Power Options and Sleep Mode Problems

ByLine
Power Options and Sleep Mode Problems
Synopsis
This will show you some steps to help you troubleshoot and find out what is causing your sleep mode problem. These are the usual reasons for sleep mode problems.
How to Troubleshoot a Vista or Windows 7 Sleep Mode Problem

information   Information
This will show you some steps to help you troubleshoot and find out what is causing your sleep mode problem. These are the usual reasons for sleep mode problems. For more information, see: Windows Help and How-to: Turn Off a Computer FAQs
Note   Note

  • When your computer is in hibernation, the only way to wake it is to tap the case power button.
  • If this sleep mode problem just started recently, then you might consider doing a System Restore before or after trying the steps below if they do not help.
Common Problems:
  • Computer will wake up for no reason.
  • Sleep mode does not work any more.
  • Hibernate option is not available in Power Options, then you accidentally deleted the Hibernation file Cleaner in Disk Cleanup.
  • Screen saver not working.
Tip   Tip
BEFORE STARTING:Make sure you have the latest device drivers and BIOS installed for your motherboard.NOTE: A out-of-date video driver or other drivers are sometimes the source of sleep mode problems. It is best to keep these up to date to resolve issues found with them.





STEP 1
Check Your Mouse and Keyboard

NOTE: A wireless mouse and keyboard can cause your computer to wake up for no apparent reason, and to not wake up from sleep mode when you press a key or move the mouse. This may also cause your screen saver to not work to. If the computer is using an optical mouse, changes in light can cause the computer to wake.
For a USB Mouse or Keyboard:
1. Check the BIOS settings to make sure that you have a Legacy USB option enabled.​

For a Wireless Mouse or Keyboard:
1. Unplug the receiver on the back of the computer and test.​
2. If sleep or hibernation works now, then try:​
A) Download new drivers for you wireless mouse and test again with the receiver plugged in.​
NOTE: Always get your drivers from the source, never from Windows Updates. They do not work properly sometimes.
B) Disable the wireless mouse and/or keyboard wake up option in Step Five below. If you have to disable both of them, then you can wake the computer up by pressing the power button on the case.​
C) Time to get a new mouse and/or keyboard that is compatible with Vista.​


For a Optical Mouse:
1. Try not to have direct bright light shining on the sensor or moving around it.​





STEP 2
Check Advanced Power Plan Settings

NOTE: Power settings control the computer’s ability to go into and come out of sleep/standby mode.
1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
2. Click on the Power Options icon.​
3. Click on the Change plan settings link under your power plan. (See screenshot below)​
Change1.jpg

4. Click on Change advanced power settings. (See screenshot below)​
Change2.jpg

5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable. (See screenshots below step 10)​
NOTE: This will allow any Power Options that are grayed out to now work and not be grayed out.​
6. Recommended Settings for Sleep
NOTE: Sleep saves any open documents and programs to memory only, and then puts the computer into a low-power state.
WARNING: If you lose power to the computer, you will also lose what is in memory.​

Main Setting

Sub Setting

Recommendation

Hard disk



Set to at least 1 minute before the computer (Sleep after setting below) is set to sleep.

Sleep

Sleep after

This is for the computer. Set to at least 1 minute after Hard disk and Display is set to turn off.

Sleep

Allow hybrid sleep

Set to Off.

Sleep

Hibernate after

Set to Never.

USB settings

USB selective suspend setting

Set to Disabled.

Power buttons and lid

Start menu power button

Set to Sleep.

PCI Express

Link State Power Management

Set to Off.

Display

Turn off display after

Set to at least 1 minute before the computer (Sleep after setting above) is set to sleep. Usually set this as the same as the Hard drive is set to turn off.

Multimedia settings

When sharing media

Set to Allow the computer to sleep.


7. Recommended Settings for Hybrid Sleep
NOTE: Hybrid sleep saves your open documents and programs to memory and to the hard drive, and then puts the computer into a low-power state. After the Hibernate after time you set, it will then put the computer into hibernation.
WARNING: Use the same Recommended Settings for Sleep in step 6 above, except for these changes:​

Main Setting

Sub Setting

Recommendation

Sleep

Allow hybrid sleep

Set to On.

Sleep

Hibernate after

Set to at least 1 minute after the computer (Sleep after setting above) is set to sleep.


8. Recommended Settings for Hibernation
NOTE: Hibernation is a power-saving state that saves your open documents and programs to the hard drive and then turns off your computer. If Hibernate after is not listed, then make sure that you have the Hibernation File enabled or restored to. It is by default unless it was cleaned in Disk Cleanup.​
WARNING: Use the same Recommended Settings for Sleep in step 6 above, except for these changes:​

Main Setting

Sub Setting

Recommendation

Sleep

Sleep after

Set it to Never.

Sleep

Allow hybrid sleep

Set it to Never.

Sleep

Hibernate after

Set it to at least 1 minute after Hard disk and Display is set to turn off.

Power buttons and lid

Start menu power button

Set it to Hibernate.


9. Click on OK to apply​
10. Just exit out the other windows.​
Power_Options.jpg Options 1.jpg

11. Test sleep mode. If it is still not working correctly, then continue to the next step.​




STEP 3
Check Sleep State Settings in BIOS

NOTE: Make sure you have the latest Video drivers and BIOS for your motherboard. Read your motherboard manual to see if you have any jumpers or settings that sets different sleep voltages for USB.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In white line (Start Search) area, type cmd and press Enter.​
3. In command prompt, type powercfg -a and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will give you a report of the available sleep states for your computer and will attempt to report reasons why sleep states are unavailable. You will want to see if the ACPI S1 and/or S3 is listed.
CMD_Sleep_States.jpg

4. Restart the computer into the BIOS settings, and go into the Power Management section in the BIOS.​
NOTE: Usually you will press the F2 or Delete key as soon as your computer starts booting to enter the BIOS.
5. Make sure ACPI mode: S3 or S1 is enabled.​
WARNING: S1 (Sleep) and S3 (Hybrid deeper sleep). If you are running an incompatible video card, some or all of these states below may be unavailable. If one of the settings causes your computer to not wake back up afterwards, then reset the CMOS on the motherboard and restart the computer, or unplug the computer for a moment and plug it back in, and reset the BIOS back to the factory default settings.
BIOS_States.jpg

6. Make sure Wake on Ring and Wake on Lan are disabled.​
NOTE: This will help keep the computer from waking up on its own.​
7. Save the BIOS setting changes and exit to restart the computer.​
8. Test sleep mode. If this does not help, then move on to the next step.​




STEP 4
To See what had Waken Up Windows Last

NOTE: This will give you a list of items that woke up the computer last that may help narrow down what is waking up the computer.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In white line (Start Search) area, type cmd and press Enter.​
3. In command prompt, type powercfg lastwake and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Notice that I had USB\ROOT\HUB listed. For me, this would be the USB wireless mouse. Your list results will vary of course.​
cmd_lastwake.jpg





STEP 5
To List, Enable, or Disable Device Names Currently Configured to Wake Up the System From any Sleep State

NOTE: This will show you a list of devices that are able to wake up your computer to help you narrow down a device that may be responsible for waking up your computer. It does not mean that these devices are the ones that woke up your computer though, just that they are able to.
2. To List Devices that Can Wake Up the Computer
A) In the command prompt, copy and paste in bold: (See screenshot below)​
powercfg -devicequery wake_armed and press Enter.​
Device_List.jpg

B) Go through the list of devices to see if you have one you do not want to wake up your system.​
EX: A Network Device (Modem, Ethernet, etc.) or Wireless Mouse.​
C) If you found a device that may be causing the problem, then check with the STEP SIX section below first to see if you can disable a wake up option for the device in it's Power Management settings in Device Manager to test to see if that is it before proceding.​

3. To Disable a Listed Device From Waking Up the Computer
NOTE: Only do this step if you cannot do it from STEP SIX below using Device Manager instead.​
A) In the elevated command prompt, type below in bold and press Enter.​
WARNING: Be sure to write this device name down in case you want to be able to enable it again in step 4. Once you disable it, it will not be listed again in step 2A until enabled again.​
powercfg -devicedisablewake "exact name of device listed in step 2A"

NOTE: For example, if I wanted to disable the listed (step 2A) High Definition device (HDAC), then I would type powercfg -devicedisablewake "High Definition Audio Controller" and press enter.​

4. To Enable a Listed Device Again to Waking Up the Computer
NOTE: Only do this step if you cannot do it from STEP SIX below using Device Manager instead, or you have done step 3 above with the device.​
A) In the elevated command prompt, type below in bold and press Enter.​
powercfg -deviceenablewake "exact name of device listed in step 2A"

NOTE: For example, if I wanted to reenable the High Definition device (HDAC) that was disable and removed from the list in step 3, then I would type powercfg -deviceenablewake "High Definition Audio Controller" and press enter.​

5. When done, close the elevated command prompt, and test sleep mode.​




STEP 6
To Disable or Enable the "Allow this device to wake the computer" Option for a Device

Note   Note

  • Check your Network device. Network activity can cause the network hardware to wake the computer, especially when the network is always on (like cable and DSL connections).
  • High Definition Audio, if listed in STEP FIVE, may also rarely cause the computer to wake from sleep mode. You can disable (only option available) the device as a test in Device Manager to see before putting the computer to sleep. Just enable it again if it is not the problem.

1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
2. Click on the Device Manager icon.​
NOTE: You need to be in a Administrator account.
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. Open the device's list that you want to change. (See screenshot below)​
EX: Network Devices
5. Right click on the device name and click on Properties.​
EX: Network Devices
Device.jpg

6. Click on the Power Management tab. (See screenshot below)​
Power_Management.jpg

7. Uncheck Allow this device to wake the computer. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: To Enable it again, just check this instead. If you need to disable the wireless mouse and keyboard, then you can wake the computer by pressing the power button on the case.
8. If listed, check Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. (See screenshot below step 6)​
NOTE: This will turn the device off when the computer goes into sleep mode.
9. Click on the Advanced tab. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This is only for the Network device.
Advanced_tab.jpg Advanced_tab-2.jpg

10. Check the boxed in red Property: items below to see if they are set to Disabled in the Value: area. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: This area may be different for your particular network device since it is based on the driver, but it should be similar. You will be looking for any Wake on type property options listed.​
11. Click on OK to apply and close properties window. (See screenshot below step 6 or 9)​




STEP 7
Check the Screen Saver

NOTE: Some screen savers can interfere with the computer’s ability to go into and come out of sleep/standby mode. Disabling or changing the screen saver may resolve the problem.
1. In the Screen saver settings, select an alternate screen saver, or set it to None, then click on OK.​
2. Test sleep mode.​




STEP 8
Check Startup Programs

Note   Note


  • Many software components start up automatically with Vista and run in the background. Some of these programs may not be necessary, and can interfere with the sleep/standby mode. For troubleshooting purposes, use the following steps to prevent programs from starting up with Vista to see if this is the issue.
  • If you are having these problems, you can avoid from having to do this completely if you logoff and put the computer to sleep from within the logon screen.

1. Open the Start Menu.​
A) In the white line (Start Search) area, type msconfig and press Enter.​
B) Go to step 3.​

OR
2. Click on All Programs, Administrative Tools, and System Configuration.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. Under the General tab, dot Selective startup. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: When done with the test, dot Normal startup, to return to the default settings before the test, and click on OK.
5. Uncheck Load startup items and click on OK and restart the computer.​
NOTE: You will get a notification that you made changes to the Startup programs in the bottom right Notification area. Just ignore it for now. It will go away when you put it back to Normal startup after you finish.
System_Configuration.jpg

6. Test sleep mode.​
7. If unchecking (disabling) Load startup items fixed the sleep problem, then enable one startup item at a time and test to see if the problem occurs again. Continue enabling startup items, until you find the program that is causing the problem. Remove or update the problem program.​
NOTE: See Method One or Two here: How to Check and Change the Startup Programs in Vista
A) When done, change the setting back to Normal startup (step 4).​

8. If unchecking (disabling) Load startup items did not resolve the sleep problem, then set it back to Normal startup (Step 4) and go to the next step below.​




STEP 9
Check Scheduled Tasks for Programs

NOTE: Sometimes a program will have something scheduled to run that will wake the computer up. Try turning them off temporarily to see if it resolves the problem.
1. Check in the suspected program settings to see if there is a feature that may wake the computer.​
NOTE: Sometimes it can be the Auto-Update feature in the program.​
2. Check Task Scheduler for items that are set to Wake-Up the computer to perform it's action.​
A) Expand out the list in the left pane and click on the suspect item's folder. Double click on the task in the middle pane.​
B) Click on the Conditions tab.​
C) Uncheck the Wake the computer to run this task box.​

3. Check Windows Automatic Updates settings.​




STEP 10
Check Windows Sidebar Gadgets

NOTE: Sometimes a Windows Sidebar Gadget may cause the computer to not sleep on it's own.
1. Turn off Windows Sidebar as a test to see if your computer will enter sleep on it's own now.​
NOTE: Sometimes, you may need to restart the computer afterwards as well.​
2. If it does, then turn Windows Sidebar back on and turn off each Gadget one by one. Test sleep again after each one until you find the one causing the problem.​




STEP 11
Check Motherboard Jumpers

NOTE: A few motherboards have been reported has having jumpers on the board for certain functions (ex: USB device wake-up) that may need to be enabled or disabled.
1. Pull out or download your motherboard manual, and check for any such jumpers.​
2. If you have one that is related (ex: USB device wake-up), then test sleep mode inbetween toggling the jumper on and off.​




STEP 12
Reset Print Spooler

NOTE: This may help if your computer will sleep fine manually, but will not sleep automatically or not go to sleep at all. Credit to Artxie for this.
1. Open Services, and temporaily Stop the Print Spooler service.​
2. Open the Start Menu and type %WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers in the search line and press enter, then delete all files in this folder.​
3. In Services, Start the Print Spooler service. Close Services window.​
Note   Note
If the print spooler issue persists, the installed printer driver may not be compatible or corrupted. Check the printer manufacturer's website to download and install the latest Windows compatible driver for it.





STEP 13
Enable or Disable Windows Media Center Updates to Wake Up the Computer

NOTE: This will show you how to enable or disable the Windows Media Center (mcupdate) task from waking up the computer from sleep when it checks for Media Center updates in Windows 7 and Vista.




STEP 14
View and Override Power Availability Requests

By using power availability requests, applications, services, and drivers can temporarily disable power management features to accomplish user scenarios. Availability requests can prevent the display from turning off after inactivity, and prevent the computer from automatically sleeping, enable Away Mode, and shutting down.
requests.jpg
requestsoverride_Driver.jpg





STEP 15
Try System Restore

NOTE: If sleep/standby mode previously worked, attempt a system restore back to a time when it worked. If the problem has always existed, skip this step.
1. Save any open files and close all programs, then backup anything that you do not want to lose to be safe..​
NOTE: If System Restore resolves the problem, the problem is probably caused by software that was installed after the restore point date.



I hope this helps,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

I can't be bothered with a system reinstall. Is there a slight possibility that the fan's rpm speed isn't going as fast as it should? How about using motor oil on the bearing inside the fan to see if that will help how the fan spins and how fast it needs to go?
Isn't it the more cool the processor is the more power it has to stay running? Maybe that's why it won't go to sleep?
 
NO, do not put motor oil on it unless you want to risk frying your system. The fan has nothing to do with your system not going into sleep mode since the fan would be turned off in sleep mode anyways.

I wish we had a better solution for you, but it seems that a reinstall is the only thing left that may help. :(
 
Hey Brink and Yard dog,

I did a google search for "pc shuts off sleep mode" and found this link Sleep mode shuts down computer .
After reading the help people gave one of the things they ask is if the bios has been updated. Now as I said I haven't done anything bios related before. I couldn't help but go to the bios page you gave and click the "updating the bios" tab. Well after looking at the video of how to find an update on the bios. I went to the hp support website clicked the software & drivers link and put in my model number and then my OS version. Now I checked the Bios version and date of my bios which is 5.16 5/7/2008. When I looked down on the list and saw 1 for BIOS I clicked it and it shows and says this.

"M2N61-AR Motherboard BIOS Update (which is my motherboard model)
2008-9-30 , version 5.18 , 1.57M

M2N61-AR Motherboard BIOS update resolves issue with the computer shutting down and displaying message "ERROR Unsupported CPU installed. PC will automatically shut down in a few seconds."

My question now to you guys is should I download and install this update and see if this solves the sleep mode issue I have?
 
If you have , as you say, went to the HP site , put in your info, and it shows a newer Bios, then by all means, Make a restore pt. download that rascal , then install it. Post back how that works out. My computer has had an update of its Bios and i have mine installed. Note : Bios updates are far and few as they do not get updated as much as other software. So, if that one matches your Motherboard for your computer, it may very well solve that issue . May also explain why you were unable to follow the Tutorial / Brinks instructions.
 
God I'm so scared. So I create a restore point, download the BIOS Update, then install. When you mean Flash do you mean I have to touch one of those jumpers / buttons inside my motherboard?
 
No, it is in a zip folder, once extracted, read the readme file, it usually will say to press the flashme exe. file.
 
I'm creating a Restore point first. Just so you know I now downloaded the update but its not in zip format. It's in one of the Wizard type .exe format. How do I know if I am logged on as an administrator?

Edit: I just followed the instructions as the website told me and as it was on the wizard guide (basically to make sure all apps are closed and any saved documents etc). It asked me to restart I clicked yes. It booted up and for a few seconds it showed a black screen with a whole bunch of words saying my bios has been updated or something to that affect. That boot screen shows windows boots up and everything. Now I tried to go to sleep mode but it still shut off after a few seconds. So I went to my bios setup utility screen it now says 5.18 and the date is 6/18/2008 but when I look around the power tab all the options are all the same. Nothing has been added.
 
Last edited:
Very helpful post.
I would suggest skipping straight to set 5 rather than going through device manager and manually checking every device to see if it will bring your comp out of sleep.
 
Hi,

I have been trying to resolve a problem with my computer going in to sleep mode but unfortunately, all the steps that I have followed (from page 1 of this thread) have not resolved my problem. The issue is that I can get my laptop to go into sleep mode by pressing either the power button once, closing the lid or selecting 'sleep' from the menus but it will not go in to sleep mode automatically. It will activate the screen saver and then turn of the screen OK but just refuses to go to sleep mode. Any further help as to how I may resolve this would be most appreciated.

Many Thanks

Andy.
 
Hello Andy,

It sounds like you may have something is preventing your computer from being idle and allowing it to enter sleep mode after the amount if idle time you set it to do so. You might check to see if it may be caused by something that is running in the background. In addition, disconnect any external device (ex: USB, printer, etc...) from the computer to see if it may be a cause as well.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello Andy,

It sounds like you may have something is preventing your computer from being idle and allowing it to enter sleep mode after the amount if idle time you set it to do so. You might check to see if it may be caused by something that is running in the background. In addition, disconnect any external device (ex: USB, printer, etc...) from the computer to see if it may be a cause as well.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hi Shawn,

Many Thanks for your reply. I don't have any external devices connected to my computer right now so don't think it is that causing the problem. I did just check my scheduled tasks again and noticed that there are 4 tasks which appear to be running permanently. Could this be what is causing the problem? I've attached a screenshot of what they are so not sure what they are and if they should be running permanently.

Regards,

Andy.
 

Attachments

Could be. You could test by stopping them to see if your computer will go to sleep after the idle wait time you set. Do you have all programs closed as well?
 
No Luck I'm afraid. I stopped the running tasks/closed all programs but still sleep would not work. Interestingly, when I re-boot my computer and do not touch anything, just leave it in the User Selection screen, it will go into sleep automatically as expected. However, as soon as it is brought out of sleep with the press of a key/movement on touchpad, it will no longer go back into sleep mode. Could this give a clue as to what it may be?

Regards

Andy.
 
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, this did not fix the problem. However, I think I may have identified the issue. I have a device entitled 'NVIDIA nForce 10/100/100 Mbps Ethernet' which when disabled, causes the sleep operation to work correctly. The issue now becomes how to fix this. The driver version is 73.3.5.0 so I guess the first thing is to check it is up to date. The 'Allow computer to turn of the device' option is checked so that is not the issue. Must be a problem with the driver.
 
Andy,

Check using STEP 6 in the tutorial to uncheck Allow this device to wake the computer to see if you may be able to leave the network adapter enabled and still have the computer sleep afterwards. If you do not use the network adapter, then it's not going to hurt anything to just leave it disabled though.

Does the network adapter have any errors listed for it in the "General" tab under "Device status" in Device Manager?
 
The Allow this device to wake the computer option is unchecked. In the advanced settings, the only apparent option related to Wake is a WakeOnLAN from PowerOff option which is set to enabled. There are no errors in the general tab.
 
Disable that option, and also check in the "Advanced" tab for either option below to set them the same below if there to see if that may help.

Advanced.jpg
 
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