Hibernation and Sleep Mode Issues

The Symptoms:

Ever have the problem of your computer starting up, and you have Hibernation or Sleep Mode on and all the lights come on and but you do not get a screen? You try and restart and it still does not come on correctly. Again you have lights on everything that needs to be lit, your machine seems to be normal, but the screen just is not there. What happened?

No Screen Answer:

This is likely a Hibernate or Sleep Mode sticking issue. Microsoft knows this is a problem and have been trying to figure out how to fix it for years now. They even disclosed to the manufacturers when they were questioned on Windows 7 release, “Did you fix Hibernate and Sleep Mode?” The answer was a yes, the result is a resounding, “No!” I have had more than one Win7 Customer call me asking what happened to their computer screen.

A few simple questions to diagnose the issue:

Did it shut off when you were using the machine?

(If the machine shut off while they were using it, this could still be a Hibernate issue, likely on a yes answer though it will be something much more serious. Likely an Anti Virus Conflict.)

Did you walk away and come back and the Machine was off?

(A yes to this is a good sign its a Sleep issue)

Do you have Sleep Mode or Hibernate turned on?

(A yes on this is a good sign it is a sleep issue)

Did you shut down your Machine?

(No, is a sign this is a Hibernate issue)

Were you just trying to “Wake up” your machine, knowing it had Hibernated?

(Yes, is a sign it is indeed a Sleep Mode or Hibernate issue)

The Hibernate & Sleep Mode Process:

What happens is when your computer goes into Hibernate or Sleep Mode, it shuts everything off in an order of sequence. Colleagues and myself believe what happens is it shuts everything off correctly in its check list, but when it turns back on, for some reason it skips or ignores the video drivers. Because this is based off of your settings that are stored in the “start up”, shutting it off and turning it back on again will not fix the problem. Because when it starts up it is reading the “broken” start up that the Hibernate or Sleep Mode made when it shut the machine off.

The Fix:

On a Laptop:

Shut the Machine down and take out the battery and disconnect the power cable. Once it is not connected to electricity of any kind, hold down the “Power On” button for 30 seconds. You will not see anything happening, What it is doing is draining the “Static” memory chip that stores your computers “Start up” information. Once this is done, reconnect the battery and the power cable and turn on the machine, log in and load into the desktop area. (The area with your background and icons on it and then read on)

On a Desktop:

Shut the machine off and then disconnect your power source from the back of the machine. Once you have done this hold the power button in for 30 seconds without having it hooked to any electrical outlets. What it is doing is draining the “Static” memory chip that stores your computers “Start up” information. Once this is done, reconnect the power cable and turn on the machine, log in and load into the desktop area. (The area with your background and icons on it and then read on)

Both types continued:

Once on the desktop area (Again the area with your background on it) follow the next steps depending on what operating system you are using to go in and turn off the Hibernate and Sleep Modes on your machine. Laptops should turn their machines “off” when they are not being used anyway as they are not meant to stay on for more than 5-6 hours at a time ever. On desktops, you do not have the same issues with heat, and can leave your machine on at all times, unless restarting after installing a program. It is actually better on your hard drive the fewer amount of restarts you have on the computer. With a desktop simply turn on your screen saver and walk away when you want to. You can also place a password lock on resume which is also located in the settings I am going to outline below.

Hibernate & Sleep Mode Settings:

For Windows XP:

On your Desktop use your right mouse click and select Properties (left click), then click on the Screen Saver Tab at the top. At the bottom click on Power, and change all the drop downs to “never”. Apply your changes and exit. Problem prevented.

For Windows Vista & Win7:

Click on the Start Button on the left (the icon that looks like a windows flag) and click into the “search programs & features/ Search programs & files” box. Type in power and do not hit enter. On the top left you will see “Power options” or “Power Settings”, click on that. On the next window will be a list of power settings that have been pre-made. Yours is the one with the check next to it. Under that will be a link to change the advanced options for those settings, click on that link below it. On the following page you will see the drop down boxes, change them to “never” and apply.

For either XP, Vista or Win7 there are advanced options in there also for your password on resume which means when you interrupt the screen saver, it will prompt for your password in order to get back on the machine. Great for home or office security from the random nosy visitor.

Stephen Phillips is the owner of PCSpyder and TechUnderground. He is an A+ technician with experience working on the inside of the computer industry. He provides online PC Tech Support, via chat and remote assistance on his website PCSpyder.net. If you are local to Springfield or St. Louis, Missouri, schedule and in-home visit via his TechUnderground blog.