Troubleshooting Windows 7 Sleep Problems
Sadly, Windows 7 sleep problems are all too common. By knowing where to find the numerous sleep and hibernation settings, you can determine how to troubleshoot the commonest symptoms.
Topics for Windows 7 Sleep Problems
Why should Windows 7 sleep or hibernate in the first place? Good reasons are, to save electricity, peace and quiet, or in my case, to keep the room cool in summer.
Let us examine the difference between Windows 7's sleep and hibernate. Firstly, a 'Sleeping' computer awakens quicker than one which is hibernating. The downside of Sleep is that you lose unsaved data in the case of a complete power loss, this is because the information is stored in RAM. Hibernate on the other hand, saves the contents of memory into a physical file called hiberfil.sys, thus you would not lose unsaved data.
One more point, Windows 7 has a setting called 'Hybrid sleep', which combines sleep and hibernate as described above.
Two initial questions:
Plan D (Only if you have battery!)
Alternatively, Left-click the battery and
Desktops and Laptops
As you examine the Power Options, decide what Windows 7 should do when you press the power button. I also like to control what happens when I close the laptop lid. Investigate each link on the task list show by the screenshot on the right.
If I work with the Aero graphics at maximum brightness, my Sony Vaio's battery will not last much more than 90 minutes. Therefore, anything that I can do to conserve battery power, will increase the time I can use my laptop away from the mains electricity. As with all task's, micro-management is counter-productive, in the case of the laptop you have to balance the hesitations from coming out of 'Sleep', with the battery wastage when you get up from the laptop in order to perform some other task in the room.
Windows 7 Sleep
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.
Windows 7 Hibernate
If you figure out the role of Microsoft's hiberfil.sys, then you understand why Hibernation sometimes is not an option. For example, there may be insufficient disk space on the C: drive to create this huge file, or some older Bios software cannot manage suspend to disk or suspend to RAM. You if you wish to use the Hibernate option, be careful that a Disk Cleanup operation does not delete hiberfil.sys, and thus at least temporarily, remove the option to hibernate. (Solution issue the command line instruction: powercfg -h on.)
If you were of a mind, you could choose a different combination of Power Settings everyday of the year, and never repeat the same setting twice. For this reason, Windows 7 groups settings into Plans for example, Power Saver, High Performance, or Balanced. The advantaged of these pre-configured Plans is that you get consistent and compatible settings for: 'Turn off the Display', 'Put the Computer to Sleep' and 'Adjust Display Brightness'.
Sleep AND Hibernate
SolarWinds' Orion performance monitor will help you discover what's happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems. Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.
Let us face facts, Sleep and Hibernate will never be 100% reliable. For any given machine, either they work 99.9% of the time, or else their failure rate is so high you have to abandon power management. In my experience, Sleep works much better on laptops than desktops.
Troubleshooting Windows 7 Sleep and Hibernate Topics
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'.
Does the Bios Support Sleep Mode?
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
Idea: See if there any updates for your BIOS. If so a later version may cure your sleep problems.
1) Navigate to the 'Power Options' (Start Search
Windows 7 Hibernate Problem
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.
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:
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.
Here is an utility where you can review firewall settings such as access control lists (ACL), or troubleshoot problems with network address translation (NAT).
Other reasons to download this SolarWinds Firewall Browser include managing requests to change your firewall settings, testing firewall rules before you go live, and querying settings with the browser's powerful search options.
Guy recommends that you download a copy of the SolarWinds free Firewall Browser.
The problem occurs whenever the computer awakes from a sleep, the taskbar disappears leaving only the the orb. This seems more common on laptops and computers with Nvidia drivers.
One workaround for the disappearing Taskbar is to restart Explorer.
This technique is no substitute for a proper fix, but it's quicker than a reboot. And I have a slightly better idea for those willing to create a .bat file and assign it to a keyboard shortcut.
Best Workaround for a Disappearing Taskbar