been applied in the last couple of weeks.

    I sometimes need to leave the computer “ON” through the night. I have a company managed setting which activates the company screen saver after 5 minutes of un-use.

    Since the last 10 days or so, I have the computer hibernating all by itself. I have tried changing the “Power management” settings by disabling hibernation and also setting the plugged in values to “Never”. I have also created a new scheme labelled “Work” for the “Never” settings.

    The values for “Work” get automatically reset to Monitor = 3 minutes, HDD = Never, Standby = 5 minutes and (surprise of all surprises) Hibernate = 10 minutes. The tab for Hinernate also has the checkbox for Hibernate activated.

    Nothing that I have done or can atribute to.

    I also leave the windows for “Display Properties” and “Power Options Properties” on the desktop. All I do is “Apply” and “OK” the Power Options Properties as also the Display Properties windows – so that my settings should get updated in the system in the appropriate places, and then I right-click on the desktop and again open the above windows and leave them be.

    As expected, the system activates the screen saver, but after about 10 minutes, it goes into hibernation.

    I cannot stay up the whole night playing with the touch-pad every 10 minutes or so to keep the computer “awake”.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Comment by Devang — October 14, 2010 @ 10:24 am

  195. Sorry, wrong room. This one’s for computers with insomnia, not narcolepsy :-)

    If your control panel says Hibernation is disabled and your computer still hibernates, something is really wrong. If it’s a laptop, sometimes there are settings for plugged in vs on battery.

    Other than that, you might check with Dell or MS.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 14, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  196. Hello

    Finally my problem was solved and the reason
    was happend from a little program that called
    =BeAnywhere= i accidentally opened the program and settings then i suspect that hibernate check mark and by disabled it The problem was cleared up.

    This tool is a part of Panda Internet Security 2011.

    Comment by Ahmadreza — October 14, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  197. I slved this problem thinking to the possible effect due to the error on OS.

    I thought that issue concerned with the impossibility for the os to decode Stage of CPU.

    STANDBY = S3, so i understood that I had to attempt to restore this ratio in any ways.

    What I made: I enabled speedstep on bios, rebbot and enabled saving power profil on power management, then i applied STANDBY and it was perfectly restored.

    I hope this trick could help you, Morris.

    Comment by Morris IT — November 2, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  198. cmd
    powercfg /devicequery wake_armed

    This might help. Not sure but tells the wakening devices.

    Comment by Maxis — November 13, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  199. Actually, after removing all wake_armed devices with command /DEVICEDISABLEWAKE “”

    (I used brackets for hell of long names for mouse and keyboard),

    the system went hibernation for a long long time.

    Seems they were keeping my system awake :)

    Comment by Maxis — November 14, 2010 @ 5:57 am

  200. my pc:
    Case:Thermaltake Mozart VC4000SNS; PSU:Thermaltake Toughpower-Cable Management, 750W; MainBoard:Asus P5VD1-X; Heatsink:ZeroTherm Zen120; CPU:Pentium 4, Prescott 670 2M, 3,8@4,2Ghz HT; Dimm:2GB OCZ Platinum DDR400, SPD; VPU:Sapphire HD3850 AGP, DDR3 512MB; APU:Xonar D2X; PPU: Ageia; HDD1:Maxtor 6B200P0; HDD2:Fujitsu 35EV821; ODD1:LG GSA-H55N; ODD2:LG CH10LS20; Monitor:Acer G24; Speaker:Creative SBS580 5.1; OS: XP He Sp3


    Dear users the mentioned problem happened again disapponted me, so i spent other time attempting to the RIGHT SOLUTION… adn i got it.


    What I done:

    1) bios: disabled ALL USB PORTS (1.1 & 2.0);
    3) plugged OLD PS2 keyboard;
    4) reboot xp opened using ps2 keyboard;
    5) I opened devices manager;
    7) reboot – bios;
    8) enabled necessitated USB PORTS;
    9) reboot;
    10) xp charge USB PORTS DRIVERS – system STANDBY WORKS;
    11) PC off – old keyboard USB deinterlaced;
    12) plugged USB mainboard and mouse, PC on xp land immediately then drivers mainboard and mouse loading;
    13) STANDBY works perfectly:

    In my opinion problems happen when drivers of ports USB are loaded with USB periferal plugged… for some unrecognizable reason.

    Comment by Morris — November 28, 2010 @ 8:52 am


    Hi, I think my problem was not discussed above. My hibernation/wake up is on my home-PC very slow (3-5 minutes).

    My PC:
    Intel Celeron 2,8 GHz
    1,5 GB RAM
    W-XP SP3
    C drive total 30 GB, free 7,85 GB

    On web I found only the solution advising the enabling of cache writing, but this future is on on my computer (I also tried to disable, restart, enable it without any luck). My office computer with very similar configuration hibernates and wakes up in about 20 sec.
    Does anybody know any other issue which could cause it?

    At least i would like mention the hibernation process is too slow from the beginning.


    Comment by Orwel — January 23, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  202. Is it any quicker when just starting up from being completely shut down? Perhaps the problem is in years of junk that have been loaded on the computer and it is time to reinstall Windows. You didn’t mention external USB drives but I found them to be slow.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — January 23, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  203. Refer #194 above. Problem solved. It seems my laptop was registered on some “hibernation server”. The sysadmin removed the listing (so I have been informed) and viola, my laptop has stopped the automatic hibernation.

    Comment by Devang — January 23, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  204. (#202)
    Thank Allen for the response. Yes, the normal starting up is quicker. The installation of Win is quite new (6 month) and the problem occurred from the beginning. You are right, I am using and external USB Hard Drive (i also tried to disconnected it but the hibernation was not quicker). But true is my previous Home PC was also slow in the hibernation process and I used the same external USB drive but I thought it was due to lack of memory and slow processor. Do you think the problem is caused due to using of the external USB?

    Comment by Orwel — January 24, 2011 @ 3:48 am

  205. I had very slow response when I had external hard drives and sometimes they didn’t come up at all. In that case I think they have to time out which I believe is 2 minutes. It may be more difficult than just unplugging them to remove them as Windows may still be waiting for them to come up. You might have to remove them with the remove hardware icon on the toolbar, then unplug them, then restart your system, then run your test. At least that is what I would do. I now use my USB drives only for backup, which is to say I put data on them and put them in the other room turned off. With the cost of internal drives, it isn’t worth the bother with the USB drives, and most of my problems were with hybernation.

    Comment by Allen Edwards — January 24, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  206. USB HD drives are sometimes tricky. My Netbook will reboot without much wanrning if I unplug the USB HD without prviously stopping with Windows.But I did not notice that hibernating with the SUBHD plugged caused any special delay.

    I suppose you are aware that hibernating requires the whole content of your RAM to be stored on a
    the internal HD, in a special, ad-hoc partition. If the HD disk is slow for any reason it may affect the time required. Check before going to hibernation how much RAM you are occupying. It could be you have a “Memor¡y leak” (that is, some program takes a portion of the RAM to operate, but it does not free it when stopped).
    You can make a test by stopping every program you can (check the task bar right corner and the Applications tab on the manager and see if it hibernates faster. You can also try stopping all running processes and checking for improvements. Beware that some process cannot be stopped and others can, but may freeze the PC and require forced rebooting.

    Comment by joseluis7696 — January 24, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  207. Download a program from microsoft called dumppo.exe.
    XP sp3 changes the min sleep state from s3 to s1. Search for dumppo usage anywhere on the internet.

    Comment by Ruben P — January 29, 2011 @ 2:21 am

  208. Warning:

    I used SigVerif.exe, and moved unsigned files to another folder. Even I return everything back, the windows is not working properly anymore. It can’t see the files anymore or something like that.

    Finally, in my particular case, I used an utility call SigVerif.exe, I remark that I was able to get Hibernation/Standby to work for few seconds before logging on (on he logging screen of XP, you may find the Turn Off icon, showing the different off options). After 30sec or so the Standby will gray out…

    I use sigverif exactly like describe here ( and bingo, I found 29 unsigned drivers and one of them just wasn’t letting my system to standby

    Comment by Jan — January 30, 2011 @ 12:21 am

  209. My computer won’t come out of standby (hibernation, sleep). This problem just started. The light on the front of the box, just above the Dell logo, blinks it’s yellow eye, mockingly, at me, but attempts to re-boot, power-down and restart, result in the same; it just goes immediately to hibernation.

    It is running XP – media edition

    Any suggestions/thoughts?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Ken Williams — February 28, 2011 @ 10:05 am

  210. Hi All,

    After I installed SP3 in my computer, hibernate and standby buttons are not working. They are disabled.

    And also in Power options properties, I didn’t found the hibernate tab.

    What could be the reason?

    Can anyone help?


    Comment by Sumit — May 11, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  211. @ Sumit & Ken Williams

    Read previous posts.

    Comment by Azrael5 — May 12, 2011 @ 6:03 am

  212. My Gateway 7330GZ laptop with Windows XP SP3 almost never goes into standby on its own although the settings are there to make it happen. So I finally decided to try to diagnose the problem. I used a systematic, elimination method where I turned things off until the problem stopped. To make a long story short, here are my findings.

    As long as there is an Internet connection through my Verizon Wireless CDMA modem, the computer will turn off the screen but won’t go into standby. There also seem to be some intermittent issues with the Firefox web browser. I disabled all my plug-ins and extensions and found I could eventually re-enable them all and still have the computer go into standby. But it doesn’t always work, and I haven’t been able to tell what sometimes prevents it. But for sure, when I close the Verizon Wireless connection and shutdown the browser, the computer goes into standby automatically.

    Also when I have a screen saver enabled the screen shuts down but the computer won’t go into standby. So it is not a single issue. There are multiple things preventing standby, and there may be synergy between several things as in the case where there is no connection and the browser is open. The the screen shuts down, but no standby. So it is complex issue.

    Comment by Steven White — May 26, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  213. I have never had a Windows PC that was able to sleep properly. Usually they wake up, stay on for 15-20 mins, go to sleep for a couple minutes, wake up… when you come back, the battery is drained. And on any PC that did sleep relatively well, after 3 sessions of sleep invariably something would screw up requiring a hard reset.
    After buying my first Mac last year it was difficult to get used to using sleep that actually worked. After the first week of figuring out the system and not trusting sleep I finally forgot about it and went for 37 days without rebooting! Amazing!

    Comment by Neill — June 24, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  214. You are right in your assessment. There are many features in Windows that are not properly solved or are being solved by continuous patches after the customer has the SW in operation.

    Hibernate/Suspend is one of those features that has problems and the 200+ posts in this tread is a good proof of this.

    There are many incompatibilities with SW from other suppliers and with some pieces of hardware. Also and quite annoying, Windows accumulates errors after several sleep/wakeup cycles that require a complete restart of the system now and then.

    Now, the controversy between MS Windows vrs. Apple OS has lasted for decades and will never be settled.

    There is a simple reason: Windows is an OS designed to operate in a wide variety of hardware platforms, with millions of non-MS applications and uncountable pieces of hardware that can be added or changed by the user. Apple systems are made for specific Apple platforms and everything is tightly controlled by the company that allows for little if no change when out of their control.

    These are two different approaches that cannot be compared so easily, as each has its advantages and drawbacks.

    Windows users normally learn to live with the problems, we like to complain about them and interact in Forums and Blogs. This makes life more stimulating, though sometimes it can become a true nightmare. But we enjoy the flexibility of our systems and for many of us, the much lower prices of everything compared to Apple machines/SW.

    Mac user will be satisfied from the very first activation and may stay so until their systems become obsolete (this also happens to Apple, yes). And are willing to pay considerably higher prices for their closed systems that are so exclusively controlled by the manufacturer.

    Comment by Jose_Luis — June 25, 2011 @ 2:34 am

  215. I gave up and gave room for ‘AMP WinOFF’.

    It is not the best solution but

    Pros: now I get machine hibernated after an inactive period of time.

    Cons: Sometimes after powering up the count down to postpone hibernation pops up immediately when desktop is visible (Max 95 secs and it will hibernate again if not done anything)

    Comment by Maxispin — June 27, 2011 @ 6:42 am

  216. Windows XP Home edition, just upgraded to IE 8,
    have Windows SP3. Used to be able to put in Standby mode, had no problems at all! Now when I put in Standby mode, most of the time it turns off! Sometimes it goes in Standby mode. What the heck?

    Comment by nancy — June 28, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  217. my computer randomly hibernates and when it does my screen no longer works last time i had to send it to get repaired and i think its just my screen because if i plug it to a computer screen it works fine why does this happen?

    Comment by steven — June 28, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  218. Monitor won’t un-hibernate

    We had a power failure here yesterday that has caused trouble for my main computer: the monitor won’t come on any more.

    While it is not unusual for us to have a one-second power outage, this one lasted probably five minutes which is very unusual here. During the power failure, I happened to be looking at the monitor when I saw it display “Windows hibernating” with a progress bar that was roughly at the halfway point. There were no options to stop it from hibernating so I just let it proceed. Since then, the monitor has gone dark and even the little power/ready light won’t come on. I should mention that there was no electrical storm in progress when the power went out and both the computer and monitor are plugged into a working UPS (battery backup).

    I’ve tried replugging the monitor and I’ve also tried another outlet on the UPS but the monitor is still staying dark.

    It sounds to me like the computer has fully booted itself up and is waiting at the desktop for me, if only I could see what was going on. (Initially, the boot cycle stopped very early, as the hard drives and optical drive were verified but then I unplugged one of my USB devices and it whirred and beeped and seemed to make the complete set of usual noises.)

    I am really eager to use my main computer again but I’m not sure what to do to get the monitor to light up again. It’s a Samsung T260. It doesn’t seem to want to wake up from hibernate mode.

    What should I do to get things working again? Naturally, I can’t run the diagnostics on the problem computer because the monitor won’t light up.

    I’m running Windows XP2 SP2.

    Comment by Henry Reardon — July 1, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  219. @Henry

    Power down the computer and restart it.

    Comment by Allen — July 1, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  220. Henry, sometimes power outages are accompanied by high voltage surges. It could happen that your monitor is damaged. Could you try a different monitor and check what you see on the screen?

    If you hear your computer whirring it may be doing who knows what, but certainly it is not hibernating…

    Comment by Jose_Luis — July 1, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  221. Steven, are you sure the computer is hibernating before the screen stops working? (do you see the screen hibernating….?) If not, define the situation with right details.

    If you are, check the configuration of your monitor and be sure it has not any strange setting that could be only partially supported by the video card. Also, try setting the monitor to a simple configuration such as a low resolution 800×600 and then try hibernating. If it is a laptop and you have an output for an external monitor, try plugging a monitor there and check what happens. The idea is to discriminate between a possible malfunction of the video card and a monitor malfunction or bad settings.

    Comment by Jose_Luis — July 1, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  222. For issue on hybernate/suspend to ram mode, consult your bios settings and eventually make changes on it (some desktop motherboars want actual changes in short pin too).

    Comment by Azrael — July 3, 2011 @ 3:35 am

  223. I had the same problem in XP SP3 as Andrew@115, except I have an Acer Extensa 4220, and finally did a live chat with Acer. It was the video driver, which seems weird to me, but that was the problem. I’d forgotten to re-install the VGA driver when I re-installed XP, sad but true. Here’s what solved it:

    Subject: No Standby or Hibernation tabs in power management.

    Me: I can’t hibernate or stand by, there are no tabs, and I don’t know what the BIOS should be or if that’s even the problem. Microsoft suggested I contact you.

    Acer: I understand that you do not get the hibernate and stand by functions on your system. This is an issue with the system video card driver files. Do not worry, in this case you need to update the driver to fix this issue.

    I don’t know if that’s helpful for anyone, but it helped me a lot.


    Comment by Ginger Mayrerson — August 16, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  224. I’m having a challenge where I need to remote into my pc from time to time but do not want to leave it on all the time. which setting would allow for me to still remote in standby or hibernate without the need to physically shake the mouse or keyboard to wake it up?
    Thank you!

    Comment by Yvonne — August 31, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  225. In my experience I had to say that many factors influence this process.

    mainboard features and circuits;

    – bios;

    – OS installation;

    -OS errors;

    – devices compatibility;

    – PSU compatibility and reliability.

    In my mainboard 4coradual-sata2 and OCZ fatal1ty PSU only installing the last mod bios I solved the issue on stand-by obtaining the full turning off of all elements of the PC. Another my PC haven’t any issue but better bios settings, and a different ATK power system.

    Who use XP on his computer can consult “device manager” and for every hardware elements, knows what kind of power feauters it’s applied simply running the appropriate tab named “driver details” until “power state mapping”. So you know if every elements apply rightly the standby/suspend to ram feature.

    Remember to enable it on BIOS if it is possible. Verify PSU compatibility and search for DUMPPO.EXE utility to see by cmd your power state in XP and fixing eventually issues.

    Hello by Morris.

    Comment by Azrael — August 31, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  226. I have to give a big thanks to Tom for this brilliant article on a widespread yet under-documented problem. In my long, LONG quest to solve my screensaver/standby mode problems, this has been the only page to be of any value whatsoever, and while I didn’t find a solution here directly, the information here put me on a short path to discover a program called the ‘MCE Standby Tool’. It’s a free download from and after some tinkering with the settings it finally was able to fix the problem (disabling ‘selective USB suspend’, whatever that is).

    Comment by Motorsheep — November 17, 2011 @ 12:17 am

  227. Thanks!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — November 17, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

  228. ok…Here is the problem we are having. We have several hp dc5100’s. When coming out of sleep mode is does not see a harddrive. when selecting f1 to boot it tries to network boot. After down a hard shutdown it see and the harddrive and asks to accept new hardware pressing f1. Any ideas?

    Comment by julie sander — December 8, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  229. Thanx for the article.
    If you examin problems with automatic hibernation, try to deinstall the Java(TM) 6 Update oder Java Web Start. The process jqs.exe prevent my PC to go to standby.

    Comment by Snowman — December 28, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  230. It’s horrible, now I can use stand-by only disabling USB energy features from Device manager.

    Comment by Morris — December 30, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  231. 230.:
    I think it is normal that USB ports be disabled, including their DC power output when the computer is hibernating (or on stand-by). This can also be set in the BIOS menu so that you do not need to access the device manager before going to hibernate. The Ethernet port should also be disabled, otherwise the computer may be taken out from hibernation often and without need to.

    Comment by Jose luis — December 30, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  232. I’ve solved several times this problem and I’ve shorted the right pin on my motherboard so to have +5vsb. Must be a sort of issue occuring during installation step of OS or some USB drivers mistake. The difference is that enabling USB power function to restart pc fun and light works, on opposite when I disabling them all pc go to stand-by regularly. Could it happen for PSU cable?

    Comment by Morris — December 30, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  233. 230: you are lucky. It is a small price if you get your computer to hibernate.

    Comment by Maxis — December 30, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  234. I’m disappointed because I fixed the same problem which sometimes occurr again and so I’m very disappointed also with myself becaus I would like to know the cause to be able to fix it.

    Comment by Morris — December 30, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  235. Edit to the issue: after several attempts I’ve verified the posibility +5vsb was not operative and so it is. Jumpers are correctly shorted but +5vsb power doesn’t work although I can enter and resume from standby by PS2 keyboard.

    Comment by Morris — December 31, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  236. when i have got the same problem, i have followed the advice from here ( and it helped to me to solve the problem

    Comment by null_pointer86 — February 12, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  237. Disabling jqs.exe solved the problem on both my XP machines. This program continually pings the harddrive and keeps the machine awake.

    Comment by dmast — March 21, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  238. Instructions to disable it:

    Comment by Maxis — March 21, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  239. THANKS dmast!

    It really worked!

    Comment by Maxis — March 23, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  240. Disabling jqs.exe worked for me! Thanks

    Comment by Ron — March 25, 2012 @ 8:24 am

  241. I have to report that my XP goes nicely in hibernation mode ONCE after a fresh system start. (Referring to jqs.exe disabling).

    => Fresh Start #1 => Hibernation after X min
    => Start #2 => NO hibernation

    Just wondering what is different after hibernation.. There is something that is nagging the system not to sleep. Argh..!

    Comment by Maxis — March 28, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  242. Tom, this is a super post, and while I have not read all of the comments, I have gotten a huge amount out of the reading. What I would love to hear from you is some comments related to using an SSD instead of the standard HD. I have both running on my system, and there are various tweaks that give you an optimization, one of which is to use a RAM drive for temp files. That, plus the SSD drive now give me a super fast startup of both the system and major programs. I keep most data files on the regular drive and most programs & the OS on the SSD. While I know that the RAM drive precludes hibernate, I am working now on at least going into standby to keep down power consumption. I am sure your input and additional advice will help me get to a solution.

    Again, as noted by others, thanks for your hero status on this worthy cause to help us lower our carbon footprint!


    Comment by Richard — May 3, 2012 @ 7:38 am

  243. Tom, I have a Dell Dimension E510 with XP Media, with Windows auto update. I have only switched my anti-virus from Avast to AVG in the last few months.

    The Standby and Hibernation were working fine until about 2 weeks ago. One day, Standby stopped working – would not activate – so I went into Power Mgmt and selected hibernation and it worked fine for a few days. Then it stopped. I went back to Power Mgmt and selected another time interval for Standby and it worked fine for a few days. Now, regardless of the time interval or whether Standby or Hibernation, is not activated.

    I looked at the SartUp programs and do not see anything different or not necessary there. Assuming that there is a software not allowing it to be activated, how can I check it out. I would appreciate your help on this, to avoid having the pc on when not in use.

    Comment by Raul — May 31, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  244. My problem is that standby seems to be working fine – except that the monitor turnoff never turns off the monitor. Any ideas?

    Comment by Fred — June 2, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  245. I have an HP Pavilion A556X – just acquired second hand. I updated all the Windows updates and drivers and had this problem of not being able to go into standby mode. I got a message saying my keyboard driver was the culprit. As it turns out, it was Adobe Type Manager (possibly conflicting with the keyboard driver) since standby now works after uninstalling ATM and rebooting the computer. I now see it mentioned as the solution in comment #56 so I just wanted to second that solution.

    Comment by Mark W. — August 4, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  246. Thank you very much.

    Comment by Someone — September 17, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  247. My Gateway laptop with XP stopped going to stand by either plugged in or running on batteries, although it did go to stand by with when I closed the lid. So hardware was not the issue. I read on of the posts above and downloaded Glary Utilities, ran it, nothing happened. Installed and ran nCleaner. It removed other stuff which Glary did not, but the same story. Then I rebooted the laptop and it started working fine. So definitely one of the programs or both of them solved the problem, at least for me. Note: I unchecked all extras both of these programs offer during installation.

    Comment by Yuri — October 13, 2012 @ 8:30 am

  248. Hi,

    I just came upon a different problem. We have a media pc to play blu ray and standard dvds running xp and in the last two weeks after years of no problems shortly after turning the pc on, but never more than a minute or two it crashes saying “preparing to go into standby”… any ideas on what may be causing this problem. Once again just using it as a media pc to watch tv or play dvds and no internet.



    Comment by Colin — January 19, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

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