So you've lost (or never had) Standby and/or Hibernate?

These problems are nearly always driver related. How you resolve it depends on a couple of things:

1) Did it used to work?
2) What did you change before it stopped working?

First thing: Using both BIOS-based power management and Windows-based power management rarely works. If you are using both, disable one or the other.

If it never worked, you have to consider the possibility that it may not ever work. Standby is a function designed more for laptops, not desktops. On desktops, it's almost always spotty. Sometimes, reducing the power state that standby achieves can help (often a BIOS setting). Sometimes, updating a driver can help, especially a new install that is relying primarily on default drivers supplied with Windows. Default drivers don't usually cover the full spectrum of functionality, they just provide for basic function.

If it used to work, then look at what you've changed. This can mean that you added hardware, added or modified conflicting software, or that you updated some driver. If you added hardware, then check with the manufacturer for an updated driver (the one in the box is usually several generations old). If you recently updated a driver, particularly if you got it from WindowsUpdate, roll the system back to the previous one. To do a rollback, check the properties of the device in Device Manager. The rollback option is on the driver tab.

Software is often difficult to diagnose. Any software that runs as a background application ("runs invisible while you work") can be a potential cause. Some tie into system device drivers and cause issues. Some conflict with other installed software, and while independently they are fine, together they are a nightmare. If you recently installed some new software, it is a potential cause of the loss of this function - disabling or removing it can help determine if this is the problem. Here is a list of programs that have been known to cause issues:

If you have an addition to this list, please forward the information to

Beyond this list, updating software can also be a cause. That latest update to your antivirus software is a suspect, as can virtually any modification of installed software. Do not rule anything out just because it has never been a problem before. Using the troubleshooting steps in the below article can usually identify the culprit, but it does take some time.

The last possibility is a driver conflict. This is usually difficult to diagnose, as you will have to do some troubleshooting by disabling various drivers and seeing if you can get the standby function to operate correctly. These articles can help:

How to Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP

HOW TO: Perform Advanced Clean-Boot Troubleshooting in Windows XP

A short definition of the Power States:

Not all states are supported on all systems, and this is a somewhat simplified view. Some systems, hardware, or combinations thereof will not support any of these states.

This page was last updated on 09/16/2007