General discussion

Why is it so hard to get my PC going after waking it up?

I have a computer, Windows 10, that I use about once a week or so. I leave it on in the interim and let it go to sleep. The problem is, when I need to use it, it takes forever to wake up from sleep, find updates, install them and do whatever it is it needs to do before I can use it. Often it goes on for 15 minutes before it is actually usable. Any suggestions how to speed this up? Or, at least let it update, etc. while it is sitting unused? Thank you!

Updated 3/15/19: Please see additional updates from Byron here:

--Submitted by: Byron Y. aka CNET username: BCY123

Post was last edited on March 15, 2019 12:24 PM PDT

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I hate "Sleep."

I generally do not suggest people using "Sleep". Rather I have them shut it down if possible. If you have a newer machine that has an SSD, then they boot so fast that sleep mode is generally not even needed anymore.

Sleep mode basically has one of a couple states: 1) it keeps power to the memory and lets everything else power down. 2) copies the contents of memory to the system drive, powers everything down, and then reloads it when you reactivate the system. This is also known as hibernate.

The problem with both these modes is that they literally resume where you left off, and in some cases (more often from hibernate) don't do so gracefully. I've built my own systems since 1992, and since the ability to sleep was introduced I have yet to have a system that recovers from sleep mode correctly, even the commercial ones I've bought. They always have "quirks". Even my current MSI gaming laptop commits graphical seppuku every time it tries to wake up from sleep mode.

Sleep mode also allows people to bypass system reboots. Sorry folks, but Windows NEEDS system reboots every once in a while to clear the crud out. If you're not ever actually rebooting the machine, the gremlins can accumulate and that's ...bad.

So, in short, if you have an SSD in your system, just use "Shut Down" instead. If not, at least reboot the system every few days, and I suspect your load times will get better.

You can also do a disk cleanup on your system drive and see if getting rid of junk on the system helps.

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true for windows

...but "sleep" is different in that RAM is kept active and refreshed constantly, instead of the current last situation being loaded to an hibernate file on drive. I just checked my linux and it's been "live" for 100 days due to using "sleep", and I am up in seconds soon as I want to use again.

Does windows 10 when put in sleep require a password entry again to wake it up? In Linux, any send to "sleep" requires security of password for anyone to wake up again. If windows does same, I could see even in it doing that if leaving a work computer for a short while for coffee or restroom break.

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(NT) in Windows the password requirement can be configured.
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Yes, unfortunately, Windows still needs ...

... a cleanup via a reboot occasionally. It also needs a reboot (and Win10 will force it) in order to install updates and/or upgrades. Which means it hasn't been perfected yet. Ask people that use z/OS how often that needs a reboot (or, as they call it, a re-IPL.)

But for me it isn't about the speed of the reboot - it is about the fifty or so tasks I sometimes have ready to switch to and continue with. When I suffer a reboot (via, say, a bloe screen) it can take me much more than half an hour to get to an approximation of where I was before that.

I also don't usually have problems with the resumed state of the machine - there may be some applications that don't sleep (or hibernate) gracefully, but what you describe reminds me of video driver trouble.

Sometimes memory fragmentation gets so bad that a reboot is unavoidable. And sometimes, just before that happens, the browser crashes and that clears up my memory fragmentation issues most of the time. And since my browser will happily restore all my sessions I am usually back real quick after that Wink

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Sleep or won't sleep....

I have a similar problem... my computer will sometimes do:
1. Never go to sleep at all
2. Go to sleep in 2-5 minutes even when I am actively working on the computer.
3. Go to sleep and take 2-3 (or more) to 'wake up'.

I have gone to the settings and its set how I would like, but it never seems to do it how I want it.

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The terms "sleep" and "hibernate" are very specific things. What you may be seeing is that SOME of your devices may be going to sleep if you are not using them for a length of time. For example, if there is no I/O to the disk, it may go to sleep and then take time to power itself back up (more noticeable with an HDD v. an SSD). Also, your screen can go blank. But what causes it? Well, under your Windows Settings, there is a System selection and under that are power settings. You can look there. Also, there are a lot of settings or "power options" in your control panel. There, you can change power schemes if you don't like your default scheme. If you don't pay for electricity, go for it in terms of high performance. (I pay for electricity so I just shutdown the PC a LOT). Remember, in addition to screen/monitor and HDD, you also have settings for other things such as your network interface card (WiFi included).

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Sleep is a Funny Thing

Not every program can handle the concept of "sleep". When you come out of sleep, programs continue where they left off. However, if a program was waiting for something to happen, like disk reads or writes, that "wait" is problematic since the time (and date) has suddenly changed and programs are not written with the concept of sudden clock changes in mind. Sometimes, I don't see the point of it as a normal "power on" boot is faster than trying to recover every single task in the system from where it left off. If you click on the "taskbar" at the bottom of your Windows and then select "task manager", you will see the vast number of tasks that have to be reloaded into memory and started at the point the task left off. All this BEFORE you can get control back. If you had done a shutdown and then re-applied power, I think you will find it quicker if only because you can start working before all of the tasks have restarted. If you are familiar with "services", many of these are not needed at boot time and have delays in starting up.

A simple test: try timing how long it takes to get running (the point where you can run something) after a shutdown and compare to how long it takes after a sleep session. Sleep is great if you have programs that would be problematic if they had to "start over" from the beginning which would happen if you shutdown the computer. For example, a program that takes 20 hours to complete and, if you had to start it over would just restart from the beginning. Ideally, people that write long-running programs should have implemented a checkpoint feature that will allow programs to recover. The difference between a programmer/system designer and just a coder.

Unless you are running some long-term programs like that, it's just as easy to do a shutdown. An exception would be if you take a long time to organize your screen. But you can test all this yourself. When the computer is shutdown, things that happen periodically stop. I don't think Windows Updates are usually an issue because I get very few of them even on a monthly basis. Now, Anti-Malware solutions, will still be downloaded but some of the (more expensive) versions at least wait a while before looking for updates. If you do sleep mode, the change in the time will usually kick off these things even if you didn't reboot from scratch so there is no savings there. In fact, with sleep, it could be worse because the system starts up all at once coming off sleep and programs that put delays in, at the beginning, won't do that with sleep recovery.

For me, I'd use sleep only if I have several programs running at once that I don't want to shut down. Like I'm in the middle of a drawing in one window AND have a word document I'm working on in another and, 12 windows later I have all these other things running. Even then, it might be easier just to save your work and pick it up later, especially if a week is going to go by.

Besides, if my cat walks across the keyboard, well, I've experienced negative things before. If the computer is powered off, no such problems. (I once had a book fall on the keyboard....)

Hybernate is a lot better than sleep mode if you are leaving your computer on for a long time. They are very different. One actually removes ALL power while the other leaves minimal power still on. Here is a good explanation of these modes:

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I agree with Hforman here on pretty much all he says. You don't say what your PC is, desktop or laptop; I'll assume desktop but if it is a laptop, after a week, it's quite likely to be Hibernating, rather than Sleeping - laptops automatically hibernate from sleep when the battery runs down to (usually) 5%. Admittedly, a sleeping laptop doesn't use much power to hold up the memory but most of mine will hibernate after a day or so max. And you wouldn't leave a laptop permanently connected to AC power, would you?

A powered on desktop Sleeping will not automatically hibernate but if you lived in Queensland, Australia, like me, you wouldn't do it because the chance of a power drop, even for a few seconds, is very common and you lose whatever is in memory and the restart can be troublesome, depending on what programs the machine was running when it went to sleep.

Hibernation has a history of problems restarting, most of which seem to be fixed now but odd ones still occur. With modern HDDs (SATA, 7200 rpm) there is not a lot of difference between a reboot and a wake from hibernation, a reboot may be even quicker, since you don't need to reload everything before you can get started, as Hforman explains.

My advice is when you are finished with the PC, power it down, mitigate any power outages, enjoy a clean machine every time and save the planet.

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I used to live in Milton, Q back in 1977. I don't remember a lot of power issues but lightning does cause the power to brown out. Of course, I worked only on mainframes back then and didn't get a personal computer until I was back in the U.S.

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Queensland vs. South Africa ...

Yes, unreliable power can be a great motive to shut down (or at least hibernate) your machine. But when rolling blackouts become the norm as over the last ten years in South Africa you fight back with battery driven inverters (like a six hour or so UPS.) The trouble for the power utility is that the load is not really reduced that way, just shifted by a few hours, as you recharge your batteries.

But all this preventive battery backing brings out another somewhat unexpected problem: A lot of "embedded" systems today run Java code (often even under Linux.) Our network routers are a good example. Another is your Satellite (and I guess cable) receiver and possibly recorder. I find that these appliances need an occasional reboot - probably due to memory leaks in the software or inefficient garbage collection. Otherwidse thye will eventually spontaneously freeze or act up in other ways (my satellite receiver will drop clock cycles and start recording the wrong programs.)

Most people never see this, because their power will eventually fail and the device will reset itself. My battery-backed devices need schduled restarts, because they never see a power failure (not that they don't happen, but my devices lead a very protected life ...)

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Re: sleep

This is somewhat vague.
- Do you wait till it goes sleeping, or do choose "sleep" from the shutdown menu?
- What updates is it doing every time?

Things to try:
1. Shutdown and restart in stead of sleep
2. Hibernate in stead of sleep
3. Find out what those updates are and fix that

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OP here

Well, did not think I was being vague! Let me expand!!

This is a Lenovo Win 10 desktop computer that I use once a week. If i turn it off, let it go to sleep...or whatever! When I return to it - it takes close to 10min or more to finally settle down so it is usable. The logon goes smoothly, but then the hard-drive churns away and the unit insists on updating the virus defs, cloud based files, WIN 10 updates, etc. It is like I have been away for a month not a few days!

I have another Desktop (Dell) I use most of the time and nothing like this happens if I am away for the same interval. It just boots and is usable within minutes. I have both machines setup similarly, but the the Dell is a breeze to use and the Lenovo is a real pain. Typically when I need to use that machine, I start it very first thing when I arrive (before coffee!!) That takes 10min or so......but if I am in a rush and need to access the unit quickly - well then I sit there and wait.


Post was last edited on March 15, 2019 12:09 PM PDT

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Let's do a check.
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Bob's Looking At This the Right Way

You have two computers. One starts up slowly, the other starts up right away. Without knowing the specifics, disk sizes and speeds, RAM, software/apps,... then it is hard to tell what is up. Could be the Lenovo needs de-fragmenting (unless it's running an SSD). Could be you have fastopen cache running at startup. I doubt you are getting weekly windows updates unless something is wrong with your update mechanism/structure. (Check on your update history). How often do you run CHKDSK? Too many variables. It is good to know that, from boot-up it is also slow. Cloud-based files? If you have a lot of those that need to be synced to your HDD, could be an issue. I guess what I'm saying is we need to start at the beginning. You might record the date and exact time you start the boot and then check out the system and app logs using Event Viewer. Errors? But, Bob's right! We need to start at the specifications for both computers.

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It might just be Lenovo

I'm a little late to this party, but I'll tell you, I bought a Lenovo because I thought I'd want a larger screen laptop. I quickly got to the point where I don't think I've turned the stupid thing on for a close to a year because it boots up & runs so slowly. I stick with using my Surface Pro. I've sworn never to buy Lenovo again.

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Can't be Lenovo ...

... I had company-issued Thinkpads (first IBM, then Lenovo) for over 20 years; never had anything like this going on.

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My last Lenovo had a failed HDD.
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Just out of curiosity ...

... what brand was the hard drive?

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A few

Seagates. We can see this issue often with a Speccy report which I hope you'll top post with the report so you can get forum members to dig in.

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Difference Between Work PCs and Home

In a work environment, the IT team usually configures the computers using a standard model, so everyone's computer is more or less the same. If you take a Lenovo computer, right out of the box (or many other makes), there is what is called "bloatware". Stuff the computer manufacturer loaded on your PC that you don't really use. IT departments get rid of that; home users? not so much... And then, since Lenovo is NOT IBM at all (it's a Chinese company), there was a time when the bloatware included spyware. Constantly trying to send information overseas (you'll have to look up when that was).

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Could it be that you ...

... synchronize things with cloud storage, such as Dropbox? Could it further be that the work you would like to do quickly once a week depends on network bandwidth? In that case I could see a conflict in that you and the cloud synching service compete for your bandwidth. In addition, there could be all the other "networky" things, such as AV updates, Windows upgrades, even relaying Windows upgrades to other machines (there are lots of ways how MS can take advantage of your network ...)

As you can see, I suspect mostly network related issues - just a gut feeling ...

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Time for a new PC

I think you will be less stressed if you just rrplace that PC. Get one with an SsD that will boot up in seconds

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I was never a really big fan of SSD's but my latest computer came with a small SSD and I just recently upgraded it to a larger one. Like you stated replace the drive with a SSD and put the computer to shut down! It will reboot quite fast! That should cure the hours wait time!!

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Something to try ...

If my suspicion (and not just mine, it seems) is correct and your delays are due to excessive network access, then it should give you a marked improvement if, before waking it up, you disconnect it from the network. Most things that want to reach out will give up real quick, some others may complain via a popup message or some such. Then, after a while, you can plug the network cable back in and see if the network starts getting active then.

As an aside - you might also have network traffic issues due to software you may not even be aware of - your machine may be part of a botnet sending spam emails all over the place, take part in a DDOS attack or send all your private details to (your choice of) Google, Facebook, the NSA, China or Russia (or quite probably all of the above.)

If whatever you do on that machine once a week doesn't require a network connection you could just disconnect, wake up, do your work, then connect and after the system calms down put it to sleep again.

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I think you may have nailed it.

I think you may have nailed it. I run Norton Security Suite and also the Paid version of MalWare Bytes. Call me paranoid but you'd be surprised how many things "try" to sneak in on the coattails of legitimate things!!

Quoting you:
"As an aside - you might also have network traffic issues due to software you may not even be aware of - your machine may be part of a botnet sending spam emails all over the place, take part in a DDOS attack or send all your private details to (your choice of) Google, Facebook, the NSA, China or Russia (or quite probably all of the above.)"

I think you possibly(?) "Nailed It"!
If this is the case they're not going to give you a hold your pants on while we catch up, they'll just tie things up till "they" get caught up!
If nothing else if I were the original poster I'd be scan the daylights out of the computer "Just To Be Sure"!! That's my story and I'm sticking with it!!!!

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Just Remember

The OP's other computer does NOT have the same problem. I would assume that, if this was a network issue, BOTH computers would be the same. I could be wrong though.

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My HP does the same thing!

Sleep, hibernate, or start up, it takes at least 10 minutes of heavy disk activity (100% sustained) before I can get back my HP laptop up to speed. I had given up finding a solution and just plan ahead. That's not a very good solution. Once it passes that magic point, it runs fine.

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I've used sleep for years and I've never seen a problem.

However I do it manually.

When I want to use the desktop I turn on the monitor and tap a key on the keyboard.

Within a second I'm back at the desktop and from there I go on about my business.

When I'm done using the machine I back it down to the desktop and put it in sleep and turn off the monitor.

My power profile does not allow sleep or turning anything off in auto mode.

What's all this updating stuff?

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Agree About Updates

I said before that there aren't THAT many updates for Windows that I know of, but I do get frequent updates to a/v (Norton). A lot of things are geared to the system clock. That is, even if you "sleep" or "hibernate", when you wake the machine up, the clock and calendar has changed and programs running, like anti-malware, will immediately start updating. But that happens even if you do a shutdown.

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The OP will need to say what these updates are.

My anti products update often but it's a background task and does not interfere with me coming out of sleep mode.

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