Double Parity

Windows 7 RC Won’t Sleep!

I’m really digging Windows 7. It seems to have a much leaner resource footprint than Vista and performance, particularly network performance, seems much improved. That said, there are still some issues.

For me, one of the issues is that with Windows 7, my PC won’t stay asleep. It will go into power saving mode and then promptly wake up again. Tweaking various settings in the Power Options control panel had no effect. After some hunting, however, I was able to get to the root of the problem. What I needed to do was to adjust the power management settings for my network adapter. Once I did that, sleep mode worked as expected.

First, to figure out which device was waking the PC from sleep mode, I opened a command prompt and ran “powercfg -lastwake”. The output indicated that my network adapter was the cause.

Next, I opened the Device Manager control panel, right-clicked on my network adapter, and clicked on Properties. This opened my adapter properties. I selected the Power Management tab and got the following window:

NIC Device Power Management

Because I do want to be able to wake up my PC via the network, I checked the box to “Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer”. This means that the PC will still respond to Wake-On-Lan packets, but other network traffic should be ignored.

And voilà, my PC now stays asleep! One thing I’m not sure of is whether the PC will stay awake during really long downloads. This generally isn’t an issue for me, but it may turn into one.

42 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Glen

    I had the same problem and this fixed it. However, this seems like something that will be a problem for the “average” user who isn’t familiar with command prompts or the device manager. Do you think this is something Microsoft is likely to fix for the final release? Maybe set network adapters to default to only waking for “magic packets”?

  2. Double Parity

    I don’t know if I consider this a bug. More of a preference. I personally rarely need my computer to stay awake if I’m not actively using it. But most people would be pretty peeved if their computer went to sleep in the middle of a long overnight download. I think Microsoft just picked what they considered the be the lesser of two evils.

  3. Glen

    I unchecked the box and it worked for a while, then it happened again. I checked and the “Allow this device to wake this computer” box had been re-checked. Any idea why? Thanks for the help!

  4. Mictateur

    … I’ve had this problem for TWO WHOLE MONTHS.

    I was completely convinced it was just a very annoying bug in Windows 7, because Vista did not have that behaviour at all.

    It seems to be working wonders now. THANKS. Really appreciated! =o)

  5. William

    This doesn’t help me, sadly. According to the lastwake command my computer hasn’t ever woken up, so I guess it never even goes to sleep. The screen just fades out and it immediately dumps me to the login screen.

  6. Dan

    I have the exact same problem as William here…

  7. Shawn

    It never gave me the magic packet option so I just unchecked the box “Allow this device to wake the computer”

    Problem solved, thank you!

  8. Wayne

    Thank you!!

  9. Nathan

    I have the same problem as William and Dan. The computer attempts to sleep, but just locks the session and jumps to the login screen. Running “powercfg -lastwake” displays -> “Wake History Count – 0″. When I initially installed the RTM, this worked on my machine. Something, however, has since changed to introduce this bug.

    Any ideas?

  10. Chris

    I am having the same problem as William, Dan & Nathan. I have stopped all hardware to wake computer, yet I am still getting the same problem. My PC will not sleep, it just boots back to a locked session. The -lastwake is not showing any wake counts. I have checks the BIOS cofig and there seems to be nothing there to help. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  11. Chris H.

    I am having the same problem as William, Dan, Nathan and Chris #1. Can’t figure out why my computer power pops off and then back on to the login screen. I’m starting to guess there may be some tiny little driver issue. It’s Vista all over again…

  12. Ste

    My PC wont sleep either and it’s not just Win7 RC, it’s the same with RTM too.

    I Googled the issue before and found the “Allow this device to wake my computer” dialog and there’s also an even longer list in the advanced power management options in control panel, where you can set what USB devices etc can wake you PC aswell.

    I’ve disabled everything and still my PC won’t sleep! To make it even more annoying I’ve installed Win 7 RTM on lots of machines and it’s only my home PC that does it. :(

    I’ve not seen the commandline tool before I’ll give it a go when I get chance, see if I can find what’s waking my PC.

    Cheers for the post – very useful!

  13. Mike

    Thanks for the advice – It wasn’t my network adapter for me, but my mouse that kept waking my computer up.


  14. Abel

    i have the same problem as William, Dan, Nathan and Chris #1, and Chris# 2 lol
    but im actually really frustrated, wth please if anyone knows tell me please

  15. Ryan

    I am having the same problem as other people here in that my Windows 7 RC will not enter sleep. I can manually put the PC to sleep, but that doesn’t thrill me. I have automated things scheduled, like I used to to do in XP, and I expect my PC to go back to sleep on its own. I can not really say this pisses me off because just about everything else has been a pretty good experience, but this was working before and not something seems to have broken it. Why is the question for Microsoft. If you guys don’t want people believing those Apple advertisements then stop doing shit like this to your customers operating systems and stop fucking it up!

  16. Tom

    For all people who couldnt simply disable their adapter try these steps:

    Control panel–>Power options–>change when computer sleep–> advanced power settings and set the following options
    Allow hybrid Sleep > Turn off
    Allow wake timers > turn on/turn off try both settings

    USB selective suspend > Turn on

  17. Eric


    i have the same problem as William, Dan, Nathan and Chris #1, Chris# 2, and Abel. This is god damn ridiculous. it only happens on one of my computers, the other one seems to enter sleep mode (and stay there) w.out any problems. im beginning to thing this is a driver issue, this is wildly frustrating.

    What nic do you guys have? i have an Intel(R) 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection.

    if anyone figures this out, please post here.

  18. ERIC

    well i fixed it, even though this thread is probably dead, and my solution will probably only work for me, but i thought i would post it here incase im wrong. fingers crossed.

    under device manager/network connections/power management there is a 4TH option in my wake on LAN window that i could NOT see as the resolution of the window isnt very large. i realized, contrary to my belief, that the side scrolling arrows were NOT just there for show, i could actually press the one pointing in the downwards direction once to reveal one last hidden, mystical option.
    Wake on Pattern Match !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    muther fucker

    Enables this device to bring the computer out of standby or hibernation when a packet is sent directly to the adapter.
    For example, any attempt to remotely access files stored on the computer will wake it.

    how brilliant …..

    in all honestly, im not entirely sure what that means, and there is probably a perfectly good use for this option, BUT if it causes such insomniac behavior among pcs, then it should not be enabled by DEFAULT!!!!

    my new windows 7 x64 pc now sleeps like a baby.

  19. Steve

    I had problems with Windows 7 not sleeping, or sleeping sporadically. I tried the above and also start then typing ‘power sleep’ and disabling waker timers. Also I have tried start ‘msconfig’ right mouse click on the msconfig.exe that come up above, clicking startup programs and disabling all the nuisance things that programmers like HP have added.

  20. This is a vary bad bug. Windows 7 look out I can see a new MAX TV ad soon!

  21. Adam

    Fixed!!! I had the problem where the computer wouldn’t ever go to sleep at all. I followed Tom’s post and it worked. Under advanced power settings, Sleep, Allow hybrid sleep, I changed it from Yes to No. Now it goes to sleep perfectly.

  22. Jimbo

    I have similiar problem but a little different. The computer goes to sleep just fine and wakes up on a key press. But the second time it just hangs with fans spinning after alot of time the machine completely turns off and when windows comes back up it thinks it did not shut down correctly

    Both with hibernate and sleep do the same thing, this is with windows 7 rc. Is this fixed in the primary release?

    Asus motherboard M4A785TD-V evo bios updated to 0512

    Dang strange it works once

    Have a service ticket with asus but they have not been much help

  23. JAMBergie

    I had the same problem. I got it to work by turning over wake up for both my keyboard and mouse. Everything else left at default fixed it for me.

  24. Dave

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone posting in here … my PC running Windows 7 Professional would NOT sleep to save my ***. I went in and disabled Wake on LAN under power saving, I disabled all Wake on LAN protocols in device manager, as well as turning off Wake on LAN capabilities in the driver itself. Anyway, none of this made a difference – the problem went away when I went to Advanced Power Management options and disabled “Hybrid Sleep” and it effectively solved my problems – my PC now sleeps like a baby. (It was soooo frustrating, since I dual-boot Ubuntu x64 and Win7 x64 – Ubuntu would “Sleep” perfectly, but Windows wouldn’t … GRRRRRR! – but, all better now.) Anyway – y’all gave me the idea, so thanks!

  25. Nico

    Well my problem is different my monitor actually goes to sleep and so does my HDD, but the motherboard, heatsink, fans, DVD burner even the fans in the powersuplly stay on and just about everything else you connet to it(hum… wonder if its cuz of the aftermarket heatsinks on both cards and CPU Cooler(with 3 pin connection not like the stock heatsink where u get the 4 pin connection) is also aftermarket..) on too :( cant seem to find a solution for it…. Help!? Anyone???

  26. dowty

    After trying everything else, including the detailed instructions at MS, I turned “hybrid sleep” off and this fixed the problem. It also enabled Hibernate, which was missing before. Now I hope I have not turned off something which I need.

  27. John

    I updated the audio driver for my board, Asus M4A79XTD EVO, and what do you know? Sleep worked just fine.
    Go figure

  28. JAMES

    I found that doing the following fixed the problem:

    – Disable “Allow this device to wake the pc” on your mouse
    – Disable “Allow this device to wake the pc” on your keyboard
    – Allow only magic packets to wake the PC from your network card

    I left hybrid sleep enabled, although this may not work for everyone

    Hope this helps!

  29. João Paulo

    Fixed following Tom’s post (in fact, turning off the hybrid sleep option)!!!
    Thanks for everyone!

  30. Graham

    Tried all the above but still can’t resolve problem. Can perform manual sleep but simply can’t get system to sleep automatically. All worked when I purchased system and have disabled all new devices I have added since then, i.e. trackball and printer. Anyone have any other suggestions as it is driving me mad?

  31. Graham

    Finally found the solution. Used ‘powercfg -requests’ in the command prompt and found my audio driver was the problem. Adjusted some settings in my audio controls and now my computer can automatically sleep.

  32. Thank you, Graham! Your post helped me find my problem… I have a USB microphone attached which was enabled for playback; as soon as I disabled it my system was able to sleep again!

  33. Doe

    After trying all kinds of methods: going into my network card, powercfg, updates, videos, even uninstall each app and slowly reinstall it again to catch the problem, nothing. Then messing around with the power manager I was finally able to get it to sleep on win 7 OS. Turned Hybrid off and ding, it work. Too bad I found Tom’s post on NOV 9th, 2009 a little too late. Hope this help if you try everything else like me, just try what TOM said up above.

  34. Rod

    Jesus this is really frustrating. I tried everything on here nothing works. Funy thing is that it used to work.

    Powercfg-requests yields Display:None, System: None, Awaymode: None.

    Wake History Count – 1
    Wake History [0]
    Wake source count -0

    The weirdest part is that if I unplug everything from the back of the computer and use the front USB ports, it goes to sleep.

    I’m using an ASUS PT6 Deluxe motherboard, and disabled “allow this device to wake this computer” for every component I could find.

    Any other ideas out there?

  35. Shayne

    Thank you so much!, my computer has had this problem since the beta versions and I could not find a fix anywhere for this.

  36. Hi,

    Thanks for the tips, but it is not working for me. Everytime I tell teh computer to sleep (by keypress, cli, or clicking in the start menu), it will only put the screen black, but continue working.

    If I press the little switch that counts as lid closed, as soon as I release it, login screen is right there, too fast.

    And after I done that a few times:

    C:\Users\Tiago>powercfg -lastwake
    Wake History Count – 0


    Can anyone help me???

  37. save time and change the mouse after removing all USB plugs.
    My optical new mouse was the problem!

  38. John R

    Brand new HP win 7 PC bought Dec 2010 sleep worked fine.
    Now I can’t get it to sleep. Only hardware I added was a USB connected HP Deskjet printer, but I don’t know if that actually caused the lack of sleep. Also added a couple of application programs but they did not cause the problem.
    Removed printer cable, disabled hybrid sleep and re-booted.
    Wake history count – 0 but i suspect it only counts from the last boot, and sleep has not worked for several days now.
    powercfg -waketimers says there are no active waketimers in the system, so i believe it’s simply not going to sleep vs being woken up.
    Will update if i get more info.

  39. David B

    After I installed Synergy as server on my Win7 64 bit PC it started jumping right out of sleep.

    Checking the box for ‘magic packet’ fixed the problem.


  40. Matt

    This frustrated the hell out of me. I disabled every “allow to wake up the computer” and it still wouldn’t sleep. The solution that worked for me does not make any sense. But what solved it for me was to disable “hybrid sleep.” Why that works, I will never know.

  41. charlie

    Hybernate no worked for me also. Yahoo!! Thank you.

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