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The details vary, but after I wake up my laptop running Windows 8.1 preview, something is always wrong. Just now, I could move the mouse cursor but could not do anything with it; I finally had to remove the battery to shut the computer off, allowing a restart, after which everything was fine. On two other occasions, the computer apparently did not go to sleep as the battery was drained.

I'm running Visual Studio [administrator mode] and MySQL workbench a lot, as well as Chrome.

How can I fix this, so that it goes to sleep and wakes up normally?

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    Sounds like you should downgrade to Windows 8 RTM or use the Windows 8.1 RTM build instead. – Ramhound Sep 24 '13 at 16:04
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I don't believe it's a problem with your using VS or Chrome. Your display drivers seems to be stuck while the laptop tries to wake up from sleep. Try updating the VGA drivers. Here's an interesting list of solutions I found from search.

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