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This has puzzled me for quite a while, and having found no solutions by myself I thought some of you might know what's going on.


Plug my laptop in. Hibernate Windows (Vista). Turn the laptop on and wait for the login screen to appear. Don't touch the keyboard/mouse. Wait for a few minutes (guesstimate: 3-4). Laptop will hibernate itself automagically.

System settings

I have auto-hibernation turned off for both plugged-in and battery powered. Furthermore, when I set Vista not to require password when waking up, the above doesn't happen - after 10 minutes the screensaver kicks in, but no auto-hibernation stuff going on!


How do I set my Vista up so that it doesn't auto hibernate after some inactivity on login screen straight after waking from hibernation?

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I've tried going through all the advanced power options but could not find the culprit. I googled for a quarter of an hour too, to no avail. – Dav Nov 23 '10 at 11:21
Is the box current with service packs? Vista had known sleep/hibernation issues that SP2 was supposed to have corrected. – goblinbox Nov 29 '10 at 10:22
Good suggestion, wasn't aware of any hib fixes in SP2. But I've been running Vista Business SP2 since I can remember (double checked a minute ago), so that should not be the cause. – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 12:42

I believe you are confusing hibernation state with sleep state. Increase or disable the time before you computer goes in to sleep mode.

Here is my final answer after a few of hours of research: I don't believe it is possible. What I did find is what control the hibernation. Which is powercfg.exe. Configure via the Command Prompt in admin mode. Type in powercfg /requests at the command prompt. Anything under SYSTEM are applications, services, or drivers that will prevent the system from going to sleep or hibernate.

If you were able to added the application or services that controls or runs Windows 7's Welcome Login Screen (winlogon.exe?) to that list then it would be possible. However, the only way I know to add an application or service to the list is found on this page.

Here is an example of what it would look like. The example links to an off topic post on how to prevent applications or services, found in the powercfg /requests list, from preventing the system from going in to another power state. Only wanted to link it so that you can see what it would look like.

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Brian, thanks for your explanation but I do understand the difference, I've been hibernating for years and I know from experience it takes a while to boot! It definitely goes into hibernation, and takes about a minute to hibernate from the login screen, and then about 3 minutes to resume from hibernation. Just to convince you, it goes through the usual boot screen as it resumes - a clear sign the system powered down. Still went to check sleep settings but they're fine: put the system to sleep after 20 mins when on battery, never when plugged in. – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 7:50
thanks for doing more research on the subject. Preventing powercfg from switching to another power state is one thing, but why would it want to switch in the first place? I mean, I don't have auto-hibernation turned on for battery/plugged in, I only happen to use it manually. Have you checked if your system exhibits the same behaviour I describe in my question? – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 12:41
@Dav I have check on my system. It would have been one the first things I did if I wasn't downloading a 5 gig update for game. Once it it finish, then I will update me answer. – SgtOJ Nov 29 '10 at 17:02

One idea might be to log in as the Administrator user and check that the power settings match yours.

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He is using Vista, not XP. I'm pretty sure that Vista doesn't have an admin user. ;) – SgtOJ Nov 28 '10 at 22:25
@Brian, you're definitely mistaken - both Vista and Windows 7 sure do have admin and standard users! – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 7:52
thanks for your suggestion but I'm logged in as a domain admin right now and see / can change all power settings. I see no mistake there, only Windows seems to be doing things I didn't ask it to. – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 7:54
@Dav - I meant pre-configured user named administrator such as they way XP has by default. I know Vista and Windows 7 have two type of users: administrator and standard users. If there wasn't a user with admin level permission then nothing could be installed. – SgtOJ Nov 29 '10 at 8:03
@Brian - fair enough :-) – Dav Nov 29 '10 at 12:37

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