Windows Vista Crashes, BSODs, and System Failures on Hibernate, Resume, and Wake

While Windows Vista has a whole host of new features to offer, it has one major problem that just won’t go away: it’s totally FUBAR’d after you resume from sleep or hibernate. Unfortunately, many of these issues weren’t present during the beta stage, and were somehow introduced in the RTM build of Windows Vista. This exclusive NeoSmart Technologies report describes some of the symptoms in detail, and we even provide links to possible fixes by Microsoft. All issues have been duly reported and confirmed by Microsoft, so this isn’t just some figment of our imagination. A number of these patches are scheduled to be included in Windows Vista SP1 (Codename Fiji).

Few computer “enthusiasts” turn off their PCs. Even with Bill Gate’s promised 6-second-boot (we’ve clocked an average of 42.6 seconds here on 8 different PCs), turning on a PC via a cold-boot requires waiting for all the various programs to load, the network to establish, the security policies to propogate; and you don’t get to brag about never turning off your PC – plus your uptime restarts. The alternatives were either hibernation (for laptop owners) or “Deep Sleep” for the rest.1

Throughout the beta, Deep Sleep in Windows Vista went great. It’s the default option (so long as it’s configured in the BIOS) when you click the shutdown button.2 It would put your computer in a low-power mode that recovered in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds, and didn’t crash! But in the final version of Windows Vista, something is very, very majorly wrong. On 6 of the 8 tested systems,3 recovering Windows Vista from a hibernate or Deep Sleep results in one of the following:

  • When recovering from a hibernate: “Cannot find uxtheme.dll” appears whenever you attempt to run (almost) any program. No matter what you do, you can’t even run Task Manager. What’s worse, a restart doesn’t fix it, and because Windows Explorer also fails to launch with this error, you need to boot from the DVD and use System Restore – Safe Mode won’t work!4
  • Failure to establish a network connection. Everything looks OK, but you can’t connect to the internet. Your LAN signal will be there, but the internet just doesn’t work. You must restart to fix it.
  • Poor performance: though Task Manager will show normal CPU load, some of the drivers (they don’t appear in TaskMan) will attempt to use 100% of the CPU, resulting in a very laggy PC. You need to restart to fix it.
  • No DWM. For no reason, DWM just won’t re-appear. This happens on ATi and nVidia, with or without the latest official drivers from the companies themselves. Manually running “dwm.exe” doesn’t work, you need to restart to fix it.
  • BSOD on recovery. This is usually caused by the video drivers, and may or may not indicate something wrong with the kernel itself.
  • No sound. Vista goes mute. Nothing you can do about it, no way to revive it, you just have to restart and let the re-done sound-stack load-up the way it should.

All of the above errors and more occur randomly and make using hibernation down-right impossible (unless you’re willing/eager to run System Recovery from the DVD!) and Deep Sleep a waste of time (seeing as you have to restart to “quick recover”). Most of the errors are indicative of a problem somewhere deep in the kernel, and it’s not going to be easy to fix it. Some people are blaming this on the PC/Hardware/BIOS itself, but it’s not the BIOS’ job to support the OS,5 and the only thing to blame here is a buggy ACPI model.

We’ve notified Microsoft of each of these errors, we’ve been told they’re real bugs and a fix is in the works for some issues, others are just as much of a mystery. Some of these can be solved when ATi and nVidia release their final (hopefully bug-free) drivers for Vista. Others may not be as willing to go away. Either way, an operating system that you have to shutdown in order to save on power isn’t exactly the biggest business model. The only good news is, this bug only recently made its way into Vista, so that may just mean it won’t be too hard to squash. For now, if you really need to keep your PC on all day and all night, check the list below for hotfixes that may work for you.

Patches by Microsoft (Updated 06/12/07)

Here’s a list of patches by Microsoft related to Vista and wake/resume problems. You may have to call MS directly for access to some of these patches. Stop errors are blue screens (BSODs).

  • [KB-928135] – Windows Vista hangs on resume/wake
  • [KB-928135] – USB-Related crashes on resume/wake
  • [KB-929734] – Many problems on resume/wake
  • [KB-927341] – “Manage Discs” WMP feature slow to respond after resume/wake
  • [KB-933872] – Default Gateway missing after wakeup
  • [KB-933778] – Applications with HotStart fail to load after wakeup
  • [KB-929685] – No (HD) audio upon resume/wake (possibly permanantly)
  • [KB-929577] – No bluetooth on resume/wake
  • [KB-929762] – Stop error 0x9F on machines with firewire (IEEE1394) upon resume/wake
  • [KB-929909] – Intel 945GM Chipset PCs won’t wake/resume
  • [KB-930311] – No network with stop error 0x0000007E after resume/wake
  • [KB-930495] – No firewire (IEEE1394) after resume/wake
  • [KB-930570] – usbhub.sys stop error 0x00000044 on resume/wake

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  1. “Deep Sleep” is configured in the BIOS, and refers to the use of S3 power-saving mode instead of the default S1 setting. In S3, you’re machine actually kills the power to everything but the memory, and uses up about as much power as a single, tiny light (like those powering up your Christmas lights). And you get to instantly turn your PC back on, with all your programs running and in a matter of seconds (for real!). At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. 

  2. As opposed to using the shutdown menu, and selecting an option from there. 

  3. All systems are modern, 100% x86 ACPI-compatible systems running Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, RTM. No systems are using non-signed Vista drivers, and no buggy software is installed. 

  4. We obviously didn’t mess with uxtheme.dll, didn’t patch it, nor did we try to install any of XP’s theming software… 

  5. Assuming, of course, that the BIOS conforms to the basic standards already defined and used by BIOS manufacturers everywhere 

195 thoughts on “Windows Vista Crashes, BSODs, and System Failures on Hibernate, Resume, and Wake

  1. I have the same problem when waking up my laptop(ferrari 3400) from sleep..the screen is blank…i tried with different vista and worked fine…so vista is the problem..and hw could they make softwares only for new machines and also stop the support for xp at the end of this year. MS should learn from APPLE in releasing operating system, compatible with both very old pcs and new pcs aswell.

  2. I don’t yet see a hotfix (or many reports really) for the condition of an intermittent hang on sleep itself but never on resume, the condition I’m seeing with the below hardware and Vista Ultimate 32

    Sometimes it sleeps fine, others not, but when it does sleep fine, I’ve never seen a problem on resume.

    Based on another post I plan to focus on the Creative card by disabling it and seeing if that seems to change anything.

    I’m also toying with the idea of installing XP just to rule out the OS/drivers but since I would only run Vista regardless of sleep issues I’m not in a real hurry to prove anything there.


    Asus P5W DH 1901 bios

    Intel E6600 at stock speed

    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

    EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce Nvidia 8800 GTS 640 MB (v160.04 WHQL drivers)

    SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD400LJ 400GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM

    ATI TV Wonder 650

    Creative X-Fi soundcard

    CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply


  3. A couple more salient bits:
    Re: Sleep takes forever
    Check your Diagnostic-Performance logs, it will tell you exactly how long it took to enter sleep and what caused the delay. 

    You can get to the logs from either Control Panel\System and Maintenance\Performance Information and Tools and selecting Advanced tools then View performance details in Event log or by running Event log directly (eventvwr) and expanding to it under Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Diagnostics-Performance\Operational.

    I would recommend using the Advanced tools option since it does a good job of recommending fixes and warning you of possible issues.

    If the suggestions that the Advanced tools gives you doesn’t help then in the Event log you’ll see events similar to the below

    To enable the kernel power diagnostic event log:

    Open the Windows Event Viewer.
    On the View menu, enable Show Analytic and Debug Logs.
    In the left tree view, navigate to Applications and Services Logs – Microsoft – Windows – Kernel-Power.
    Right-click Diagnostic and select Enable Log.
    Restart the system.

  4. Sorry for my english!

    I have FSC Amilo xi 1546 notebook with VISTA ULTIMATE. I had problems with wake up-black screen from sleep. But now I install Windows XP drivers for my chipset (intel mobile 945PM Express Chipset and the problem was gone in a second.

    I hope that this will help somebody, because to me did.

  5. <blockquote>I managed to get around the problem on the Vaio notebook by changing the power settings to enable hibenatw instead of sleep, it’s not as quick to power down and boot back up but the screen does come back!

    The Dell PC still has the sleep fault where clicking the shutdown button (set as sleep as default) tries to put the PC into sleep but then within a couple of seconds springs back to life again. I am still trying to get a fix for this!!





  6. I have a ASUS P5B, 8800GTS, 4GB RAM.

    System goes into S3 state fine, but when it wakes I get a black screen then it automatically reboots.

    S3 did work fine on this system, I don’t know what has upset it,  I’m think it must be the updated Nvidia drivers,  or something has changed in Vista.

  7. Rather interesting stuff I’ve read on here. I had exactly the same problem with the sleep function. My HP D530 Would just crash everytime it went to sleep. But, a Microsoft Update has fixed this.

    I’m not free of the problems yet though; I use a P4 2.8GHz/1.5GB RAM and a 40GB Hard Disk & Also a 80GB Hard Disk for all my downloads. Ive had enough of IE7 and Media Player, so I downloaded Fire Fox and WinAmp. But STILL, my machine runs like its a 486x, I check task manager and my CPU is constantly strained at 100%! Does anyone have the same issues ?

  8. …sadly, this has been the second time I’ve removed an OS completely out of frustration.  First was ME, now Vista.

    Went back to XP Pro and no problems. Even went to and get a sidebar for XP.

    From bad recovery on sleep to playing some simple games (like Flight Sim 9 and X) there seemed always a “gotcha” with Vista.

    Even the sidebar goes spazzy once in-awhile, have to reset the stock options or digital to analog clock. 
    After 3 years of playing with Vista Beta, thousands of ‘testers’ or users trying it, and I am suppose to pay $400 Ultimate for what, an OSX knockoff?
    I’m missing something.



  9. tomax7, I know a lot of people (here at NST and eleswhere) how did the same thing. We’re all just hoping SP1 improves it or else we’re in big trouble, because XP is getting more and more dated by the day.

    Big Frank: in the Task Manager | Processes, which process is taking up all (or 50%) of the CPU?

  10. …Big Frank.  Do you have Office 2007 with Outlook Contact Manager?  That was a culprit on my machine.  Removed CM and things quiet down.

     Also another villain is Vista Indexer.  I turned it off and that helped.  Check your Processes in Task Manager like CompGuru said.

    Here’s a question (I should ask MS).

    Why in the “Business Edition” Bitlocker is not included?  You’d think for laptops that would be a selling feature, ironically most laptops today are sold with Home Premium pre-installed.

    Meaning people have to go out and buy another edition (thereby falsely increasing Vista’s sold count) to make it more secure.  Oh wait, don’t get Business edition, but have to buy Ultimate.

    Sadly one can’t run all the bells and whistles they paid for with Ultimate because of the graphic’s card and RAM installed (let alone HD space) on a laptop usually isn’t enough.

    Can’t win.


  11. Thanks for getting back so quickly.

    There is nothing taking up over 50% CPU power as far as I can remember, I’l have to have a look when I get home. But I have had a good look through the processes recently and cant see anything unusual. I dont have Office 2007 installed yet so I can exclude that one. I’ll have a look at the processes again tonight and see if I can find that indexing one. I have recently replaced a bad 512mb RAM Chip just last week. I thought that was the cause but obviously not as its still happening.

    What about my torrent client ‘Azureus’? Its a memory hogger but I have 1.5GB RAM and I havent heard of processor problems with it. I’ll be able to explain the problem better when I’m using it. Will have to check back later on to give you a clearer idea. Can I upload screenshot on here?

    Cheers guys and girls. :0

  12. Cheers Tomax, I just wrote 2 paragraphs back but IE crashed and I lost it. So I’ll do what you said when I get back from work and report my findings back here later on.

    Oh, I dont have Outlook 2007 installed yet. I dont think I will bother after what you said mate.

    Cheers. :))

  13. I’ve read that there is a Microsoft hotfix for the black screen problem, but I’ve tried the files that have links here & they say they are not for my system.

    Has anyone got the fix for Vista Home Premium 64 bit version?

  14. Thanks, but I can’t find it, I can only see the x86 version.

    The article number is 937500, so does that mean the patch is KB937500?

  15. Must be my ASUS P5B bios, because it doesn’t work in XP now either :(.

    It was working in Vista, must be since I’ve updated my bios.

  16. Here’s my experience, with a Toshiba Tecra m4 and an Acer Aspire 5610Z, both with non-OEM full retail Vista Ultimate installs:

    The older Toshiba seems to work just fine, no issues at all. However, the Acer is awful. I estimate that about 9 times out of 10 if I close the lid, then it seems that just the screen blanks, and it will not resume afterwards. It doesn’t matter if I set the system to hibernate, sleep, or hybrid sleep – all three settings have the same result. About one out of ten times the sleep/hibernate will work; the rest of the time I have to power cycle the machine.

    If I leave the lid open and the machine idle, it will often get into this state too. But pressing the power button seems to work for both sleep and hibernate. Weird.

    I’ve seen some people say the ACPI lid driver is buggy; some have gone so far as to “replace” it with the volume manager driver just to disable it. Doing so means closing the lid will not save battery (other than turning off the display) but at least you don’t need to power cycle the machine afterward. I’m not sure how that relates to the problems I have when the lid is open but the machine is idle.

    It’s worth mentioning I used to have an Acer Travelmate 8103WLm which had the same idle hang problem with Windows XP.

  17. Actually I was wrong about the power button working okay; it has the same problem it seems.

    Unfortunately none of the KBs help as they all seem to be about problems on resume, whereas in my case the problem is that the machine freezes *before* sleeping/hibernating.


  18. This thread is incredibly long and hopefully someone can quiclky point me to what I’m looking for.  My XPS 710 w/ Core2Duo, 4 G ram, 256 M video, 250 G hard disk, (you get the idea, all vista performance scores are 4.7 – 5, for whatever that’s worth…)

    Anyhoo, I too only see a black screen when attempting to wake from sleep.  Keyboard is Microsoft USB, mouse is Logitech laser wireless.  Neither works.  When I hold down the power button to restart, it gets hung up at the exact same point in the boot cycle every time: about 1/3 of the horizontal bar is filled in the BIOS screen.  I then have to restart AGAIN by holding down the power button, at which point Windon’t tells me that it was previously restarted incorrectly, and asks if I want to boot in safe mode.  (no thanks, rebooting twice is plenty for me)

    Any ideas of where to turn, and has anyone had this same pattern?

  19. Very annoying indeed, Vista is more buggy than I expect, don’t know if it’s the driver or the OS but I hope things get fixed sooner than it currently is.

  20. I did an upgrade over XP for my 4 years old desktop PC (with memory and video upgrade) last week. I ran into the hanging after wake up problem and have to restart twice to get back to Vista. The problem was fixed after I installed the latest ATI X1300 video driver. I also did a fresh Vista install on my Gateway laptop and ran into wake up hanging problem. However, the culprit is not the video driver this time. The problem was finally fixed by upgrading both the wireless mouse and touchpad drivers. Both computers now wake up happily everytime and run great. I belive a lot of the wake up problems are the results of outdated device drivers.

  21. i have had the same exact problem as described. i have vista ultimate and have installed it over 6 times now. every time i try to resume from hibrenation everything gets totally screwed up. i am really confused here i had this exact system working fine before. i had to install a fresh copy because of some program and every since then i haven’t been able to get it to work properly. i am assuming one of the windows updates is causing this. it can’t be a driver issue since nothing on my system has changed. all i know is that as soon as i finish vista installation it automatically starts updating it no way to stop it to be sure its a windows update or not.

  22. Do you have a Geforce 8xxx ?

    I spent the whole day yestaday trying to find the answer, I to had it working once, could it be the new nvidia drivers?

    I have a ASUS P5B, E6420 C2D CPU, 8800GTS 320MB.


    I can’t get S3 working in XP either (not that I ever did have it working in XP), there is a known issue in Vista with S3 when used with PCI-e cards, but I can’t find the patch. 

  23. OOPS. I thought I fixed my Gateway Laptop’s (Core 2 duo, 945GM chipset) wake up hanging problem by updating all the drivers from the Gateway website — Not. The problem still occurs randomly. It is just like playing Russian Roulette. When the problem occurs, the laptop always displays the logon screen when waking up. Sometime it hangs right here but other times it hangs after I am in Vista.  Thanks to Computer Guru’s links to the hotfix, the problem on my laptop seems to be history now after I downloaded and installed KB929909. The only problem remains is that my desktop refuses to go to sleep by itself. I have set the allow computer to sleep option in the power plan to no avail. Otherwise, the manual sleep, hibernate, and wake up works perfectly. 

  24. OOPS. I thought I fixed my Gateway Laptop’s (Core 2 duo, 945GM chipset) wake up hanging problem by updating all the drivers from the Gateway website — Not. The problem still occurs randomly. It is just like playing Russian Roulette. When the problem occurs, the laptop always displays the logon screen. Sometime it hangs right here but other times it hangs after I am in Vista.  Thanks to Computer Guru’s links to the hotfix, the problem on my laptop seems to be history now after I downloaded and installed KB929909. The only problem remains is that my desktop refuses to go to sleep by itself. I have set the allow computer to sleep option in the power plan to no avail. Otherwise, the manual sleep, hibernate, and wake up works perfectly. 

  25. I just bought a new computer dual core, 2gb ram, Vista Home Premium, and it hangs on trying to come out of hiberation. Just have a black screen and unresponsive computer from which I have to reboot. I have had another annoying problem. After leaving my computer for about 30 minutes, I come back and my hard drive is working at full blast, computer is non-responsive, and the power button will not turn off the computer. I have to turn off the power to the computer.

    I have turned off all power saving features and I turn off my comuter when not in use. That has stopped these problems. Of course, no power saving. My scanner will not work with Vista and some of my older programs will not run on Vista. Had I known there were all these problems with Vista, I would have ordered a computer with the XP OS.

  26. I have a gateway laptop, that it crashes whenever i put on sleep mode. It seems that it isn’t windows problem, because my friend has a dell laptop with vista that works fine without crashes.

    and, dear dusty, the computer crashes despite of following the simple instructions of placing the dvd on the cd drive, and run. and I don’t think that I am ignorant enough as you are, but i think this problem comes from gateway. Gateway trash sucks.

  27. I’ve only been using it since your post, DiGi; but it seems to have fixed a couple of I/O and filesystem issues I’ve been seeing in Vista – but it hasn’t taken fixed the S3 sleep on one of my machines (the other two were fixed/worked-around previously).

    Thanks for sharing it. I’m on x86, it really is too bad that it breaks driver-signature-disabling on x64 – what a nusiance!

  28. Just for info: After installing Windows6.0-KB938979-x64.msu unsigned drivers stops working… Good bye RivaTuner :(

    But none of patches helped with Vista’s hang after hibernate.

    Vista Home Premium x64, Asus P5B-E Plus, Intel Q6600, GeForce 8800GTS, with latest drivers for everything.

  29. I have had 2 laptops that originally slept just fine but then started to fail over time.  Both were acer, one was vista ready and the other came with it on it.  I know for a fact that it has to do with some services that are running in the bg and this is a bug with the O/S and or software because it causes unhandled issues.  Specifically Visual Studio 2005 Pro (with vista SP) causes this problem. I didnt have it till after i installed it.  So, yes it is an MS problem and yes it does occur but it has something to do with what else is running on the PC not the actual PC itself.

  30. Acer vista user , my pc fails to come out of sleep even with a clean install of Vista (no other software loaded, only the Nvidia drivers)

    I think in some of our cases it’s something to do with the geforce 8xxx cards, because my system has the same fault when running in Windows XP.

    ASUS P5B, E6420 C2D CPU, 8800GTS 320MB.

    I’m going to build another system with the same motherboard but fit a geforce 7300GS, I’ll let you all know if sleep works on that system.


    *** This website is good BTW ;) ***

  31. I have the same problem. I purchased a Acer Aspire E700 quad core. When I push sleep on the keyboard the computer will not wake up! Power button, mouse, keyboard won’t work. I have to cut the power from the wall wait a min and plug it back in before windows will reboot. Wasn’t sure if it was the computer or Windows. Any idea’s !


    P.s I hate having a destroy computer button !!

  32. Hi all, I’ve got some news

    My system = Vista x64 with latest updates, ASUS P5B, 8800 with 162.22 drivers. return from S3 = black screen/crash

    Just biult system = Vista x64 no updates,  ASUS P5B, 8400 with 158.24 drivers. return from S3 = no problems :D

    So now I’ll try to work out what is stopping S3 from working on my system.

  33. Solved my sleep problems on Acer!

    I saw some other comments about the Broadcomm wireless drivers that are non-OEM specific and come through Windows Update having issues with Acers. I uninstalled those drivers and re-installed the stock drivers from Acer’s site, and now my Acer Aspire sleeps fine. I get occasional spontaneous reboots on Vista which appear to be caused by the video drivers (Intel GMA) so things are still not perfect, but at least the sleep problems are solved.


  34. I tried install Vista on another harddisk. I haven’t troubles with return from S3 but with hangs after restoring from hibernate state.

    Clean Vista Home Premium x64 install, Asus P5B-E Plus (BIOS 0616), Q6600, N8800GTS (166.22 drivers – without drivers I cannot sleep or hibernate) and still same trouble. OS hangs just after restoring from hibernate (there is only flashing text cursor on screen).

  35. Del  Latitiude D620

    1gb ram

    Intel Centrino Duo

    os- Vista

    I am having major problems with vista. When i shutdown, it is excellent, but when i turn on the computer again after a shutdown it says “windows resuming” and then the screen flashes with all these colours and another screen appears saying “windows shutting down”. Also my os if BLOODY lazy, it will never wake up from sleep, and results in me having to restart the computer causing it to CRASH. However my hibernation function is working flawlessly so everytime i finish with the laptop i put it into hibernation. Should i b happy with this??? Also my RAM is running at excessively high levels (60-80%) never lower is this related to my shutudown and sleep issues??? please help anyone

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