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I have a strange problem that's been happening with a PC of mine, an HP desktop running Windows 7 32-bit.

In the past couple months, the PC will occasionally go into what appears to be a hard drive shut-off mode or a suspended state. The power is still on, fans a-spinning, but the monitor is off (not a screen-saver, completely off).

Moving the mouse, pressing keys on the keyboard, and pressing the power button on the machine have no effect. The PC will not wake.

I use LogMeIn on this machine, and in my web interface I can also see that it is not connected to the internet nor the local network. Nothing in LogMeIn settings can cause this behavior. I'm the only user with access.

It is a clean Windows install with only LogMeIn Pro, and Tight VNC server. Nothing else has been installed. Windows Update is set to Download Only (let me choose to install).

This problem has been occuring roughly once per week.

What I've Tried So Far

  • In Power settings, I've set every timer to Never. Hard disk shutoff, monitor, sleep are all set to not ever happen.

  • I've tried sending WOL packets through LogMeIn, but it is not connected to the local network, so no dice.

  • The only way I can resolve this problem as of now is doing a hard shutdown and boot it back up.

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have you used event viewer to see any logs that generate when this behavior occurs? From the start menu type "event viewer". Click the event viewer icon. In the left panel select Windows Logs. I would check the application logs, and the system logs. – Ben Plont Sep 14 '13 at 16:47
@benplont Yes, I should have mentioned that. From LogMeIn, I can see what time the PC last lost connection to the LAN. Unfortunately when I roughly compare that time to the logs, nothing of use can be found. – Moses Sep 14 '13 at 16:49
Check to see if there are BIOS updates for your machine. If there are, do any address power management? – Keltari Sep 14 '13 at 18:07
Either way I uninstalled VNC (I don't really need it anyway). I'll see if the issue persists. – Moses Sep 14 '13 at 20:58
@moses I'm not sure that it's a hacking attempt, but it sounds like this is the culprit causing the system crash behavior. I don't know the exact cause, so I'm unqualified to answer the question. But in these situations event viewer usually shines a light into the darkness that is a Windows operating system... – Ben Plont Sep 14 '13 at 23:27

Have you tried this?

Advanced Power Settings - PCI Express - Link State Power Management - Setting: Off

I had a similar problem to yours a while back and turning this setting to off did the trick. Could be worth a shot if you haven't tried it already.

share|improve this answer
I'll give it a try, I saw this option but to be honest I have no idea what it does. – Moses Sep 14 '13 at 16:39
It's a graphics card related power saving option. It affects the graphics card and as a result it affects any monitors connected to the graphics card. – Yass Sep 14 '13 at 16:43
My PC doesn't have a PCI-X graphics card, it's onboard. I'll still give it a try though. – Moses Sep 14 '13 at 16:45
Oh right, it might be a long shot then. Doesn't hurt to try :) – Yass Sep 14 '13 at 16:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems that a Windows update package from roughly one month ago was causing a hangup. I did a system restore from before the update was installed, and the issue seems to have resolved itself. No hangups since I performed those steps. As stated above in comments, the issue was also related to VNC, which I also uninstalled.

I also completely disabled to Windows Update service (though not recommended for most people, this PC has a special purpose in which Windows Update could interfere).

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