How to fix a computer that wont come out of Sleep Mode


Has your Windows 7 computer ever gone (or been put into) Sleep Mode and you’ve been unable to wake it up no matter what you did?

From all the posts I see on this subject it’s a common problem amongst Windows 7 users.

99% of the posts I read tell you how to “avoid” this problem happening but very few talked about How to Fix the problem.

Firstly, how do we know that the PC is stuck in sleep mode?

If your computer is stuck in Sleep-Mode you should be able to hear the computer fan, see the power light on or blink but your computer monitor will remain blank. If you do not hear any fan noise or see any buttons light up or your computer produces 1 or more beeps, you may have a hardware issue (something internally has broken) such as a faulty power supply, faulty memory or faulty motherboard.

So having determined that the PC is stuck in sleep mode, here are a number of things to try… plus the FIX that finally worked for us.

1) Move you mouse or hit the “spacebar”. If this does not work try each of the following in order.

2) Press the power button in for at least 30 seconds until the PC powers off. Wait 30 seconds and power up again.

3) Switch the PC off at the mains or pull the power cord out and wait at least 3 minutes before powering up.

4) Try another mouse and/or keyboard and repeat step 1.

5) When the PC starts to power up, try and get into the BIOS by holding down the “del”, “Esc” or “F1″ button (the specific button for entering the BIOS differs between PC’s …. check your PC manual if you still have it.

6) Put an original Windows 7 CD/DVD into the optical drive (CD/DVD ROM) and boot up the PC (this will only work if your BIOS has been setup to try and boot on the optical disk first before trying the HDD) if you do not have a windows 7 CD/DVD, you can create a Ubuntu boot disk by following the instructions on this You Tube video.

Once you manage to start the PC using a bootable disk, there are a number of things you can do at a BIOS level (see step 5) to make sure your PC does not go into sleep mode (see the Power settings).

If all these things fail, try the following which worked for us.

IMG_1666A) Leaving the power switched on, carefully take the side or back off the PC to expose the motherboard and RAM memory chips (seen here as long blue blades) making sure you do not touch any of the internals.

B) Look for a light on the motherboard and for fan activity to make sure there is power reaching the mother board and RAM chips. If we see activity, we can assume the PC is in sleep mode.

C) Remove the power cord and wait until all activity stops
D) Remove one of the RAM memory chips (coloured blue in this example, but often just bare and uncovered). Apply pressure as shown on the white toggle on both sides of the chips and they will ease out. Do not use excessive force.
E) Carefully remove the RAM memory set from the case.

F) Re-apply the power cord and switch on the PC.


G) If the computer has woken up you should start windows or at least show the BIOS screen. If you manage to get into windows goto “control panel” from the start menu and find the “Power” settings

H) Change the power setting and choose “Never” in the sleep options.

This solution worked for us but is not guaranteed to work in every case, so only use this as a LAST option if all else fails. The only side-effect we found was that we had to reset the Date and time.

Please add your comments below and let us know how you went or if you have any other suggestions.

contact-usIf you don’t want or can’t fix the problem yourself, give us a call and we can fix it. Come to us in Subiaco or we can come to you.


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Posted in Hints and Tips Tagged with: , ,
39 comments on “How to fix a computer that wont come out of Sleep Mode
  1. richard stoll says:

    have used “hard start” before. will that hurt my computer.

  2. xHaRrIsOn says:

    Can i put the chip back in after it powers up?

  3. Ling says:

    Thank you. This website has helped me :)

  4. abebe bekele says:

    hi guys
    my computer is desk top i use windows xp
    i can’t to enter in to login page it starts and then it says window xp and then transfer to option
    those are safemode
    windows start normally and so on
    if i click or hit enter on the windows start normally it is not jump to next page
    so please help me with sending video or powerpoint solution for me and re use my computer,
    i thanks for your helps

    • IT Guy says:

      You should not still be using Windows XP. Support expired in April 2014, you are at serious risk of viruses and virus infection if you continue to use it on the Internet. Please purchase another PC using Windows 7 or 8 immediately.

  5. sarah says:

    what a big help. thanks! :D

  6. Heimir says:

    Ive tried all of these and none have worked. At first I thought this was a motherboard issue so I switched it out.

  7. Sherin says:

    Second choice worked at my notebook.
    Thanks ^_^

  8. bushfar says:

    I had just got windows7 installed the other leaving Vista behind. Not wanting to burn the screen/not remembering how to put a screen saver on yet, placed it in sleep mode. Couldn’t get out, your #3 tip was Bingo, worked like a charm. With tks frm a Canuck.

  9. Saima Suleman says:

    Hi, i wanna ask sum ques, i m nt able to login my windows7, let me tell u frm start, i logged on frm hibernation , a msg of busy script shown as i was browsing, and system stopped responding, i took out the battery n thn inserted it again, then i on the laptop by pressing the power button , windows started but user name not appearing on welcome screen of windows :( plz help me, i m nt able to log on

  10. Alper says:

    The solution is ineffective because it’s not a hardware but a software issue.

  11. Fiery_WA says:

    Re seating the RAM worked here

  12. pikta ziurke says:

    I tried to remove one of computer RAM card and turn on computer but nothing happend. The light all times was flashing. I dont know what to do, help me.

  13. F says:

    Bought a new Dell windows 7 from Costco. One week later it will not come out of sleep mode with a reboot. It’s going back to the store.

  14. Rey says:

    Last time, i download game and i change the computer display to turn off after 1 minute. But, when i want to chech the progress, my pc screen stuck at windows log in screen. Before this problem, my xomputer cant log in to windows and just the mouse cursor appear on the black screen and need to wait fo 30 mins before it works.

  15. Regina says:

    I have a Dell Inspiron15 lap top, with windows 8. I can not get it out of
    Safe Mode. no matter what I try, Please Help!!!!

  16. reza says:

    Hello. My pc has two network adapter (on-board and internal card). When
    I remove internal card, Windows Won’t Resume or wake up from sleep.
    I removed its driver but doesn’t work. Please help me.

  17. Gene Millsaps says:

    Per some web advice,
    Make sure your page file size is fixed to greater than your physical RAM.

  18. Gene Millsaps says:

    In addition to my earlier advisory, I have more experience to share, on my Win7/64 Pro PC.
    (Warning, Also: In addition to webpage advice, we apparently need to enter a Maximum size, greater than the Initial size, click Set. Then, click thru Oks.)
    Re install your video card driver.
    (On my PC: Using Computer .. Device manager .. Display Adapter .. Rt-click .. Update Driver software .. on web .. says we’re up to date. Hopefully, no re-install is needed.)
    Allow Restart.

  19. Edin says:

    I have a problem with my laptop. whenever i start my pc, after the “Windows Start screen” my computer screen goes to black. It won’t respond to anything the fan still goes and the power is still on. yet it’s like it’s turned off. I found out the reason for the problem, and it got something to do with my graphic card Driver. i got and AMD 6200M. and every time i download the latest version of AMD catalyst the problem comes again. i have tried to download an earlier version of AMD catalyst. i’ve tried reinstalling the laptop but nothing works. hope you can help me :)

    • IT Guy says:

      We have also seen this problem caused through a Virus not allowing the PC or Laptop to start properly. Try downloading a rescue disc from AVG or AVIRA and boot the computer from these. They will get rid of viruses your normal anti-virus program cannot access.

  20. Me HP owner ! says:

    Hello ,

    thx a lot ! At step 3 my HP6910p started up again !
    Good Job fellows !

  21. Robert Corrina says:

    This is the most helpful and accurate information I have found on the hibernation/blackscreen issue. It was useful to use Unbuntu to boot up because it rules out hardware problems. However, adjusting the windows settings or the windows bios, or simply launching windows from inside Unbuntu? That is a many step process apparently involving command line code… so instead of a solution I am now looking at a project and hours of hard work.

  22. Kim says:

    Took put the memory chip it did not wake it up. What now?

  23. Kim says:

    It didn’t work what now?

  24. karize says:

    how about my pc, i can’t open it. it only goes in sleep mode when im turning it on

    • IT Guy says:

      Try forcing a reset by holding down the “CTRL” key when turning it on. Do a google search on your computer model to find out how to boot into “safe” mode. Windows 8 PC’s are much more difficult to reset.

  25. Kenny Taylor says:

    When I turn on my computer the power button lights up and the rest of the lights in my computer flash and on my screen it just says entering sleep mode then goes black, there is no start up screen or anything

    • IT Guy says:

      Take out the RAM chips and even the small battery. Start up the PC. then put them back again and try again. This may well force a BIOS reset.

  26. babyferljohn says:

    its not working at my pc ..i remove all the ..set up awhile ..tyhe i put it back ..except the ram and the bios batt. what will i do.. pls help me .

    ty .
    ps thank you..!!

  27. PROFA25 says:

    If anybody is using a desktop with a manual shut off switch in the back. Like a Corsair power supply or other brand, then turn on your computer with the front button, or top. then turn it off from the back, turn back on switch, then push your power button in….Should solve your problem. If not do what IT GUY says..

  28. randy frickey says:

    hi i have this computer that is in sleep mode and i don;t know what is on it yet and i just got it like that and i need help to get it working

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