USB Sleep of Death

image Windows 7 RC to RTM Upgrade Doesn’t Preserve All Settings talked about the “sleep of death” problem common with UMPCs and laptops. To save power, you put your device in standby, sleep or hibernate. When you move the on/off switch to resume, the screen remains blank (black), even though the HDD indicator seemed active. The only choice is a restart. Which defeats the purpose of standby, sleep or hibernate. This problem has been called “USB Sleep of Death”, USB because that is the interface for the screen on many UMPCs.

The solution, as I mentioned in my prior article, seemed straightforward. In Device Manager, USB controllers, some entries have a Power Management tab. I unchecked "Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power." Problem solved.

Or so I thought. After a while, the sleep of death problem recurred with my Viliv X70. I went back to Device Manager. For the USB controllers which had a Power Management tab, "Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power" was checked again. Obviously my unchecking wasn’t sticking.

The solution: Control Panel, Power Options, Edit Plan Settings, Change advanced power settings, USB Settings, USB selective suspend setting, choose Disabled (instead of Enabled) for On battery and Plugged in. This is for Windows 7; the exact path to this setting may differ for XP and Vista (I haven’t checked yet). This change should be made for each power plan you use.

Hopefully my change will now stick, and this will help those of my readers who also may face this issue.

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