I restored my PC from hibernation earlier today. 10 minutes after booting, there was a power cut. These things happen.

Is there any way to tell my PC on next boot to use the previous hibernation state to boot into? Some motherboard setting or such? I don't know how the machine determines to boot from scratch or from hibernation. I know that hiberfil.sys gets left lying around after booting from hibernation but I don't know if it's reusable or not. If it's not then I assume I'm definitely out of luck at that point.

From reading I suspect I might be out of luck, however I feel my question differs from the others on this subject because I'm not looking to set this up as a regular process.

I've not yet powered the machine in question back up yet, just in case there is a chance it can be restored.

My OS is Windows 8.1. The motherboard is a RoG Maximus VI Hero.

EDIT Whilst my question has been answered with confirmation that restoring a previous hibernation state does not appear to be possible, this question is not a duplicate of the ones highlighted in the comments; I'd already read those before I posted my own.

842161 Refers to a different operating system (I've since added the Windows-8-1 tag) and also for a normal reboot through a Windows update, which could easily have made all sorts of changes. My situation related to direct power loss barely 10 minutes after booting from hibernation (and thus, I would presume, minimal harddisk changes following the past hibernation).

607300 Relates to an entirely different request where they appear to want to set up some sort of regular system that would be able to automatically save a state like with hibernation that can be restored from so that on sudden power loss they can jump right back to where they were.

  • The first one is where Windows Update rebooted the machine rather than sudden power loss. Windows Update could easily have affected the system such that restoring from old hibernation data is impossible. The second one talks about it as a regular process, but with file changes on the disk and such from their usage, that could also make it impossible. My machine was on for only 10 minutes and had made no deliberate file changes at that point. Jun 8 '19 at 10:14
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How can I restore from a previous hibernation state?
    – Moab
    Jun 8 '19 at 22:05
  • @Moab I already explained in the comment directly above yours why 842161 is different from my question (the circumstances are entirely different). Jun 14 '19 at 10:23

What you want to do is not possible and in fact Windows has gone to considerable lengths to ensure it does not. And for good reason. Doing so would almost certainly result in some level of data corruption. The exact nature and extent of the corruption is unpredictable but you can be sure it would not be pleasant.

Early in the boot process Windows checks for a special signature in the hiberfil.sys file. If this signature is present and verified a restore from hibernation is started. If the signature is not present or in any way invalid a normal boot will begin. The details of how this works are undocumented. After the restore is completed the signature is invalidated. This is to ensure the current hiberfil.sys contents is used only once.

When the system is put in hibernation the system state in memory is saved to hiberfil.sys so it can later be restored. But the hiberfil.sys file does not contain the entire system state. The state is also in the pagefile, the registry, and your data files on disk. The memory contents in hiberfil.sys contains portions of these and all must be 100% consistent with each other or the restored state would be corrupt. This would happen be the inevitable result if a previous hiberfil.sys contents were used. For that reason it is not allowed.

  • I fear you're right, and you've provided a solid explaination for why it's not workable, although I don't suppose you have any sources for this do you? I'm not doubting you, it's more that it would be both useful and interesting to be able to read further into this. Jun 14 '19 at 10:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.