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Is Hibernation Screwed Up On Vista?

Milo at Windows Vista Weblog warns readers to “Beware of Windows Vista Hibernation”, saying he, and a bunch of other people, are seeing a problem with Windows Vista returning from hibernation. It’s a problem I’m seeing, too, a dreaded Blue Screen of Death when turning the computer back on, so bad to the point that I dread putting the computer into hibernation.

What problems am I seeing?

  • When the laptop is plugged in, if I press the button to hibernate, it doesn’t. The screen fades to black, but after a few seconds, all I have to do is move the mouse, and it comes back. It never actually hibernates and shuts off if plugged in, even overnight.
  • In order to hibernate, I must first unplug the computer.
  • When returning from hibernation, the computer must be unplugged. If I plug it in while resuming, and in most cases, even if plugged in at all, it will take a few minutes to resume, and the second it shows the mouse, the screen goes all blue (no text, just blue) and the computer reboots.

So, yeah, hibernation is completely broke, but then again, it didn’t work well on XP two years ago either. It seems like, on every hibernation-capable system I’ve owned, hibernation works as advertised the first month after installing Windows, and then breaks and gets progressively more broken as time goes by. I might have to reinstall Vista sometime this month just to improve matters.

How’s hibernation working (failing) for you?

June 4th, 2007 Posted by | Vista, Windows | 6 comments

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  1. Are all of your drivers WHQL? (not that it matters….)

    I’m testing Vista on a Dell Latitude D510/D520/D820 and they hibernate fine.

    2000/XP hibernate fine as well as long as you have decent drivers.

    Comment by DosFreak | June 4, 2007

  2. That’s almost certainly the following:
    1. Click on the battery icon in the toolbar, and choose “more power options”
    2. On the selected power plan, click the “change plan settings” link.
    3. Click the “Change advanced power settings” link
    4. Scroll down to multimedia settings, when sharing media. You will probably notice that one of the options is set to “Prevent idling to sleep”. Switch these over to “Allow the computer to sleep”.

    Repeat steps 2 – 4 for the other default power plans, and any you have created.

    Comment by John St. Clair | June 4, 2007

  3. Hi Nathan,

    I had the same experience, unplug –> perfect, but no chance when plugged in. But I found the solution, its not a bug, its a feature… ´when you have media shared, no one would be able to access a computer that is turned off, so something – I think it was Media Center – changes the energy settings.

    Check in energy Setting if you share Media… e.g. when you have started Media Center. That prevents the deep sleep mode… but can be easily repaired. Just change to “allow sleep mode”.

    German description here:

    Best regards

    Comment by GeorgB | June 4, 2007

  4. Do you have a Media Center Extender attached to your PC? I saw something just like this when I had changed the setting on Vista media center to respond to Extenders “even while sleeping”. The setting doesn’t do anything except seem to screw up sleep. I can’t remember what setting it was now, nor find it in MC at the moment.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Trimbo | June 5, 2007

  5. I run XP, Hibernation worked ok on clean installation. Once the “automatic updates” started comming in, messed up my computer in various ways. Hibernation is now erratic.

    Comment by John Tziatas | June 5, 2007

  6. Seems to be working better. I installed newer display drivers, and the crashing hasn’t happened yet. I changed the power button action from hybrid to sleep, and it actually worked. Still, I hate that sleep switches to hibernate while my laptop is in my bag. Is there any way to change how long it waits to switch modes?

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | June 10, 2007

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