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Standby can scramble the screen on your computer if drivers or BIOS are out of date. Ultimately this is one of the reasons I have trained myself not to use Standby.

Recently, my screen either fails to awaken or when it does, it's scrambled until I can get the password in to wake up Windows 7. I wiggle the mouse, click the mouse and then enter my password blindly and then it comes back in most of the time after a few minutes. It should be noted that I cannot turn the monitor off as even the power button is not responsive. The video card is a relatively new GE Force 210. I removed a recent NVDIA, update and reinstalled original drivers to no avail. What else could this be?

In this excerpt from Answercast #73, I look at a case where a screen scrambles when coming back from Standby.

Standby scrambles screen

Well, unfortunately, standby can occasionally be somewhat destabilizing, particularly for video drivers.

I would certainly make sure that you have the latest video drivers for your specific video hardware.

Analyzing the video driver

As long as that login screen displays normally when you have not done standby (in other words, when you power up your machine or so forth) that implies that the screen resolution being used by that login screen is, in fact, appropriate and something that your card can handle.

Unfortunately, there really isn't a good, you know, "Wave this magic wand and make the problem go away." Your best bet is the drivers.

Standby BIOS issues

There is a small chance that it may in fact be a BIOS-related issue. The computer BIOS is in fact involved very heavily with things like standby. As a result, issues with the BIOS can sometimes reflect in problems coming back from standby.

So that's something else to look into.

Standby is unreliable

Bottom line is to make sure you're running the latest video drivers. If that doesn't solve the problem, consider seeing if there's a BIOS update for your machine.

If there isn't, ultimately you know this is really one of the reasons that I personally have trained myself not to use standby. Not because it isn't a good feature when it works; it's just that it turned into something that is somewhat unreliable - unreliable enough that I just choose not to use it.

Next from Answercast 73 - How do I make a URL clickable in email?

Article C6065 - November 24, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment

Joe F
November 28, 2012 12:03 PM

I don't think standby should be classified as generally unreliable. Certainly, it may not work well on some machines, but on average, in my experience, I've had good results with it (even on older machines). For example, I have the following machines that use standby regulary and reliably:

Ubuntu Linux on Asus desktop (about 2 yr old), standby used daily, rebooted monthly.
Win 2000 on Dell Optiplex 260 desktop (about 10 yr old), standby used daily, rebooted monthly.
Win XP Home on Toshiba Satellite laptop (about 10 yr old), used occasionally.

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