The 2GB Windows XP Hibernation Problem

If you ..

.. you may have experienced this error at some point when attempting to hibernate:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Solution: Use less than 2GB of memory :P.

But seriously, I’m probably going to upgrade the RAM on my laptop to 2GB, so it’s good to know this. Thanks.

I had a problem a while back (SP1) where my laptop would start hibernating, but never actually finish the job - it would just hang on a blank screen. I’ve only got 512MB of RAM, so it’s not the same problem, but getting home to find that your laptop is only off because it’s battery is drained, and the inside of your bag is boiling, is quite disturbing.

It’s fixed now (not exactly sure what I added/removed to fix it), but I always wait until the ‘Hibernating’ progress bar shows up before I put my laptop away now. Hanging at hibernate is terrible.

Oh, and if you have Half-life 2 running, it will stop the computer hibernating (but not say anything).

It’s not only for 2GB+.
I have 1.25GB in my laptop and I have this problem.

Downloading the patch now, thanks!

It’s actually 1.5GB or somewhere in that vicinity. And the hotfix does work great.

I guess it took this long for 1.5gb+ to be mainstream enough to expose the bug?

Thank goodness 64-bit versions of Vista are on the horizon, because God knows what kinds of problems we’d start seeing if 4gb became common. We’d be butting directly up against the 32-bit memory limit on Joe Sixpack machines.

The bug actually exists from 1 gig of RAM. There is no need to call MS support, it only took me one e-mail to quickly obtain the bugfix for the Czech version of Windows XP.

Thanks Jeff!

I’ve suffered from this problem for quite a while, although I put it down to malfunctioning device rather than the 2GB upgrade I’d made.

Here’s hoping it’ll solve the problem.

With the silent PSU I installed, it’s very hard to me to tell if my computer is running after I turn the screen off.

Do the defragmentation of the HDD. Delete contents from “temp” and “temprory internet files” folder.

Restart the PC / Laptop. Now everything will work fine.


Rajesh, I don’t think that is the problem. I had 40+ gigabytes free on a 73 gigabyte boot drive. The patch is working well for me so far.

That said, obviously hibernation won’t work if you run out of disk space…

Im having a problem with my 1 GB of RAM laptop waking up from hibernate… i push the button and it makes noises like it wants to start up and i can hear the drive spin up but the screen just stays black… is this part of the same problem?

is this part of the same problem?

No, I don’t think so. This is a problem when ENTERING hibernation, as pictured in the screenshot above…

I have 3 GB and WinXP recognizes 2.5 G!

Help me solve it please.

Ian, realize that 3 GB doesn’t exactly mean 3000 MB or 3,000,000,000 bytes. Using this online converter, a href=""
you can confirm that 3,000,000,000 bytes equals about 2.79397 GB.

If that isn’t the issue then you might have a motherboard that can’t handle mapping the PCI memory area correctly. This page might be of some help: a href=""

Hey Jeff,

I’ve been reading your site for almost a year - since a friend and collegue put me onto it, almost every day and every article I’ve at least been scanning and a while back I read this one.

Well I must have remembered to bookmark it at the time, because I was on my way here to search for this exact article and there it was in my favorites.

I’ve suffered the exact horrors you’ve actually mentioned - my laptop not shutting down and me throwing it in a bag to take home.

No problems so far, apart from an empty battery the next morning - but it could have been worse…

So thanks for throwing us these nuggets of info every day mate, its been a great help for me and I know where to throw a link to friends to help them out.


After hibernate, open the Device Manager then push the “Scan for hardware changes” button. It will fix the high cpu usage problem.

After hibernate, open the Device Manager then push the “Scan for hardware changes” button. It will fix the high cpu usage problem.

My XP had problem waking up from hibernation. I figured out that the problem was I had switched of Fast user switching and terminal services on my comp. With these services not running, XP takes some 5 minutes before the monitor comes up. This shows up only when I put the comp on hibernate when logged in. If I log out and put it on hibernate, there was no problem.

Hi. I was also glad to find this fix but I couldn’t install it because of my Swedish Win XP.
Do you happen to know where I can find one? Havn’t managed to do so myself.

After adding a 1GB RAM module on my TabletPC at times (unpredictable) I received the error.
A link in the MS TablePC newsgroup led me to this site.
Called MS, installed the hotfix and the problem is gone.

Thanks a lot for your most valuable advice.