My laptop freezes when it automatically goes to sleep (or hibernate) due to Control Panel's Power Options settings. I can not get the laptop to wakeup by pressing any keys including Control + Alt + Delete. Briefly pressing the power button does nothing. I have to hold the power button down for 4 seconds to force the laptop to power off. When it boots up, Windows complains about the laptop not being shutdown properly.

The laptop freezes when I manually put it to sleep (or hibernate) even when automatic sleep (and hibernate) is disabled in Power Options.

Manually sleeping (or hibernating) freezes the laptop even if the laptop is not docked and running on a battery. The only thing connected to the laptop when undocked is my wireless (non-Bluetooth) mouse.

Manual sleep (or hibernate) works 1 time and the second time will freeze the laptop. After a reboot, I can repeat the process (i.e. the first time works and the second time freezes).

Edit 2014/07/15: I replaced the SSD with the original HDD. When I manually put the laptop to sleep and wake it back up, the laptop will freeze a minute or two later. The screen is on and I can see the desktop but nothing responds. I don't even get a chance to put it to sleep the second time.

Docking and undocking the laptop has no effect on the laptop if the Power Options are not set to put the laptop to sleep if the lid is closed.

There are 3 phases to sleep. The first phase lasts a few seconds and flashes the disk light several times with many flashes being very bright. The second phase lasts a few seconds and doesn't flash the disk light at all. The third phase lasts a lot of seconds and keeps the disk light on the entire time but not very bright. The laptop always freezes during the first or second phase... I can't tell which.

I can start and exit Process Explorer several times without freezing the laptop. See this question for more details. If I put the laptop to sleep and wake it up, then exiting Process Explorer will freeze the laptop. It seems the laptop/OS gets into a state after sleeping that anything can cause it to freeze.

I thought about booting into Safe Mode and try sleeping from there. Unfortunately, I didn't see a Start menu option to sleep or hibernate while in Safe Mode.

I tried several other things and put them as answers so that others can upvote them and we can see what generally works.

Here is the configuration of my laptop:

  • Dell Latitude E6430
    • BIOS version: A14 (12/27/2013)
  • Intel Core i5-3340M (Ivy Bridge)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
    • Video BIOS version: 2158v12
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 500 GB SSD SATA (Samsung 840 EVO)
    • Firmware version: EXT0BB6Q
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
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    The laptop has a problem with both sleep and hibernate. From the start menu, I can click on sleep and the laptop will freeze. After rebooting, from the start menu, I can click on hibernate and the laptop will freeze. – Nathan May 20 '14 at 17:54
  • I assume you have all drivers updated, right? Sleep/hibernation issues can occur easily whenever a driver isn't prepared for alternate power states. – Doktoro Reichard May 20 '14 at 19:16
  • I use Windows Update and Slim Drivers each week and install everything. If there is a driver problem, how do I figure that out? If a user-mode process freezes, then I can attach a debugger and get a call stack. From the call stack, I can then figure out the problem. Is there something similar I can do here? Is there logging I can enable and check? – Nathan May 20 '14 at 19:21
  • I don't believe there is a clear way to check if a driver fails entering into sleep and determining what driver it is. I'm not familiar with Slim Drivers, but from the description I searched, I can ask you this: using the default drivers (i.e. those that originally came with your machine) did you have any problem putting your computer to sleep? If not, and you don't need the updates, then don't. Not every driver update is necessarily welcome and in some cases, some functionality may be broken when updating. – Doktoro Reichard May 20 '14 at 19:26
  • I got the laptop early April 2014. It always had a sleep (and hibernate) problem. The first thing I did was update the drivers. The sleep (and hibernate) problem continues. So, the original drivers don't help. – Nathan May 20 '14 at 19:28

This is most likely a driver issue.

Check your driver for the "O2 Micro memory card reader". It should be Version,A05. Version A04 shows the behavior you described. See also GnawGnu's Blog.

Get the current driver from Dell support. Enter the service tag, check "Drivers" and look in section "Chipset".

When a problem like this arises, one could disable each device in Device Manager until the problem goes away. This will identify the device and hence driver which is having a problem. One could also use the "driver" tab in Sysinternal's Autoruns to disable drivers.


I've tried the following things - and while they did not work, they may work for someone else

I suspect the freeze is due to a driver issue. I am used Windows Driver Verifier to identify which drivers are not well behaved.

The first thing to do is to enable crash dumps when a Blue Screen of Death occurs. Here are the steps.

  1. Go into Control Panel System
  2. Click on Advanced system settings link
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Click on the Settings button in Startup and Recovery
  5. Select Kernel memory dump under Write debugging information
  6. Set the Dump file to a valid path (e.g. C:\temp\memory.dmp)
  7. Check mark Overwrite any existing file

Here are the steps to use Windows Driver Verifier.

  1. Run command prompt as an administrator
  2. Run verifier /standard /all
  3. Reboot the machine
  4. Wait for Blue Screen of Death to happen and crash dump to be written
  5. Reboot into Safe Mode
  6. Run verifier /reset to disable Windows Driver Verifier
  7. Reboot
  8. Open the crash dump in WinDbg
  9. Click on the analyze link in the WinDbg console
  10. See which driver caused the Blue Screen of Death
  11. Update the driver, uninstall the driver or use SysInternal's Autoruns to disable the driver
  12. Repeat the above steps until the Blue Screen of Death doesn't happen any more

After disabling all of the problematic drivers and the Blue Screen of Deaths stopped, I then tried putting the laptop to sleep. It froze. I even tried putting the laptop to sleep with the Windows Driver Verifier enabled. It froze and didn't generate a Blue Screen of Death.

I enabled Right Control+Scroll Lock+Scroll Lock to trigger a Blue Screen of Death. With the laptop running normally, I can trigger a Blue Screen of Death. When the laptop freezes, I can't trigger the Blue Screen of Death.

In order to rule out memory issues I tried Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool which didn't find any issues. Dell diagnostics tool (BIOS?) didn't find any issues. I also tried swapping between my two sticks of ram

I noticed that hiberfil.sys was only 75% of the RAM. I ran powercfg -h -size 100 to increase the size to 100% of my RAM.

I changed to a different Power Option plan.

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    We're not a forum. While typically, troubleshooting steps are often parts of an evolving question these might be a possible answer for someone else. However, no one, ever posts half a dozen answers for a question. As such, I've merged these as one. Feel free to fix any errors I made in the process. – Journeyman Geek Jul 4 '14 at 6:30

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