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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Resolving Problems with Sleep Mode (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows 7.

Pressing the Sleep key on the keyboard or clicking Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu should cause the computer to enter a lower power state. In this state, the computer screen should go blank and the power light on the front of the computer should blink. This saves power while the computer is not in use.

Figure 1: Shut down menu

To wake the computer, move the mouse, press the sleep button on the keyboard or press the power button on the front of the computer.

Figure 2: Sleep button on keyboard

If the computer wakes from sleep mode unexpectedly, if pressing the sleep button on the keyboard or clicking Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu does not put the computer into a lower power state, or if pressing the sleep button on the keyboard does not wake the computer, use this document to help resolve the issue.

NOTE: If the sleep key on the keyboard fails to wake the computer, pressing the blinking power button on the front of the computer will usually work.

Step 1: Enabling the Keyboard

Skip this step if the computer does not enter sleep mode or wakes unexpectedly.

If pressing the sleep button on the keyboard does not wake the computer from sleep mode, it might be that the keyboard is not enabled to do so. Enable the keyboard as follows:

  1. Click Start
    , and enter Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager .

    Figure 3: Opening Device Manager

  2. Click the arrow next to Keyboards, then double-click the name of the keyboard.

    Figure 4: Device Manager Keyboards

    The Keyboard Properties window opens.

  3. If the Power Management tab is available, proceed to the next step.

    If the Power Management tab is not available, click the Change Settings button. The same Keyboard Properties window opens with the Power Management tab available.

    Figure 5: Keyboard Properties

    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. Click the Power Management tab and make sure that the box next to Allow this device to wake the computer is checked.

    Figure 6: Allow the keyboard to wake the computer

  5. Click OK . Test to make sure that the keyboard can now wake the computer. Continue using these steps if the computer still cannot wake from sleep mode.

    If Allow this device to wake the computer was already selected, continue using these steps.

    NOTE: To see if the keyboard supports sleep mode, follow these steps:
    1. Click the Details tab.

    2. Select Power data from the Property drop-down list.

    3. View the Power capabilities section to see exact function calls that are supported by the keyboard. If the keyboard cannot support a WAKE function, a connection problem exists or the device is incompatible.

    Figure 7: Power data details

Step 2: Changing device settings

Some device settings can cause the computer to return from a power savings state unexpectedly. This can cause the computer to wake from sleep mode for no apparent reason. Activity from devices such as a Wireless Mouse, Network, or High Definition Audio can cause the computer to wake. Network activity can cause the network hardware to wake the computer, especially when the network is always on (like cable and DSL connections). Use the following steps to prevent hardware devices from waking the computer:

  1. Click Start
    , and enter Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager .
  2. Click the arrow next to the device that needs to be adjusted.

    • If you are using an optical mouse, select Mice and other pointing devices .

    • If the computer is using an "always-on" Internet connection, select Network Adapters .

    • To check the high definition audio settings, click Sound, video, and game controllers .

  3. Double-click the name of the device to open a Properties window.

  4. If the Power Management tab is available, proceed to the next step.

    If the Power Management tab is not available, click the Change Settings button. The same Properties window opens with the Power Management tab available.

    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  5. Click the Power Management tab, and remove the check next to Allow this device to wake the computer .

    Figure 8: Power management tab for a mouse

    NOTE: If you prevent the mouse from being able to wake the computer, you can still wake the computer using the Sleep button on the keyboard or the power button on the front of the computer.
  6. Click OK , close the windows that are open, and then restart the computer.

  7. Click Start
    , and click Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu to see if the issue still exists:

    If the issue still exists, go to the next Step.

Step 3: Checking for a problem with a connected device

Some devices can cause sleep/standby issues. Use these steps to check for a problem with the devices connected to the computer.

  1. Disconnect all non-essential connected devices (printers, scanners, USB drives).

  2. Restart the computer with only the original mouse, monitor, and keyboard connected.

    If this resolves the sleep/standby issue, one of the connected devices was causing the problem. Replace one device and test to see if the issue occurs again. Continue adding devices and testing until the you find the device that is causing the problem.

    If the issue still exists, go to the next Step.

Step 4: Using Microsoft System Restore

If sleep/standby mode previously worked, use System Restore to revert the computer back to a time when the mode worked. If the issue has always existed, skip this step.

NOTE: For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Perform a System Restore from Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools

  1. Save any open files and close all programs. Backup any important files.

  2. Click Start
    , All Programs , Accessories , System Tools , and then click System Restore .

    The Restore system files and settings window opens.

    Figure 9: Restore system files and settings window

  3. Select Choose a different restore point, and then click Next .

  4. Select a date from the list when sleep/suspend mode was working correctly, and then click Next .

    Figure 10: Choose a restore point window

  5. Confirm the restore point, and then click Finish .

    Figure 11: Confirm your restore point window

  6. Click Yes in the confirmation message that opens.

  7. The computer should shut down and turn back on automatically after the restoration completes.

    Figure 12: Success message

  8. Click Start
    , and click Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu to see if the issue still exists:

    If the issue still exists, go to the next Step.

    NOTE: If System Restore resolves the issue, the problem is probably caused by software that was installed after the restore point date.

Step 5: Disabling screen savers

Some screen savers can interfere with sleep/standby mode. Disabling or changing the screen saver might resolve the issue.

Change the screen saver settings from Start/Control Panel/Appearance and Personalization

  1. Click Start
    , and then click Control Panel .
  2. Click Appearance and Personalization .

  3. Under Personalization, click Change screen saver .

    Figure 13: Change screen saver

  4. In the Screen Saver Settings window, select an alternate screen saver or set it to (None) , and then click OK .

    Figure 14: Screen Saver Settings

  5. Click Start
    , and click Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu to see if the issue still exists:

    If the issue still exists, go to the next Step.

Step 6: Preventing startup programs from opening

Many software components start up automatically and run without being seen. Most of these programs are not necessary to the work performed on a computer, but can interfere with sleep/standby mode. For troubleshooting purposes use the following steps to prevent programs from starting when Windows is first opened.

Deselect unnecessary tasks from the Selective Startup menu in the System Configuration tool

  1. Click Start , and type msconfig into the Search box. Click msconfig .

    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    The System Configuration tool is displayed.

  2. Click the General tab and make sure Selective startup is selected.

    Figure 15: General tab

  3. Select the Startup tab and remove the checks from any tasks that do not contribute to the system and are unwanted.

    If unsure about a task, write the name down and research it on the Internet. Do not remove a check mark if you do not know what the task is. For a list of files that are recommended not to remove, review the HP support document: Using Microsoft System Configuration in Windows 7 .

    Figure 16: Startup tab

  4. Click Apply , then click OK to accept the changes. Restart the computer.

  5. When prompted, click Restart .

    Figure 17: Restart the computer

  6. If Windows or other software stops working after a check mark is removed from a task, restart the computer and reverse these procedures to replace the checkmark. If needed, you can press F8 after the very first blue HP startup screen (after the computer has been turned on) to open safe mode. For more information, see Windows 7 Safe Mode .

By completing these steps, Windows will run using Selective startup. This means that Windows prevents the selected programs from starting. If Selective startup is disabled in the future, all of the selected software programs will start again.

Step 7: Changing the power settings

Power settings control the computer’s ability to go into and come out of sleep/standby mode. Make sure the power options are set so the computer can use sleep/standby mode correctly.

Adjust the Power Options from Start/Control Panel/System and Security

The following steps provide detailed instructions.

  1. Click Start
    , Control Panel , System and Security , and then click Power Options .

    Figure 18: Power Options

  2. Select one of the available plans (Recommended Settings , Power saver , Balanced , or High performance .

  3. Click Change plan settings .

    • If you want the display and computer to stay on, change the settings to Never .

    • If you want to customize a power plan, click Change advanced power settings and make the selections on the screen.

    • If you want to restore default power settings, click Restore default settings for this plan .

  4. Click Save changes , and then restart the computer.

  5. Click Start
    , and click Sleep from the Windows 7 Shut down menu to see if the issue still exists:
  6. If the issue still exists, follow these steps to disable hybrid sleep:

    1. Use the steps in this section to select High Performance from Power Options.

    2. Click Change plan settings , and then select Change Advanced Power Settings .

      Figure 19: Advanced Power Settings

    3. Click the plus sign (+ ) next to Sleep.

    4. Click the plus sign (+ ) next to Allow hybrid sleep.

    5. Select Off from the drop-down menu.

    6. Click OK .

If the issue still exists, go to the next Step.

Step 8: Upgrading the BIOS and keyboard software

If the sleep button on the keyboard still does not work, go to the HP Software and Driver Download page , enter your computer model number into the field provided, and install any keyboard and BIOS updates available for Windows 7.

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