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I am attempting to resume a Windows Vista laptop from hibernate, but the resume process seems to be stuck in an endless loop in which Windows is repeatedly trying to read from the optical drive. When I press the Power On button on the laptop, the screen is black (not even the backlight turns on) and the following occurs in a loop:

  1. Five seconds pass and I hear the optical drive being accessed. (There's no disk in the drive, so it sounds like a short buzzing noise.)
  2. Two seconds pass and I hear the optical drive being accessed.
  3. Two seconds pass and I hear the optical drive being accessed.

So it's three short buzzing noises in a row, over and over again. Eventually I have to abruptly power off the machine.

I have tried inserting a data CD into the drive as well as a bootable CD (a live Linux distro boot disk). For both, the optical drive spins up for a bit, but stops after Windows decides that the disk is not what it is looking for.

I have since lost the Windows Vista recovery DVD, but I don't know if inserting the recovery disk into the optical drive would have a different effect than the bootable CD.

I have tried pressing F8 immediately after pressing the Power On button (hoping to enter System Restore), but that did not have an effect.

Is there a special key sequence that will cause Windows to bypass resuming from hibernate, effectively ignoring hiberfil.sys?

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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 7 '11 at 6:49

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

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Why do you think this is a Windows problem - is there anything else that makes you think that? Because from what you've described above I don't think that the machine is POSTing properly and handing control over to the OS. –  RobM Feb 7 '11 at 8:49
    
@Robert: I think that it is a Windows problem because I experienced the same symptoms a few months ago after the laptop lost power during a reboot when Windows updates were being installed. When I pressed the Power On button, I heard the three short buzzing sounds in an endless loop, exactly as now and with the same frequency. What fixed the problem before was to press F8 during the boot process, allowing me to use the system restore feature to roll back to a prior (working) restore point. –  Daniel Trebbien Feb 7 '11 at 15:55
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sledgehammer method:

Find a Linux Live CD (for example, a recent Ubuntu; any bootable system with ntfs-3g will work). Boot from it, open your system disk, and delete hiberfil.sys. Then reboot.

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Yes. I think that I will have to do this. –  Daniel Trebbien Feb 7 '11 at 15:57
    
I thought from the question that a Live CD would not be accepted by the computer? "I have tried inserting a data CD into the drive as well as a bootable CD (a live Linux distro boot disk). For both, the optical drive spins up for a bit, but stops after Windows decides that the disk is not what it is looking for." –  outsideblasts Feb 13 '11 at 6:38
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@outsideblasts: After a cold reboot, booting from a CD is handled by the computer's firmware (BIOS) before the operating system's bootloader gets a chance to resume system from hibernation. –  grawity Feb 13 '11 at 13:11
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When the computer attempts to resume from hibernation, press SPACE key. You will be presented with 2 options - either to continue with system resume or to delete the hibernation file and start with system boot. Choose the second option.

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Or use a Windows setup disk. You can use the recover console to delete files.

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This works assuming that the boot load order has that device before hard drive. –  benc Sep 30 '11 at 21:47
    
Yes, I'm assuming the BIOS setup screen appears before that. . . oh wait! It always appear before that! –  surfasb Sep 30 '11 at 23:35
    
As a highly valued Super User, I suggest you revisit this answer and add more detail. –  KronoS Jul 25 '12 at 1:26
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