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My PC is a teenager – it won’t wake up in the morning

Posted on 22nd Mar 2010 at 10:14 by Clive Webster with 43 comments

Clive Webster
I usually set my PC to Sleep overnight so that I can start work exactly where I left off (and within a few seconds too). Since a few days ago, my PC has refused to wake up though. Every morning I have to do the tech-equivalent of pulling off the covers and opening the curtains, which usually means crawling around under my desk. This is a less than perfect start to my day.

The trouble started a few months ago, when I upgraded the graphics card to a HD 5650 in order to get a HDMI output so that I could test a screen. My previous graphics card didn’t require a PCI-E connector, but apparently the immense thirst of the paltry HD 5650 was enough to pop my crappy PSU (this is my work PC, so I take no responsibility for the poor choice of power supply).

Swapping in a slightly less crappy PSU, I still couldn’t get the PC to turn on until I had I unplugged the USB and network cables. It seems the PSU blew the 5V standby rail of the motherboard.

One motherboard swap later, and everything was working fine again. Yay me. Except the same problem just happened a few days ago – the PC refused to wake up until I explained to it that it would be late for the school bus, and that it would have to walk there if it missed it, because I’m not going to drive it all that way. Or something like that, anyway. It seems the same problem has happened – remove the USB cables and the PC will wake up, and then all I need to do is re-initialise the network controller (which seems to flake out overnight) and I can start working.

That’s kind of fine for now – it takes a couple minutes longer to turn my PC on in the morning, but I can sync that with tea-making time, so I’m not wasting that much time. However, I’m now in that horrible predicament where I know that my PC might fail catastrophically any minute, but I don’t really have time to change out the broken components.

Bloody teenagers…

43 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
rickysio 22nd March 2010, 11:22 Quote
Get a laptop. :DD
proxess 22nd March 2010, 11:24 Quote
I'm a teen and I'm up at 7 every day, be it work day or not! Don't blame the teens!
Blademrk 22nd March 2010, 11:26 Quote
I've built 4 PCs over the years and I've never been able to get any of them to hibernate properly, something always fails on wake and causes instability until I reboot.
Krikkit 22nd March 2010, 11:29 Quote
Doesn't hibernate preserve programs and stuff? You could use that instead of the awkward sleep.
Fizzban 22nd March 2010, 11:33 Quote
Just save your work and switch it off. Unless the PC is from the 90's it shouldn't take long to boot up anyway.
Ryu_ookami 22nd March 2010, 11:39 Quote
do What i do just leave it on mines normally dling over night anyway :)
do_it_anyway 22nd March 2010, 11:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Just save your work and switch it off. Unless the PC is from the 90's it shouldn't take long to boot up anyway.

This ^^

Turn PC on
Go make coffee
Return to freshly booted PC with less extraneous stuff in the memory and page file.
Drink coffee while surfing for interesting stuff to report to us while we battle with boredom at work

Everyones a winner
[PUNK] crompers 22nd March 2010, 12:31 Quote
i once lost an entire installation of RC1 due to dodgy sleep/wake. seems it never works properly and is prone to break things, take my advice and dont bother
Spiny 22nd March 2010, 12:43 Quote
...flash your BIOS?
Zoon 22nd March 2010, 12:48 Quote
I've built hundreds of PCs in my time (at one point I worked for a small white-box company) and I can categorically state:

- Sleep and standby barely work, and work best on laptops, but even after a couple of days they need a reboot
- Hibernate will see you clear for anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks but at that point it'll randomly crash and you need a reboot

I have honestly found that just shutting down every night and booting while sorting your morning drink is the best way forwards.
Isitari 22nd March 2010, 12:53 Quote
5V rails always seem to suck the most. Even on the 'good' power supplies they seem to be relatively worse off than the 3.3V and the 12V.
Xir 22nd March 2010, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
I've built 4 PCs over the years and I've never been able to get any of them to hibernate properly, something always fails on wake and causes instability until I reboot.

+1
Never seen a desktop system do this well, it's just not worth the hassle.
My (work) notebook does fine, but get's restarted once a week anyway.
Aracos 22nd March 2010, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isitari
5V rails always seem to suck the most. Even on the 'good' power supplies they seem to be relatively worse off than the 3.3V and the 12V.

I noticed that in the latest PSU roundup in CPC, why is that? Most power supplies had a lot worse 5v and 5vSB rails than any other rail. Even the premium grade Antec Truepower New 650w got 4.95v (brilliant) on the 5v rail but 4.75v on the 5vSB rail which is the minimum of ATX spec o_O
cyrilthefish 22nd March 2010, 15:21 Quote
Just to be different, the past few PCs i've had sleep/hibernate perfectly. Only issue i had a while back that was my raid card didn't spin up the drives after sleep/hibernate, so i moved it to my server :p

It's really quite nice when it does work.
One-click button on a win7 gadget to sleep, mash the keyboard to wake and the PC is usable 2 seconds later :D

Though you do need to reboot sometimes as others mentioned, after a few weeks windows can get a bit wonky and also some updates demand it.
thehippoz 22nd March 2010, 16:04 Quote
now imagine your a prebuilt buyer and know nothing- roid rage

zoon and cyril summed it up.. most of the comps out there just don't do it right- even had a issue on the eee netbook bought last year- came configured to hibernate every 10 minutes.. but took the nic with it until you disabled it in the manager

feel sorry for people who don't know what's going on.. I could see a bunch of eee's getting smashed rolling down the stairs after talking with a fake geek with glasses from best buys

it would go something like this..

"this f'ing computer you sold me doesn't work it won't connect to the net wifi!"

"sir, calm down.. now what is it doing exactly?"

"it won't work.. sometimes it works sometimes it don't!"

"come in and we'll take a look at it.. $60 a hour + and upgrades you might need"

*click laptop takes a trip down the steps and the guy runs out and buys a apple
Cyberpower-UK 22nd March 2010, 16:19 Quote
I have the opposite problem, my PC is an insomniac and wakes up if you so much as look at the mouse, so I tend to shutdown.
salesman 22nd March 2010, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I have the opposite problem, my PC is an insomniac and wakes up if you so much as look at the mouse, so I tend to shutdown.

+1
I set my keys on the desk my computer jumps up.

I had to set windows 7 to performance mode because it would freeze just randomly sometimes within 5 minutes sometimes it would take 5 hours.

I have spent several hours on the phone, and several emails with Microsoft, to try and correct the problem, I have even flashed the bios and updated all the drivers and did a clean install of windows like 3 times, but it is all to no avail. However, when I set windows 7 to performance mode, I have absolutely no issues with my computer freezing, so go figure. I can live without sleep or hibernate mode.
phuzz 22nd March 2010, 17:42 Quote
My (self built) PC does seem to sleep properly, but it does have a tendency to turn it's self on by it's self in the morning.
Now it's in a new case (Zalman MS1000) and water cooled I can sleep through it being on though, although as it wakes up it spins up the CD wich is pretty noisy.

I've never had a desktop that both hibernated and slept properly. Most laptops work fine though.
TSR2 22nd March 2010, 17:54 Quote
I have no issues with sleep, I don't like the inordinate amount of time it takes to resume from hibernate though. I suppose it just reads the contents of hiberfile.sys back into memory? Because even though I'm only usually using 1-2GB of RAM, it takes forever to resume, as though it is reading 2GB of nuls.
Of course, some of this may be down to my awful HDD.
cyrilthefish 22nd March 2010, 18:14 Quote
Regarding PCs waking up from sleep randomly:
1 - turn off the mouse being able to wake the PC, optical/laser mice can be hilariously sensitive ;)
2. check for scheduled tasks. For example win7 windows update defaults to waking the PC to install things at 3AM, AV can do this too :p
Jamie 22nd March 2010, 18:20 Quote
My iMac goes to sleep and wakes up perfectly.
l3v1ck 22nd March 2010, 18:34 Quote
I've had an issue with mine ever since I built it. I think it's either a motherboard or graphics card bios issue, but I've always been too chicken to flash them with updates. When you restart the PC (and sometimes when you just start it) the screen won't come on. You have to press the reset button again to get it to come on. Very annoying as it did it while was cloning a drive with True Image and it killed the OS installation.
Claave 22nd March 2010, 18:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Get a laptop. :DD

Why not suggest I get Mac while you're at it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isitari
5V rails always seem to suck the most. Even on the 'good' power supplies they seem to be relatively worse off than the 3.3V and the 12V.

As most of the kit in your PC takes power from the 12V rail, I think the 5V is often neglected. But it's a nice reminder for me (and anyone who likes the benefits of Sleep or Hibernate) to check our reviews for 5V rail stability/strength. Nice contribution Isitari!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I have the opposite problem, my PC is an insomniac and wakes up if you so much as look at the mouse, so I tend to shutdown.

See my previous post: Windows 7 gave my PC insomnia
Jenny_Y8S 22nd March 2010, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
I've built 4 PCs over the years and I've never been able to get any of them to hibernate properly, something always fails on wake and causes instability until I reboot.

I've built way more PCs than that and I've never had any problems with hibernate. I've always used it on PC based laptops and UMPCs due to the slow boot times pre win7.

Sleep is another matter though, getting them to wake up on demand depends on the right bios settings and input devices.
Farfalho 22nd March 2010, 20:09 Quote
On Vista never got the hibernate/sleep mode to properly work, after waking it up I had very little time to reboot the pc before it completely stalled just out of nowhere or when rebooting right after waking up, it crashed at the "Shutting off your pc..." screen.

Since 7 I've been able to do that at 100%. Left the power management options default and when I saw the first time the pc went sleeping, got all nervous about crashing. To my surprise, I forgot to reboot and went all night with it on, when shutting off, it was properly done and then I remembered about the hibernate. It just started to work
badders 23rd March 2010, 09:39 Quote
Mine works - it goes to sleep when I press the sleep key ont he keyboard, and wakes up when I press a mouse button.
It's normally fine for about a week, then it'll need a reboot, mostly because Virtualbox won't pick my scanner up any more. (I run a 32-bit Vista VM and pipe my scanner to it cos they never made a 64-bit driver. It still works, so I'm not going to get a new one)

I have found that it wakes up at 8.30am though - but that's just a BIOS setting.
1ad7 23rd March 2010, 09:47 Quote
I find prayer helps. If that fails throw globs of money at the pc until you have 72 inches of workspace.
confusis 23rd March 2010, 10:02 Quote
Hmm - my pc has been going through sleep/wake cycles for about a month without a proper reboot.
Put it to sleep with the front power button at night when I head off to bed, hit the power button when i get up in the morning. Still runs as sweet as a fresh clean boot. it's Win XP, heavily tweaked by me :) Maybe I'm just lucky
DragunovHUN 23rd March 2010, 10:15 Quote
When i was a teen i got up at 4 -4:30 and by 6 in the morning i was in the other end of the city preparing my lathe for the day in trade school.
Bauul 23rd March 2010, 11:24 Quote
Sleep has never worked properly for me, just like most people. Honestly I don't see the purpose in even attempting to use it when it always causes more headaches than not.

Hibernate is usually pretty fast and is much more stable in my experience. Personally though, I always switch off. Saves a little electricity and guarantees a clean boot every time, and it's pretty quick with Win7 even without an SSD.

Put it this way, would you sacrifice 20 seconds each morning to ensure a totally stable boot? If the answer is yes, then always clean boot.
general22 23rd March 2010, 11:25 Quote
Sleep mode is generally incredibly sketchy unless you take the time to disable devices that cause it to turn on randomly.

Hibernate however is awesome for both desktops and laptops.
Xir 23rd March 2010, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
My iMac goes to sleep and wakes up perfectly.

Hey, we're bashing PC's here, don't come with arguments or shiny objects...:D
Spuzzell 23rd March 2010, 17:08 Quote
Good grief.

Just switch it off if you're not using it! Fine, hibernate/sleep uses less energy than just leaving the machine on, but it still uses power.

It's costing you money, it's environmentally indefensible, it hurts performance and it doesn't always work properly. Turn it off, you criminally lazy idiots! It takes less than a minute to turn on a PC!

Pathetic, all of you.
cyrilthefish 23rd March 2010, 17:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Good grief.

Just switch it off if you're not using it! Fine, hibernate/sleep uses less energy than just leaving the machine on, but it still uses power.

It's costing you money, it's environmentally indefensible, it hurts performance and it doesn't always work properly. Turn it off, you criminally lazy idiots! It takes less than a minute to turn on a PC!

Pathetic, all of you.
Actually hibernate uses zero power
/pedant mode
Spuzzell 23rd March 2010, 17:21 Quote
Hibernate (according to Microsoft) uses c.5w for a monitor, and 2.3w for a PC.

That's for business PCs, the numbers for higher power draw home machines won't exactly be any lower.
cyrilthefish 23rd March 2010, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Hibernate (according to Microsoft) uses c.5w for a monitor, and 2.3w for a PC.

That's for business PCs, the numbers for higher power draw home machines won't exactly be any lower.
Sure you're not confusing hibernate and sleep?

i just tested it on a laptop:
-hibernate
-unplug AC and remove all batteries for 30+ secs
-re-attach battery and power up
-perfect restore from hibernate...

requiring power for hibernate would pretty much defeat the point of it.
TSR2 23rd March 2010, 22:57 Quote
Hibernate requires the same amount of power as shutdown, ie 5VSB+whatever your PSU wastes. I presume that's where MS got the numbers from; leaving anything with a transformer in it plugged into the mains, as most people do, uses some power.
dark_avenger 23rd March 2010, 23:39 Quote
Both Hibernation and a full shutdown both require a small amount of power to keep the 5VSB rail live.

Have to agree with most sleep on anything other than a laptop is pretty pointless, hibernation seems to work on most desktops but even just one driver issue and both can stop working.
Kúsař 24th March 2010, 08:37 Quote
And what about those funny jumpers on MB that enable/disable power to USB/PS2 devices during sleep mode?

A little excerpt from mobo manual: "USB device wake-up feature requires a power supply that can provide 500mA on the +5VSB lead for each USB port; otherwise, the system will not power up"

Sleep mode works pretty well on my PC - as long as I click on hibernate button with (USB)mouse. If I press (PS2)keyboard shortcut, the screen will go black but it'll never power down.
Xir 24th March 2010, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2
Hibernate requires the same amount of power as shutdown, ie 5VSB+whatever your PSU wastes. I presume that's where MS got the numbers from; leaving anything with a transformer in it plugged into the mains, as most people do, uses some power.

Which is why one uses a switchable extension cord...one button and everything computer related is completely offline :D
BLC 26th March 2010, 07:54 Quote
Sleep mode works pretty well on my PC. I usually let it sleep, rather than shutdown or hibernate, as I have loads of scheduled TV recordings in Windows Media Centre. PC wakes itself up now and then, records a TV programme, then goes back to sleep. I reboot every couple of weeks or so, and I get no problems at all.
BUTTONPUSHER 27th March 2010, 19:15 Quote
I have been using sleep mode on my PC with both Vista and Win 7 on same motherboard for as long as I can remember with no problems. Do you have ACHI and ACPI ver 2.0 enabled on your board? PC powers back up very quickly from sleep mode, much quicker than hibernate.
Chocobollz 28th March 2010, 22:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Good grief.

Just switch it off if you're not using it! Fine, hibernate/sleep uses less energy than just leaving the machine on, but it still uses power.

It's costing you money, it's environmentally indefensible, it hurts performance and it doesn't always work properly. Turn it off, you criminally lazy idiots! It takes less than a minute to turn on a PC!

Pathetic, all of you.

Hey, I don't think you could call those who are doing sleep/hibernate as lazy because it's actually meant to speed up the whole thing so you can immediately use your PC. I think it's quite the opposite :P

Back to topic, when you got problems with sleep/hibernation, most likely it's because of some device driver's incompatibilities.
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