Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Standby can often be unstable, especially on older machines. There could be a fix or you might want to change your power management methods!

I'm running Thunderbird 14 and Firefox. They both hang coming out of sleep. I can't do anything. I've tried all of the possible setups and still the same. I have to close and then reopen each one.

In this excerpt from Answercast #48, I look at a machine that is hanging when it comes back from standby mode.

Standby crashes

Unfortunately, standby can occasionally be a little bit destabilizing for some computers.

I say "some computers" and not necessarily "some applications," but of course, it's a combination of the two.

  • Standby, or sleep, actually requires support from the computer's own BIOS;

  • And many BIOS' on older computers basically have issues with sleep.

So much so that I ended up training myself to never use sleep because it was always so unreliable when I came back.

Things like what you are describing (the applications hanging when you come back from sleep) were common to me and it wasn't just Firefox or Thunderbird; it was any number of different applications and occasionally the entire operating system itself.

Network adapters not coming back from sleep

My guess is, in your case (since you're mentioning both of these two network based applications),...my guess is that your network adapter simply isn't coming out of sleep properly.

You can certainly try getting updated drivers for it... but in all honesty, my guess is you're running a slightly older machine with a slightly older BIOS. It's probably a function of the BIOS that's causing these kinds of problems.

You can also (if you feel like it, it's important enough to you)... you can certainly try updating the BIOS for that computer.

Turn off standby

Ultimately, I personally don't find standby that helpful in most cases. You can try hibernate instead.

  • Hibernate actually shuts the computer down in a completely different way that uses much less power while it's in hibernation.

  • When it comes back up, hardware is reinitialized in a completely different way.

That can be more stable. I'm not saying that it doesn't have its own set of problems on some machines. But, in my experience, hibernate can be slightly more stable than standby on older machines.

Ultimately, I really don't have an answer for you. You can certainly try, as I said:

  • Updating the BIOS;

  • Updating the drivers for your network adapter.

But in all honesty, it's very possible that there's not a whole lot that can be done here.

Shut down completely

If that's the case, you can try hibernate or you can simply revert to shutting the machine down normally and completely, and avoiding the feature entirely.

Article C5747 - August 29, 2012 « »

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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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