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My computer has fallen asleep and it won't wake up!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 18, 2011 5:18 AM PST

My computer has fallen asleep and it won't wake up!

I have a perplexing situation with my three-year-old Toshiba laptop. If I resume working after allowing the computer to hibernate, a bit after that (maybe 10 minutes) the screen goes blank--no mouse--no background. Hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete does not bring up the Task Manager. Nothing I do seems to work except physically shutting the on/off switch, waiting a bit, and rebooting. I get a message upon reboot that the machine was not shut down properly. The machine has an AMD 64 X2 Athlon processor 1.7Gb. I have 2 GB of RAM installed and Windows 7 Home premium. The drivers seem to be all up to date. I have an active antivirus/firewall running.

What would cause such a problem? Any suggestions in solving the issue? This is driving me nuts. If I don't allow the computer to hibernate, I can run it all day without any problems. Thank you in advance.

--Submitted by Robert F.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Toshiba laptop going blank after return from Hibernation --Submitted by DTavona

Windows 7 Home Premium could be your problem --Submitted by darrenforster99

Computer won't wake up --Submitted by Gcmartt

I KNOW --Submitted by Glanz4

Narcoleptic Computer -Submitted by 1anson

Thanks to all who contributed!

If you have any additional advice for Robert to try, please post them as I'm sure folks would love hear about it. Thanks!
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by LostValley / February 18, 2011 8:32 AM PST

Perhaps it didn't quite pass your last bounce test.

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wake up
by sasiadan / February 18, 2011 8:39 AM PST

Try throwing a bucket of cold water in its face.

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Sleeping computer
by redemom / February 18, 2011 8:45 AM PST

That happened to my computer and my computer genius friend simply rebooted my router. Which I should do once a month anyway.

Good luck.

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My computer has fallen asleep and it won't wake up!- New!
by Eden Jade / February 18, 2011 8:50 AM PST

My grandson is a computer geek and he said NEVER put any computer in hibernate mode b/c it messes with something that causes it not to wake up when you need it. I'm not sure why hibernate is even on a computer but don't do it. Also, if you keep shutting it down manually, you WILL ruin the on/off switch b/c it happened to a friend of mine. You should always shut your P.C. down properly to avoid damage.

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What's difference between Sleep and Hibernate and Standby?
by 1Chris / March 6, 2011 1:36 AM PST

I never could get a straight answer about this? Anyone know.

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My Toshiba Laptop fell asleep as well
by lacawana / February 18, 2011 8:50 AM PST

We have a Toshiba Satellite laptop that we bought in 12/2009. Right before it was 1 year old and still under warranty, this started happening to us as well. We immediately called Toshiba whi suggested ultimately that we re-image the computer ocmpletely and to call them back when we were ready after saving all perosnal documents. After reading (google is great) and playing we figured out how to disable the hibernation. Since we are almost always on this computer, didn't really find a need for it. It shouldn't happen though. Interesting that another Toshiba owner has the same issues though. We have severl friends who recommended Toshiba and never had this issue with theirs.

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Laptop falls asleep and won't wake up.
by davewhitney / February 18, 2011 8:52 AM PST

I have experienced the same problem with a Toshiba laptop. The only way I can wake it up is the disconnect the power input, remove the battery, wait a minute, and then reconnect. This definitely works but I do not know what causes the problem in the first place.

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by mikemun / February 18, 2011 9:01 AM PST

Turn off the hibernation mode.

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to simple
by susanai / February 20, 2011 6:08 AM PST
In reply to: Simple are absolutely correct. That mode should never be on. The answer was so simple, 'simple', that when I read you I just had to smile. BTW, you gave me my first smile of the day. Thanks.

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by pjbackman / February 21, 2011 3:38 AM PST
In reply to: to simple

But then why is there even a hibernate/sleep mode? If the mode should work. Period. And that is the question. The question wasnt whether the mode should be used, but why it wont wake up. So your answer was simple...but worthless.

Answers like this annoy me.

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by Zlobnyx / February 25, 2011 10:37 PM PST
In reply to: worthless

As everything in any OS commercially available, "if the mode exists... it should work" motto is not applicable - quite a big of features, functions, modes, etc. are completely useless for daily use, conusmes your valuable disk space and memory and slows the computer beyond recognition. What would you say about Windows bootup in 1,3 seconds? Office applications starting in 0,1 second? That's a reality - just throw away unnecessary Windows functions and you'll get any old PC prforming faster and safer than any modern machine you can buy for money. But do not do it yourself - it should be done by professionals, who know the tricks. Again, "if the **** is there..." does not mean you have to pick it up and to taste just to get sure it is ****, indeed...

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Hibernation question
by pauly1651 / February 18, 2011 9:04 AM PST

The first thing I would do is go into the Power Options settings in Control Panel, and turn OFF hibernation. Do NOT use hibernation at all. The second thing is this: do NOT run your laptop all the time. Somefolks leave there laptops on all day long, this IS a BIG mistake! Laptops by nature, run hotter than a tower PC, so leaving it running is a good way to build up too much heat, and shorten the life of your laptop. Unless you have the money to blow on a new laptop every year, and don't mind having to transfer your data and pictures to a new laptop in the process, than leave it on whenever you want. Cooling pads help, but it is still not good to leave them on too much. The best thing to do is turn off all the power saving features, and turn off the laptop via the Windows GUI, when ever you aren't working on it.

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I disagree
by hicksticks / February 25, 2011 8:53 AM PST
In reply to: Hibernation question

I disagree. Well designed laptops by nature do not run hotter than towers. In fact, you could argue that they run cooler because they are designed with components that require less power and thus produce less heat.

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No, I disagree with you.
by pauly1651 / February 25, 2011 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: I disagree

Laptops DO run hotter, period!
I am a IT technician, and have been working with towers, and laptops for many years now. Yes the components may use less energy, but even the best designed laptop is going to get hotter then a tower when left on for the same length of time. Get a clue about what you are talking about.

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No, I disagree with you, too.
by tomdham / February 25, 2011 1:37 PM PST
In reply to: I disagree

Laptops most certainly DO run hotter, even with cooling pad.
My HP runs 10C higher than my PC and if left on too long, like overnight, will shutdown on overtemp.

Try a program called Speccy (free) from Piriform to show the temperatures of your CPU cores and RAM. (
It is a great program for monitoring just about everything on you machine.

As far as hibernate. My wife's VAIO has the same problem when closing the lid. Just about every time she opens the lid up comes the "chkdsk" screen.
Just turn off hibernate.

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The market dictates this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2011 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: I disagree

The market wants these i7 quad core hot air machines. Someday it till get better but you see folk making a beeline to what they think is the fastest machines only to find themselves with hot laptops.

There are well designed dual code i7 laptops but folk are not interested.

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The second thing is this:do NOT run your laptop all the time
by Jump / February 25, 2011 10:01 AM PST
In reply to: Hibernation question

I am also going to disagree with this answer. I have an IBM R60 that virtually is never shut down (over a 5 year period). Its carried all over the country in various climate conditions and we have Never experienced heat related problems.
And if we are shouting out credentials, I have a EE degree and have been designing computers and computer systems since the early 70s so what, does that mean my answer trumps yours?
By the way we also have a T500 and a T61 sitting in our living room that are Never turned off.
I'd also shout out all my customers in the aerospace industry that never turn off their laptops either but you get my point.

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by mavfan2 / February 18, 2011 9:27 AM PST

Do you have a USB cord connected, or do you have a SD card inserted in the machine? I had a desktop that would shut down randomly and I didn't have the slightest idea what it could be after extensive checks. It turns out it was a bad USB port. I had attached a camera to the computer and when I removed the camera I left the USB cord attached and this was the cause. Once I removed the cord the problem was solved and I could confirm this was the issue because I can still re-create the problem by attaching a USB cord to that one port.

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by PCFerret / February 18, 2011 10:11 PM PST
In reply to: peripherals

Never remove the device from the end of the cord; always unlug the cord at the computer or the PNP won't see the disconnect and handle it properly! Had that poblem a few years ago.

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Yes, turn off Hibernate
by chf_2258 / February 18, 2011 9:30 AM PST

I have had problems with hibernate in the past also. I would suggest trying sleep mode in lieu of hibernate. Also, as this maybe a sign of a potentially bigger problem, backup all of your important files when you get a chance. That way, if turning off hibernate doesn't fix the problem, you can re-format your hard-drive and see if that helps.

Good luck.

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Sleep mode YES!!...
by JCitizen / February 28, 2011 7:34 AM PST

I was wondering how many posts until someone wisely suggested this! My laptop works perfectly with sleep mode.

The strange thing is it seems Vista doesn't handle sleep mode very well on desktops(and other forms according to clients of mine). Almost any driver would break every-time my PC goes into sleep mode.

SP2 did help this some, but I still get things all goofed up after returning from sleep mode. At least now the sound, keyboard, and mouse finally started working after the next to last service pack.

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NVIDIA chipset? If so, that's why. They're defective.
by Technojunkie2 / February 18, 2011 9:34 AM PST

About 3 years of NVIDIA's chip production was defective, eventually failing from thermal stress. Most AMD notebooks used to use NVIDIA chipsets so they were hit hard but Intel notebooks with dedicated NVIDIA GPUs have the same problem. You likely have a chipset in the defective GeForce 6100 to 7150 series. Almost all current AMD notebooks use reliable ATI GPUs.

I recommend selling the notebook as broken and putting the money towards a new notebook with an ATI GPU.

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I think you are correct
by jagans78 / February 27, 2011 7:39 AM PST

I have an HP Presario with the same AMD processor and an NVIDIA Chip. I had to replace the MoBo with an Intel based board and it fixed that laptop. The AMD would start up and you would see the screen go dim just before the computer died. They had two big fans on that Mobo but it still failed. Too much heat. I would never buy an AMD based Laptop because of the heat. I have owned desktops with AMD but to be honest two of those failed too after a couple of years. I now buy Intel Processor based machines only. Never had a problem with Intel.

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My computer has fallen asleep and it won't wake up!
by ettu2002 / February 18, 2011 9:38 AM PST

As a computer tech in most cases i disable hibernation, because I have found it seldom works as it is supposed to for pc or laptop.
Each manufacturer has thier own methodology in regards to hibernation where MS has 1 methodology, & often the user has no idea of either method.
Simply iput, if hibernation works you lucked out. Often the problem can be a minor incompatability in the video card or other device that stops the machine from waking clean, or it could be something connected via USB.
One thing I often find is people will let the laptop go into hibernation & assume they have switched it off & then they will turn the mains power off, next thing they try to turn the laptop on in the morning & the fun begins.
Over night the battery has run down, & the laptop has powered off uncleanly.
Or the user puts the laptop in his/her bag & poof cooked laptop - in hibernation it is still generating heat.
so for safety I generally advise set the machine to always on, but have the screen power off if you need, then just touching the machine will wake it, so there is no confusion.

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by falec_illmore / February 25, 2011 9:16 AM PST

That is incorrect; in hibernate mode, the computer saves the current memory state to the hard disk and shuts off. It takes no power and generates no heat. It is off. On resume, it reloads the saved memory state and hopefully works like it did before it hibernated. I use it all the time with no problems on my laptop. That said, if you have problems with it, I agree it makes sense to disable it. I use it because hybernate takes about 1 min to resume, but about 10 minutes to start up.

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Difference between Hibernate and suspend
by lundbye / February 27, 2011 2:30 AM PST

Hibernation is when the computer is turned completely off and memory is saved on the harddrive. You should press the powerbutton and read the data into memory again to continue.
Suspend is when the screen, harddrive and other things is shut off, and the computer is ready to work when the mouse, keyboard or the laptop cover is opened.
In the answers there is many mistakes regarding to this.

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Black screen
by Laceyjane / April 24, 2011 5:21 AM PDT

This is very helpful to me. I tried to turn my PC on and nothing happened. I had put it into hibernate the day before and didn't get back to it.I then forgot to turn it off at night as I always do. It was dead today. I pressed power off for five seconds or so, then plugged it in. Fortunately, it worked after tellin me that it hadn't been shut down correctly. This is an 5 month old HP Pavilion. I am a 72 yo Grandma shut-in enjoying my PC, but I rely on folks like you to help when anything goes wrong. Thank you.

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by spiderman1957 / February 18, 2011 9:38 AM PST

disable the hibernate feature its not needed

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Hibernate in windows
by Donatom / February 18, 2011 11:51 AM PST
In reply to: asleep

I am a repair tech in CT. Hibernate has been a tricky option in Windows since it's inception. I turn it off in every machine that leaves my shop. Especially in 'Laptops' where you are at the mercy of that manufacturers programmers who write that particular models utility software that overrides windows built-in utility. I agree with 'asleep', turn it off and use 'save as' and resume your work later by opening the item in the 'Doc' folder. A few extra clicks is a small price for a migraine.

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On this whole chain.
by tmngr6 / October 22, 2012 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Hibernate in windows

I started in this business in 1985, I agree not to use hibernate. I See no reason ever to turn a computer off if you do not want to. However I do believe from time to time a computer should be restarted. It is an odd event, but for some reason they do not like to be left alone for long periods. They will commit something egregious to themselves out of loneliness, I think interaction. None the less, you have to do something most every day. They do get old. Software is designed with the latest hardware abilities in mind. Processors, quad core, multi threading. Lots of cache. So eventually, they just need to buried in the back yard (so to speak).
If anyone has a real answer please post it. Happy

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