Windows 10: Troubleshooting sleep/hibernation issues on your Dell PC

Windows 10: Troubleshooting sleep/hibernation issues on your Dell PC



The following article provides troubleshooting steps to resolve an issue with sleep/hibernation mode on a Dell Desktop / Notebook running the Window 10 operating system.


Are you having trouble with Sleep or Hibernation mode on your PC?

This article takes you through a series of ordered steps to identify and resolve any issues with the sleep/hibernation mode in the Windows 10 operating system.

Computer Power States

  • S1/S2/S3 - Sleep: Your PC appears to be off. It uses less power than leaving the system powered on but uses more power than hibernation. S3 consumes less power than S2, and S2 consumes less power than S1. Your system will usually only support one of these three states. In these states, the PC's volatile memory is kept refreshed to maintain the system state when it went to sleep. Some internal components continue to get power so the computer can wake from input from the keyboard, LAN, or a USB device. (This is much like pausing and un-pausing the system.)
  • S4 - Hibernate: Your PC appears to be off. This mode uses the lowest level of power consumption, short of turning the PC off. In this state, the PC saves the contents of the volatile memory to a hibernation file to maintain the system state when it went into hibernation. Some internal components remain powered so the computer can wake from input from the keyboard, LAN, or a USB device. The working context can be restored as long as it was stored on non-volatile media. (This is like copying all open and running apps to media and shutting down, then reloading the saved apps and data on startup.)

For more information on System Power States please refer to the following documents:


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Troubleshooting Steps

Run through the steps below in order to identify and resolve your issue:

Confirm the physical setup of your PC to ensure it isn't affecting how your system is operating:

  • Check all the cabling going to and from your PC. Is it firmly seated in place?
  • Check all powered peripherals have mains power
  • Check no media is in any reader through the PC booting
  • Check no input device is being crushed or activated by another device or object
  • Check no damage has occurred or liquid has been spilt on the PC or its devices
Note: For Notebook/Laptop users this is especially relevant when dealing with Docks such as the WD15 or TB16. It's important to check if the same issue exists when the item is connected or disconnected. (i.e. Docked/Undocked.)

Methods to wake from Sleep

You should be able to resume from sleep by using any input device. This can be tapping on any key on the keyboard, clicking or moving a mouse, power button, wake on LAN is set, a timer has been scheduled or in case of a notebook tapping on a touchpad, opening the lid or pressing the sleep button.

Methods to wake from Hibernation

Press the flashing power button or press a key on the keyboard. (If you've configured hibernation to wake on a key press.)

Note: Please be aware this can differ from machine to machine. If in doubt press the power button as this is universal across systems.
  1. Open a browser and navigate to the Dell Support Site

  2. Enter your system's service tag to get a page matched to how your system shipped from Dell. (Alternatively, select your system type from the product list to get a list of general information for your PC type.)

  3. Select Drivers and Downloads from the left-hand side menu

  4. change the drop-down menu below Category to select BIOS (Basic Input / Output System)

  5. Click on the download button to the right-hand side of the BIOS file that is listed

  6. Double click on the downloaded file and follow the onscreen instructions

    • Your system will shut down and restart during this process (Do Not turn the system off while this is happening.)

    • Once the system restarts your system BIOS will have been flashed to the latest revision

Note: Remember it is important to keep your system connected to mains power throughout this process. You do not want to lose power while in the middle of flashing a BIOS to a new revision as it can cause issues booting and running the PC.

Update the Chipset

  1. Open a browser and navigate to the Dell Support Site

  2. Enter your system's service tag to get a page matched to how your system shipped from Dell. (Alternatively, select your system type from the product list to get a list of general information for your PC type.)

  3. Select Drivers and Downloads from the left-hand side menu

  4. change the drop-down menu below Category to select Chipset

  5. Click on the download button to the right-hand side of the chipset file that is listed

  6. Double click on the downloaded file and follow the onscreen instructions

    • Your system will ask you to shut down and restart after this process has completed (Do Not turn the system off while this is happening, only when it asks.)

How to find and update the other system drivers on your system

Please follow the following linked article for step by step instructions:

  1. Open the Windows Update Window

    • Click on the Windows start button and type Windows update and select Windows update Settings from the list

  2. Do you see the option Preview Builds down the left menu?

    1. If the answer is Yes click on Preview Builds

      1. Click on the Check button

      2. Download and install the new build

    2. If the answer is No, then this function is being hidden or managed by your company or organisation

      1. Contact your organisation or company's IT department to update your operating system

  1. Open Power Options in the Control Panel

    • Right click on the start menu button and select Power Options from the menu that appears

  2. Click Change plan settings next to your current power plan

  3. Change Put the computer to sleep to never

  4. Click Save Changes

  1. Open a Command or PowerShell Prompt with Admin privileges

    • Right click on the Windows Start Button and select the appropriate option from the menu that appears

  2. Type the following command followed by hitting the Enter key:

    powercfg.exe /h off
  3. Exit out of the prompt window

Note: We do not recommend you leave this disabled on a notebook system. In some cases just disabling fast startup and hybrid sleep is enough if you are having issues.

Has a device stopped working or is no longer detected when the system has resumed from sleep or hibernation? Run through the troubleshooting steps below:

  1. If connected to external power, reseat the power cable

  2. Reseat the cable connecting the device to the system

  3. If the issue continues, then shut down and restart the system

In the BIOS

  1. Boot into the systems BIOS

    • Rapidly tapping on the F2 key during start-up will take you straight into the BIOS on most Dell systems

  2. Under Power Management, make sure that USB Wake Support is enabled and Deep Sleep Control is disabled

  3. Save and Exit the BIOS

In Windows 10

  1. Open the Advanced Power Options settings window

    • Press the win + r keys together to open a Run box and type control.exe powercfg.cpl,,3 and click OK

  2. Select the plan you are using from the drop-down list

  3. Click on Restore plan defaults

  4. Click on OK and exit the window

  1. Open a PowerShell window

    • Right click on the windows start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or CMD Prompt (Admin) on most Windows 10 PCs

  2. Type the following command:

    powercfg /a
  3. You will receive a report like this:

    The following sleep states are available on this system:
    Standby (S3)

    The following sleep states are not available on this system:
    Standby (S1)
    The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Standby (S2)
    The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Hibernate
    Hibernation has not been enabled.

    Standby (S0 Low Power Idle)
    The system firmware does not support this standby state.

    Hybrid Sleep
    Hibernation is not available.
    The hypervisor does not support this standby state.

    Fast Startup
    Hibernation is not available.

What is Hybrid Sleep?

Hybrid sleep - a combination of sleep and hibernate, it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. If a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk drive. This can be useful for desktop systems, but not as much for a notebook. While this option is enabled by a default setting for desktop systems, it is the opposite for notebook systems which ship with it disabled. (Desktops depend on mains power, while notebooks have onboard batteries to mitigate power issues.)

Turning off Hybrid Sleep

  1. Open the Advanced Power Options settings window

    • Press the win + r keys together to open a Run box and type control.exe powercfg.cpl,,3 and click OK

  2. Select the plan you are using from the drop-down list

  3. Go through the plan and expand the Sleep option (by clicking on the plus symbol)

  4. Expand open Allow hybrid sleep

  5. Ensure that the options under Allow hybrid sleep are all turned to OFF (click on the blue text to change it)

  6. Click on OK and exit the window

  1. Open the Power Troubleshooter

    • Click on the Windows Start Button and type Troubleshoot, select the troubleshoot icon that appears to open the troubleshooter

  2. Scroll down through the options and select power

  3. Click on the Run the troubleshooter button

  4. Follow the on-screen prompts and see if it resolves the issue

Creating a clean boot for troubleshooting

  1. Open the MSConfig tool

    • Press the win + r keys together to open a Run box and type msconfig and click OK

  2. Go to the General tab

  3. Click on the Selective Startup radio button

  4. Un-check the box next to Load startup items

  5. Move to the Services tab

  6. Check the box next to Hide all Microsoft Services at the bottom of the window

  7. Click on Disable All on the right-hand side of the same page

  8. Move to the Startup tab and click on the Task Manager Link

  9. In the Startup Tab in the Task Manager utility, right click on each enabled startup item and select Disable

  10. Close Task Manager and go back to the MSConfig tool

  11. Click on OK and click on Restart

Restoring your PC after running a clean boot

  1. Open the MSConfig tool

    • Press the win + r keys together to open a Run box and type msconfig and click OK

  2. Go to the General tab

  3. Click on the Normal Startup radio button

  4. Move to the Services tab

  5. Un-check the box next to Hide all Microsoft Services at the bottom of the window

  6. Click on Enable All at the bottom of the same page

  7. Move to the Startup tab and click on the Task Manager Link

  8. In the Startup Tab in the Task Manager utility, right click on each enabled startup item and select Enable

  9. Close Task Manager and go back to the MSConfig tool

  10. Click on OK and click on Restart

How to refresh the hiberfil.sys file

You can refresh the hiberfil.sys file by toggling the switch, (Disabling and Enabling) this will reset the file if it's been corrupted:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt or PowerShell (Right click on the windows start button and select CMD Prompt (admin) or Windows PowerShell (admin) from the menu)

  2. Type the following command and press the enter key to disable the file:

    powercfg -h off
  3. Restart the PC and go back to an elevated command prompt or PowerShell

  4. Type the following command and press the enter key to enable the file:

    powercfg -h on

How to disable/delete the hiberfil.sys file

Leave the file disabled and it will delete the hiberfil.sys file from your system:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt or PowerShell (Right click on the windows start button and select CMD Prompt (admin) or Windows PowerShell (admin) from the menu)

  2. Type the following command and press the enter key to disable the file:

    powercfg -h off
  3. Restart the PC and go back to an elevated command prompt or PowerShell

Note: Please remember if system restore was not enabled before you had this problem, it will not be of any help to you. It will not have created any restore points. If system restore is not already enabled, then you should skip this step and move to the next one. (Turning system restore on is something you may want to talk to your IT department about.)

Confirm System Restore is Enabled

  1. Open the Control Panel

    • Click on the Windows Start Button and type Control Panel and click on the control panel icon that appears in the list

  2. click on the System icon

  3. Click on System Protection in the left-hand side menu

  4. Click on the System Protection tab on the pop-up window that appears

  5. Under Protection Settings check if the system drive is listed as ON?

    • If the answer is Yes, then System Restore is enabled, go on to the next set of steps

    • If the answer is No, then System Restore is disabled, go on to the next section

Use System Restore to go back to a previous checkpoint

  1. Open the Control Panel

    • Click on the Windows Start Button and type Control Panel and click on the control panel icon that appears in the list

  2. click on the System icon

  3. Click on System Protection in the left-hand side menu

  4. Click on the System Protection tab on the pop-up window that appears

  5. Under the System Restore heading, click on the System Restore button

  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to select the desired restore point from a list (Remember to pick one before the issue first started to occur.)

    • You can click on the Scan for Affected Programs button if you want to check which programs will be affected by this rollback

  7. Click Next to roll the system back to how it was at the date selected

Running the SFC (System File Check) Tool

  1. Open a Command or PowerShell Prompt with Admin privileges

    • Right click on the Windows Start Button and select the appropriate option from the menu that appears

  2. Type the following command followed by hitting the Enter key:

    SFC /scannow
  3. If the SFC did not run, then please try the next set of steps to run the DISM tool

Running the DISM (Deployment Image and Servicing Management) Tool

  1. Open a Command or PowerShell Prompt with Admin privileges

    • Right click on the Windows Start Button and select the appropriate option from the menu that appears

  2. Type the following command followed by hitting the Enter key:

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. The DISM tool will check the Windows component store for corruption and fix and faults it finds

Note: The DISM tool can take some time to run. If the tool reports it's fixed or deleted any corrupt files you will have to restart your PC and re-run the SFC tool.

Two-way swap the HDD

The quickest and easiest way to rule out the operating system is to two way swap the Boot HDD with one from a working example of the same model system.

  • If the fault stays with the PC, you have ruled the operating system out and I would recommend contacting Dell Technical Support for further aid
  • If the fault follows the HDD, it's likely an issue with the operating system and move on to the next set of steps
  • If there is no suitable PC to swap parts with, then move on to the next set of steps

Reinstall the system to how it shipped from Dell

Please use the following linked article to take you through the step by step process of reinstalling your operating system on your PC:


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Article ID: SLN309800

Last Date Modified: 07/05/2019 06:03 AM


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