SOLVED: Windows Vista Sleep Problem, Laptop Not Waking Up


Are you puzzled by Your Microsoft Widows Vista laptop not getting back from the sleep mode? Don't you hate it when you need to reboot your laptop and lose all your settings and data in the process? You are not alone, I had the problem with Vista sleep, and so do many folks I met online. Read on, this could solve your problem of Vista not coming back from sleep.


A few weeks ago I showed you how to fix a Windows Vista Sleep or, better, Hibernate Problem. The problem stemmed from the disabled hibernate file in Vista. Indeed, during the last month or so now, I had no problems with Windows Vista hibernate. However, as I also pointed out, Vista Sleep proper (not Hibernate) still failed from time to time.


Here is my theory: Windows Vista Sleep is a combination of Suspend into memory and then, if allowed, Hibernate after a while. Microsoft calls this combination Hybrid Sleep. It is very useful for a number of reasons. Since hibernate part of hybrid sleep now works after the fix, the suspend part comes into question. I realized recently that Windows Vista suspend power requirement is not insignificant. That is opposite to hibernate which takes no power at all. Some claim that suspend could last 60 hours on a full battery. Others report maybe just 7 hours. What if your battery is not new? What if your battery is really really used up? What if your laptop runs out of juice before hibernate kicks in? If it does, you will come back to your laptop, press the "On" button, and you will not be able to recover, ending up with a lights on and blank screen. This is what a lot of people find.


I've played around with this theory and found it makes a lot of sense. So based on this theory, here is my solution #2 to the problem of Vista not waking up properly from sleep. Again, I'm assuming that your Vista Hibernate is already working fine. If not, go back and fix Vista Hibernate first following these directions.

To fix Sleep proper, you want to make sure that Hibernate kicks in on time. You know approximately how long your laptop lasts on battery. I would give it about that much time at most before I'd kick it into hibernate. You can accomplish this easily through Windows Vista Power Settings.


Let's set Hibernate to kick in 60 minutes after sleep. If your battery lasts less than an hour, make the appropriate setting less than 60 minutes. Here's how:

In Vista go to Start/Control Panel/Mobile PC/Power Options/. Under your current selection of plan, click on Change Plan Settings/Change Advanced Settings. Then select Allow Hybrid Sleep ON (on battery). Second, set Hibernate (on battery) to 60 minutes. If your battery only lasts 10 minutes, set this to 10 minutes or maybe even just 4 minutes.

Save all settings and close all Power Options windows. That is it. You're done. Your laptop will now come back from sleep alright because it will never run out of juice during sleep. That is, it will kick into Hibernate before running out of juice.


This solved my laptop's sleep problem. What about you? Have you been able to follow advice above? Has that helped you not lose data after putting your laptop to sleep? Let me know. Just leave a comment below, thanks!


Other issues: As I was playing around with the sleep and hibernate options, I got a glimpse of a possible solution to another related problem some people were reporting in the help forums. They found their Vista laptop came awake during sleep repeatedly and they lost all data and found a depleted battery when they returned back to their laptop. If you would like to find a solution to that problem let me know and I will investigate further. If the problem is happening with your laptop, please leave me as much information as you can in the comment below. Or, hit "Follow through Google Friend Connect" on the side.


Anonymous said...

thanks man hope it works

Eddy, said...

Tried everything and nothing. I have a Toshiba M50. I got it to start out of the blue, then again it went to sleep and now I cannot recover it. The fan goes quick on start, screen goes black, the computer seems to be on and nothing else.

Please advice if you have any additionalinfo to re start my laptop.

Thanks, Ed

Mentor Matt said...

Ed, Thx for explaining. You may want to repeat the procedure. Also, I recently found that attaching an external monitor could help you debug the situation as the picture MAY appear there.

Mentor Matt said...

Eddy, I had a similar occurance yesterday again! I solved it! I will write about it in a few minutes. It will be the newest post, so just go to Annoyances-Resolved Front Page later today!

Anonymous said...

I'm having a problem with my acer aspire 5100 laptop (had for about 3+ years). I upgraded the RAM from 2gb to 4gb and then installed windows 7 home premium 64 bit since it only had vista home premium 32 bit installed. Since upgrading the laptop has been unable to wake from sleep. I have tried both solutions you have for the windows vista problem and so far no luck except for hibernate working. With 4gb of RAM hibernate does take a little while if I am running multiple programs and going between classes at college.

Ever since I upgraded the laptop is saying replace the battery im not sure if that could be the source of the problem or not. Hopefully it is not the battery as I cannot really afford a new battery at the moment.

any help towards a solution would be greatly appreciated

Mentor Matt said...

Anonymous, I see you had success switching to hibernate. That seems like a good idea. Are you saying hibernate and return from hibernate works for you now on Windows 7? If that is the case, stick with it! I understand it takes longer than sleep but it is worth the wait. When you have more time, describe exactly what you see/hear when you put your laptop to sleep/hibernate and post your info here. Maybe then we'll be able to help.

Anonymous said...

hey, its me again

when i put my laptop to sleep it seems to work fine, but its just when im waking up the laptop where nothing happens, all the power lights and evrything come on, but the screen just stays black. at first i was able to wake it up from sleep if i didnt wait too long, only if it was asleep for long periods of time it wouldnt work. but now it wont wake from sleep period.

i always have it plugged it so im not sure if sleep still uses battery power to keep the session state in the memory or not, which in that case my 'replace battery' warning might actually be the cause.

i did read somewhere that it could also be a problem with the RAM i put into the laptop. i havent had a chance to put the old RAM back into the laptop to find out if that could be the problem.

i think thats about all i can tell ya. ill let u know if anything else comes up.

Mentor Matt said...

Nice to see you back. Yes, let's do one thing at the time now that the symptoms are so clear. Let us know what happened when you get your old memory back in!

Anonymous said...

Hey its me yet again,

So i tried putting the old RAM back in and surprise surprise, it wakes up from sleep mode, but after putting the new RAM in again after that still a no go for waking up. so now I'm not exactly sure what to do. should i bring the RAM back and try another set? or stick with hibernate and leave the new RAM in the computer? or go back to 2GB of RAM, return the new RAM and have the ability to sleep?

Matt | vista sleep problem solved said...

Great, sounds like you are on the right track! Thanks for your feedback!

Dhimas said...

Hi there,
thank you for the tutorial, but I found it not working on my Compaq CQ40-416AU laptop. If I put it on a sleep with the adapter plugged in, it works normally (as even before your tutorial does) but if it runs on battery power only, it just wont wake up from a sleep. Can you gimme advise, I would be very appreciated it. Thank you.

Lindenwood said...

Any ideas why the hibernation/sleep issue would be occurring while the computer is plugged in (i.e. not just relying on battery)? The problem did seem to start after I ran Disk Cleanup, and I have played with the settings as per the previous solution, but it is still not waking from hibernation.

(I'm running Vista on a Compaq Presario V6700...)

vista will not resume from sleep solution said...

Lindenwood, If you look at other posts in this blog, they are mostly all concerning a laptop which is running plugged in, not on the battery. You should be able to find some extra pointers. If your problem is appearing after Disk Cleanup, this is very suspicious. Try this link:

Anonymous said...

My laptop display goes black with power cord after 15 sec. Pull power cord, hit Fn F8 comes back. External monitor works both ways. Related to sleep issue? Inverter? OS is Vista on Dell 1525

Disclosure said...

Anon, Sounds more like a video display driver issue. Have you tried upgrading your display driver? And is your computer fully functional when you use an external monitor?

javieth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nikkewl said...


I've upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 on my Asus A6T. After a long period having it, I have been having some issues with turning it to sleep. It has been set to sleep and then when I turn it back on, the machine starts working and my screen is just blank. I then managed to fix it by closing the lid and turning it on again but now it doesn't work no more. I tried to take out the battery for several minutes and turned it on again. I then could choose from these two options: #1: Repair (recommended) #2: Startup normally. I chose #1 of course and after the repair, it restarted. Now it was back to from the beginning where the screen was just blank.


Disclosure said...

Nikkewl, If the screen is just blank, I would try another screen. Attach a separate monitor through the VGA output on your laptop and let us know what you see. Thanks for sharing!

dell laptop battery said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Disclosure said...

Dear, if you included information on how your batteries might help with the Windows Vista Sleep problem, you would look a lot less like a spammer... you know, spam is unwanted comment posting. So when you come back, add some value to the readers not just to yourself and your post might stick!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am having the same problems, I have an acer aspire 5535 and this has only just happened today. I have not been able to get the laptop restarted after it went into sleep mode. I have taken the battery out, unplugged and then pressed the power button. I have pressed the fn f3 button, pressed the power button on and off as other forums suggested but have not been successful at anything.
Can you give me any suggestions.

Disclosure said...

Hi, Anonymous, it appears you have not tried anything that the original post suggests. Please let us know exactly how you followed the procedure described above and what exactly happens. Then maybe we can help further.

holly said...

Hi, I have an Acer Aspire 5100 that has had a problem EVEN after doing a complete restore with the backup dvd's. The system goes to "sleep" just fine. But when you try to hibernate it probably 8-9 times out of 10 it will only go so far and then it will just sit there. Power light on and front lights on, black screen on internal AND external monitors. The only thing to do is to hold power button and reboot. I have not run disk cleanup manually. This happens no matter what time of day I hibernate it and whether I have a bunch of things open or only one. when hibernated. Also, does hibernation on some systems use battery power?? as I have a totally different laptop HP DV7 that when I hibernate with a full battery and leave it overnight, it's low or almost dead in the morning. Thanks.

Disclosure said...

Hi Holly, there is a difference between "sleep" and "hibernate". Sleep drains the battery power and "hibernate" does not. How old is your battery in your laptop and how many minutes does it hold charge?

holly said...

Actually right now the laptop is being run without a battery, but even when I had a good battery in it still had this problem.... The Acer that is. As for the DV7, I'd say it is dying... lasts about 40 minutes or so. But still, I know the differences and in both cases I am hibernating.

Disclosure said...

Ok, I think your battery lifetime is short, that might be why.

Did you heed the advice above in the original post? Quoting

"Second, set Hibernate (on battery) to 60 minutes. If your battery only lasts 10 minutes, set this to 10 minutes or maybe even just 4 minutes."

Or are you buying a new battery?

Need more info to help further.

holly said...

On the Acer there is no battery at all.. I am plugged into AC and it happens even if I hibernate manually. So timing is not an issue. The other machine I know hibernates fine. I manually tell it to hibernate, it goes through the routine and then turns off. Even if at that point I had 80% battery, when I try to turn it back on it has almost no battery, OR it won't turn on until I put it on the power cord. So somehow it seems to still be using power even after hibernating (I thought that wasn't possible).

Disclosure said...

This is quite confusing indeed. Why don't you switch to sleep instead of hibernate, you said sleep is working fine for you? Or do you now have problems with sleep mode too?

Beijinger said...

Just two cents from me,
if you still got the problem, try these two:
(1) cancel the password for your computer at power option management (my guess is this is going to take some energy from the computer when it is just waking up.)
(2) go to "System Configuration", under "General" tab, uncheck "Load startup items".

Before these two steps, I always got the intermittent waking up failure even though I tried every method mentioned above. Now my computer is so docile. Enjoy the Internet! Enjoy the knowledge! Enjoy today!

PS: if you sometimes got the "blue dead screen", try to uninstall "Hotspotshield". It could be one of the reasons.

Anonymous said...

i understand what to do nut how can you do this with a blank screen my laptop (packard bell easynote sj82) wont even start. It just starts and then i hear alot of noises from cd,etc and then nothing,the only thing i hear after that is my fan (i think) working realy realy slowy. please help me nice site(blog lol)

Disclosure said...

You seem to have electric power to the laptop. Also, the CD seems to be operating, as is the fan.

The next 2 steps for you:

1) Describe exactly what laptop lights you see come on as you turn the laptop on

2) Plug in an external monitor (use your VGA connecting cable for that) and describe what you see on the external monitor.

Then write back with your findings so we can further assist.

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