It keeps running forever.
November 27, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

My Windows 7 computer no longer turns off properly. If I shut the screen, it no longer sleeps or hibernates, it just freezes. If I go through the start menu to hibernate, it will do so, but the computer is still on -- the power and the wifi lights stay on, it's still running and using battery. This also happens if I go through the start menu to turn off the computer. If I hold on the power key, it will then turn off and restart or resume from hibernation normally when I turn it back on.

I can't think of anything I did to my computer which would have caused this. I check regularly for viruses and spyware. The computer runs normally otherwise. I've never seen this sort of problem and can't figure out how to troubleshoot it.

I really would prefer not to reinstall Windows.
posted by jeather to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Have you tried "system restore"to a date when it was working. i would try this before more complicated routes. "system restore"can be found in either the Start Menu or Control Panel--or just type "system restore" in search function in "start menu"
posted by rmhsinc at 7:43 AM on November 27, 2012

I'm thinking that there's a hardware driver related to the laptop hardware that has gotten corrupted; so it's not correctly dealing with the "lid closed just now" signal from the hardware. Can you download the drives from the maker's website, or do you have a CD somewhere that you can re-install hardware drivers?
posted by Sunburnt at 7:48 AM on November 27, 2012

No, I don't have an available system restore. I'll try downloading all the drivers and reinstalling everything -- via device manager, every single driver is apparently up to date.
posted by jeather at 8:09 AM on November 27, 2012

The lid closing sleep or hibernate behaviour is a setting that can be enabled or disabled. Check your settings to make sure it is set to do what you want.
posted by srboisvert at 8:28 AM on November 27, 2012

I am relatively sure you have a 'system restore" as it is part of windows 7--It is possible it may not be available on stripped down versions sometimes used on netbooks etc. what are you using ?
posted by rmhsinc at 8:28 AM on November 27, 2012

This used to happen on my Toshiba Windows XP netbook and after some research online (gotta love those geek forums!) I updated the BIOS, which solved the problem.
posted by essexjan at 8:53 AM on November 27, 2012

There are some built in diagnostics you can try and dig through - open Event Viewer, and dig down to "Applications and Services Logs" -> "Microsoft" -> " Windows" -> "Diagnostics-Performance" -> "Operational".

There may be some performance alerts in there telling you which driver is the likely suspect.
posted by samj at 9:06 AM on November 27, 2012

For what it's worth, I've never seen a year old Windows machine that could reliably sleep and resume. They work brand new, they don't work after a few months of updates and driver upgrades and who knows what.

PCs have various different levels of power saving; that may explain why some routes to sleep work and others don't. Here's a description of them in WinXP. I think Windows 7 is different, but I couldn't quickly find a doc describing what 7 does.
posted by Nelson at 9:59 AM on November 27, 2012

Before re-installing Windows, I would exhaust a few utility options if you have not done so. A quick and free one is Glary Utilities. ( and make sure your registry is not causing the issue with errant entries or due to lingering spyware that has not been picked off in previous scans. Aside from Glary, are also other free utils for this type of thing.

Just use the 1-click maintenance. You may lose some auto-logins, so make sure you have a know all your UIDs and passwords.

As a general rule, I never sleep my machine as it does not fit with what I do, but little utils like this have helped keep my systems clean if used on a regular basis. last thing...(added) if you download and install, keep an eye out for those "free offers" during installation. There is nothing major there, but decline all offers.
posted by lampshade at 10:40 AM on November 27, 2012

It is not just sleep/hibernate where there is a problem. I also have a problem with shutting down the computer. I must not have been clear.

Sleep does not work at all, it never wakes and has to be forced to restart. If I am on battery and go away for long enough that it autosleeps this also happens. Hibernate and powering off sort of work -- the hard drive appears to have been shut down, but it still draws power, and the wifi also appears to still be on. Of the lights in the front -- power, HDD, battery, wifi -- when I hibernate or shut down, power and wifi stay lit. My power button also stays lit. If I use the power button to power off after I have shut down/hibernated by holding it down for a few seconds, all the lights go off and it stops drawing power, and I can wake it up or restart it like normal.

I updated my BIOS and it did not fix anything. The utility cleaner found nothing (I have used a different one in the past, but neither found anything).

I have Windows Restore. I do not have old enough restore points.
posted by jeather at 4:02 PM on November 27, 2012

Some other problems popped up and it's clear this is a hardware issue (luckily not a hard drive issue).
posted by jeather at 9:02 PM on December 1, 2012

« Older Tips for Walking in Paris?   |   Ahh, if we could all sleep at the same time... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.