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If I put my Windows 8 computer into sleep mode, there is no network connection after I resume the session. If I replug my internet stick into the computer, it works (but stops if I sleep again).

What I do get is that "shutting down" Windows 8 on a desktop, by default, doesn't actually shut it down, but hibernates it (evident by the boot timestamp being a few weeks in the past and no POST beep). For example, Speccy reports that my last boot was on April 2, 2013 5:51:49 AM PDT, but today is clearly April 7, 2013.

My network stick is a TP-LINK TL-WN722N. The drivers provided with the CD and on their website don't support Windows 8, but plugging in through Ethernet (REALLY long coax (100ft) cable for router) downloaded the chipset's driver through Windows Update allowing it to work.

Here are some of the specs for my setup (Speccy report):

Windows Update (where it downloaded the driver from in the first place) says that I'm up to date, sans hidden "updates" (Bing toolbar). I doubt this is my router's fault, but I'm not denying the possibility. What could be causing this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Windows 8 uses Fast Startup (aka Hybrid Shutdown, aka Hybrid Boot) out of the box, which is why it's hibernating instead of actually turning off.

Check out:

The problem is most likely that your TP-Link USB stick doesn't support resuming from hibernation properly.

Something to try is the head to the advanced properties of the device (in Device Manager), and adjust how it's power is handled.

Often this type of problem can be resolved by un-checking "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

Device Power config

Another option may be to disable the Fast Startup.

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