Sadly, it’s all too common to experience Windows 7 hibernation problems. By knowing where to find the numerous hibernation settings, you can troubleshoot the commonest predicaments.
Topics for Windows 7 Hibernate
Why does Windows 7 hibernate? Good reasons are, to save electricity, to gain peace and quiet, or in my case, to help keep the room cool especially in summer.
- Getting Started:
Finding the Windows 7 Power Settings
- Windows 7 Hibernate Options
- Solving Windows 7 Hibernate Problems
- Summary of Windows 7 Hibernate
What is the difference between sleep and hibernate? Hibernate saves the contents of memory into a physical file called hiberfil.sys, thus you would not lose unsaved data. However, a ‘Sleeping’ Windows 7 computer awakens quicker than one which is hibernating. The downside with Sleep is that you lose unsaved data in the case of a complete power loss, this is because the information is stored in RAM.
Interestingly, Windows 7 has a setting called ‘Hybrid sleep’, which combines sleep and hibernate as described above.
- ‘What do you want to achieve with power management?’
Possible answers include: Security and to conserve the battery.
- Do I have more than 4GB of RAM? For certain hardware ‘Sleep’ is the only option, there is no ‘Hibernate’ option, presumably because of the size of the hiberfil.
- ‘Where can I configure the Windows 7 hibernate settings?’
Four possible answers:
Click: Search programs and files
Launch cmd, seek ‘Run as Administrator’
At the command prompt try these switches
powercfg -q (Query settings)
powercfg -h on
Plan D (Only if you have battery!)
Right-click the battery in the Navigation Area,
Select ‘Power Options’
See screenshot opposite
Encouraging computers to sleep when they’re not in use is a great idea – until you are away from your desk and need a file on that remote sleeping machine!
WOL also has business uses for example, rousing machines so that they can have update patches applied. My real reason for recommending you download this free tool is because it’s so much fun sending those ‘Magic Packets’. Give WOL a try – it’s free.
Unfortunately, Windows 7’s Hibernate will never be 100% reliable. For any given machine, it either works 99% of the time, or else the failure rate is so high you have to abandon power management. In my experience, Hibernate works much better on laptops than desktops.
- Event Viewer
- Power Options – Windows Mobility Center
- Does the Bios support Sleep mode?
- How to stop your computer from going to sleep
- Windows 7 Hibernate Problem
- Windows 7 Sleep Problem – Taskbar Disappears
- Where is the Standby menu option?
- Premature waking from hibernation (Insomniac Syndrome)
- Windows 7 Stops Responding – Will not Wake from Hibernation
- Where to ask for more help
Event Viewer (View Event Logs)
All troubleshooting should start by inspecting Microsoft’s Event Logs. In the case of Windows 7, begin by clicking Start, then type event. Once you launch ‘View Event Logs, review the Critical Errors in the last 24 hours. Follow-up by looking in the Windows Logs and filtering the System Log for ‘Kernel-Power’ entries. Interesting items would include ‘The last sleep transition was unsuccessful’, or ‘The system is entering sleep’.
I am willing to bet that 60% of all Sleep and Hibernate problems are due to inappropriate settings in the Power Options (Control Panel, Hardware and Sound). For example, if you see no Hibernate option on the Shutdown menu, then check whether ‘Allow hybrid sleep’ is set to ‘on’. You could start this line of troubleshooting by pressing the Windows key +x on a laptop, or Start Search, powercfg.cpl on a desktop. See screen shot of Allow hybrid sleep
Cannot Find Windows 7 Hibernate Option
Open a CMD box
powercfg /hibernate on
Another technique try:
Shutdown -h [Shutdown is a built-in command -h means hibernate.]
The problem Readyboost speeds up the machine when it’s running, but gives fails to return from hibernation hibernation.
Unlikely solution – but it works!
Format the USB drive with exFAT and not NTFS!
Stop Error 9f
Microsoft has a hotfix for Windows 7 hibernate problems associated with Stop Error 9f
Provided the computer has the ‘Certified for Windows 7’ all the power management features are guaranteed to work. It’s just up to you to configure Sleep or Hybrid Sleep, or else complain to the supplier / manufacturer.
To check your computer’s Bios you need to interrupt the initial boot phase. For this inspection, seek a special key, it maybe F2, or maybe spacebar, it could even be the delete key. If all else fails read the boot screen! Once you have intercepted the bios boot, just carefully examine any options which could enable / disable Sleep. What you are looking for is settings such as,
S3 – Suspend to RAM (Sleep)
S4 Suspend to Disk (Hibernate)
1) Navigate to the ‘Power Options’ (Start Search powercfg.cpl)
or see above.
2) Select your power plan.
3) Click: Change plan settings.
4) Crucial Links: a) Change advanced powers settings.
b) Change settings that are currently unavailable.
5) Research the myriad of settings, in particular: ‘Sleep’
6) Expand: ‘Sleep after’. If it’s a laptop check both the ‘Plugged in’ and the ‘On Battery’ settings.
7) Choose: ‘Never’ to prevent your computer going into sleep mode.
8) Remember to click ‘OK’. (Or apply if you want to configure more options.)
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There are at least two different types of hibernation problems. One problem is that your computer is not waking up properly. Alternatively your problem is there is no Hibernate option on the Windows 7 Shut Down menu. In both cases check the ‘Allow hybrid sleep’ setting.
1) For any hibernation problems the easiest solution is to set ‘Allow hybrid sleep’ to: ‘Off’. (See screenshot).
By design, hybrid incorporates both Sleep and Hibernate, thus you only see Sleep on the Shutdown menu. Also, by default, desktops are set to ‘Allow hybrid sleep :On’.
Trap: Before you can change any of the Balanced settings, first you must click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. (See screenshot)
2) Another problem with hibernation is caused because Windows 7 does not have enough free disk space for hiberfil.sys. My machine needed 4 GB, the size of my RAM.
Incidentally, the best way to delete hiberfil.sys is simply to turn off hiberate:
powercfg -h off
3) An over-active Disk Cleanup program may cause the Hibernate option to disappear. If Hibernate does not appear on the Shutdown menu, then open a command prompt and check with:
If this was your problem, for future reference you could remove the tick next to ‘Hibernation File Cleaner’ in the Disk Cleanup settings.
Next turn on Hibernate with:
Powercfg -h on
3a) Check for errors with:
Incidentally, Powercfg -energy gave me errors and warnings – even when the computer awoke from sleep gracefully. However, the point is that the information in the html report may point you to which devices need further investigation and driver updates.
4) Annoying Screen When Computer Comes out of Hibernation
Open Your Power Settings
a) Change plan settings
b) Change advanced power settings
c) Set ‘require password on wakeup’ to no
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Guy recommends that you download a copy of the SolarWinds free Firewall Browser.
Forget Standby. Vista and Windows 7 replace Standby with Sleep.
All manner of software and hardware can trigger Windows 7 to wakeup from Sleep or Hibernate. Thus the first question is the old chestnut: ‘Is this insomniac behaviour due to Hardware or Software?’
USB memory sticks, and also USB mice are common culprits for prematurely waking up the computer. In the case of accidental mouse activation, consider laying the mouse on its back.
To troubleshoot the problem visit the Device Manager
1) Control Panel –> System and Security –> System –> Device Manager.
2) right-click the suspect device
4) See if it has a Power Management Tab.
5) If so, then remove the tick next to: ‘Allow this device to wake up the computer’.
Hardware Example: The Network adapter –> Advanced menu
Select: ‘Wake up capability’. Choose ‘None’.
Plan A) Blame the Task Scheduler! Start Search, Task Scheduler. (Else look in Administrative Tools)
i) You are bound to find suspects.
ii) 95% of them will be innocent programs that need to be scheduled.
iii) Good luck weeding out the true culprit(s).
Plan B) Blame a virus checker.
Plan C) Blame a virus!
Try a completely different strategy, investigate recording what is happening with Performance, however, this is a black art.
Microsoft is continually releasing hotfixes to solve problems caused when Windows 7 resumes from sleep or hibernate. Symptoms include devices hanging, also a USB port maybe involved, worse still, you could also see one of these STOP messages: