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Windows 7: PC Randomly Enters Sleep Mode (Kernel Power Event 42)

09 Feb 2014   #1
Fiero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
PC Randomly Enters Sleep Mode (Kernel Power Event 42)

Hello all,

I've tried to troubleshoot this issue in which my laptop will enter sleep mode at random times. Strangely, it only happens when my computer is plugged in to the adapter. Looking in the Windows event logs showed that entering sleep mode was either caused by Event 37 (system is limited by firmware) or Event 42 (entering sleep because of the sleep button or lid). I have since installed every software update provided by Dell's website for my laptop model (Inspiron 7720), including the latest BIOS update, but the issue persists. After receiving the Event 42 warning in the log, I deactivated the power button in the power options for the current power plan, which only caused the system to freeze up entirely when it entered sleep mode again. The power light was still on, but the screen turned off and neither the touchpad nor the mouse nor the keyboard would wake the computer up. I've also tried using a different adapter with this laptop - a 90W adapter instead of the 130W one that came with the laptop - but this only prolonged the time it took for the computer to enter sleep mode again. I even deactivated sleep mode in the power options to ensure that this wasn't the cause. It will enter sleep mode regardless of whatever I'm doing, too - even while I was typing this post, the screen turned black and the power button began pulsing. The only way I can turn the laptop back on again is by closing the lid and opening it again, since for some reason pressing the power button won't do anything in this state. I've even tried the more obvious solutions for random sleep problems, like using canned air and running antivirus scans, but no viruses or malware have been found and I barely cleaned any dust out of my relatively new laptop. The randomness of the problem indicates that it's probably a software issue, but I can't locate whatever is specifically causing the problem. Sometimes, my laptop will go into sleep mode with no programs running, and other times it has waited about two hours into playing a game to enter sleep mode. A few times, it's even gone to sleep as soon as I plugged my computer in to the adapter again after running on battery. Any suggestions for how to solve this problem are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Fiero


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Feb 2014   #2
archer

Windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

Hi Fiero, Welcome to Forums.

Reason for the issue can be anything. Like a software which came pre installed on your laptop. Dell and other brands install their own power management tools.

You can goto advanced power management settings, look indeed for hibernate or sleep, change the 180 minutes into 0 for meaning NEVER.

If you find some software in your Control panel (add/remove programs) by Dell for power management. Try to uninstall it (Don't worry you can get it back from Dell site) and check.

Check for Keyboard/touchpad/mouse/DVD RW for "Allow this device to wake up the computer" at the "Power management" tab of respective hardware.

Keep us posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #3
Fiero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello archer,

I booted my computer in safe mode and left it running and plugged into its adapter for several hours without it entering sleep mode. Looking through the list if installed programs, I didn't find any power-related programs from Dell. Hibernation and hybrid sleep are completely disabled on my current power plan, so I narrowed the list of potential causes down to the mouse, the display adapters, and hardware issues (keyboard, motherboard, etc.). I also ran the "powercfg /energy" command in an elevated command prompt to locate power issues, and it found three issues: one related to the SD card reader (which I had just updated the drivers for) and the others related to the USB ports (which I reinstalled drivers for through device manager). I decided to update the display drivers for both the integrated graphics card (Intel HD 4000) and dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GT 650) after the issue persisted, uninstalling the drivers for the NVIDIA card and installing the latest drivers from the NVIDIA website. When my computer restarted after updating the drivers, my computer entered sleep mode during bootup - just before the login screen appeared and a minute later after logging in. I went into device manager and uninstalled the adapter manually, allowing the drivers to be reinstalled automatically by Windows, but the random sleep issue persists. I did find that the keyboard and mouse were allowed to wake my computer from sleep, so I disabled those settings, but I think the issue is related to either the graphics or the motherboard itself.

Thanks,
Fiero
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Feb 2014   #4
archer

Windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

Oftentimes the cause of this sort of random hibernation/shutdown is overheating. Most computers are set to hibernate if the internal temperature reaches a certain level. A friend of mine has an Asus laptop, and it tends to run hot. Speedfan is a very popular piece of software which can be used to check the temperature being reported by your computer's internal sensors. You should be able to find a datasheet for your CPU, which will tell you the heat tolerances, and whether it is in fact the heat that is causing it to hibernate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2014   #5
Fiero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello archer,

I have tried using Speedfan before, but since the program couldn't alter fan speeds at certain temperatures on my computer, I uninstalled it. I do have the standalone program GPU-Z, which also monitors PC temperatures. I've never noticed any temperatures dramatically higher than normal detected before or after the random sleep intervals. I tried flashing the BIOS after my computer went into sleep mode without being connected to anything except my printer's USB cable. A few hours after flashing the BIOS without even having my laptop on, I plugged it back in to the adapter and it entered sleep mode after about half an hour of normal use. I think it's safe to say that it's a motherboard issue rather than a heat-related issue. While I was researching the issue, I came across a forum describing a issue similar to mine:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1779413
Based on the information in this forum, I think I may need to replace the motherboard altogether. All of my drivers are up to date, and the BIOS is fully updated. If anyone has more suggestions for this issue, please feel free to share your ideas.

Thanks,
Fiero
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2015   #6
cobeal

Windows 7 pro x64
 
 

I wonder if you ever found a resolution. We have been experiencing similar events on a new Dell Inspiron 17 only not with the frequency listed on this page. My theory is that the system somehow senses that it is in ON BATTERY mode even when plugged in. Perhaps it goes into a state of not charging when the battery is full and somehow during that time if there is no activity it is running a countdown while depleting the battery a bit and before it gets low enough to trigger the system to switch back over to plugged in state the countdown triggers a 15 minute go to sleep event followed by a HIBERNATE event 120 minutes later.

On the Windows 7 model our event logging records under the SYSTEM category that the system went to sleep due to IDLE STATE which means it is not heat related but is acting as if it is on battery. 2 hours later it wakes up in order to perform a hibernate and puts the computer into hibernate mode which follows the power settings for ON BATTERY.

I confirmed with absolute certainty that all plugged in settings have no sleep or hibernate options set and that the events that are logged on this Windows 7 professional computer follow the timing of how the computer is set to behave when on battery even though it is plugged in and there have been no power failures.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2015   #7
Fiero

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello cobeal,

This issue with my laptop has been resolved, but I'm not certain exactly what solved it. I sent my computer to Dell three times after reinstalling Windows (which didn't solve the issue). The first time, Dell replaced the RAM and motherboard and the second time the RAM, motherboard, Windows and palmrest (to repair damage to the laptop from shipping) were reinstalled. The final time, Dell replaced the hard drive and motherboard and also reinstalled Windows. I'm not certain whether the "hard drive" that was replaced was the main hard drive or the mSATA disk I installed after purchasing the laptop, since the form detailing what was replaced does not specify. Considering I reinstalled Windows and all of my laptop's drivers multiple times, though, the issue was caused by hardware, not software. If your problems are from the same source as mine, then they are most likely caused by hardware as well. Depending on your laptop's model and year, it may have the same faulty hardware (motherboard or hard drive, I assume) as mine. My issue did not show up in any hardware checks I had run, including multiple "My Dell" and BIOS scans, but running some scans may help you diagnose any possible hardware issues.

I hope this helps,
Fiero
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2015   #8
cniggeler

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I have an HP z200 workstation, not a laptop, no battery power. I have high performance specified as my power option, and have specified 60 minutes for sleep time. In as little as 8 minutes my system is put to sleep with the log entry titled, "Event 42, Kernel-Power", and the text being "The system is entering sleep. Sleep Reason: System Idle".

This is annoying because it shuts down networking and the Intel network takes a few seconds to reestablish, so automatically refreshed web pages show network errors and I have to wait a few seconds more to return my computer to normal operation.

There were two proximate system changes, date-wise, to the onset of this problem, so it is not possible for me to say which, if either, changes were at the root of this problem:
1. Replaced widescreen LED monitor with new DELL monitor.
2. Updated to Windows 10.

I uninstalled the software provided with the Dell monitor, rebooted, and the issue has NOT gone away. I will no longer post here and instead go to Win10 forum but will continue to monitor this thread in case someone comes up with further ideas as to resolution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2015   #9
cniggeler

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Update: I've done extensive searching and made numerous changes using the suggestions found, and nothing has resolved the issue. I can replicate the issue readily: put the computer to sleep, wake it up, then do nothing. In as little as a minute and as long as 10 minutes, the computer will go BACK to sleep.

This does not occur from a restart; the gating condition seems to be going to sleep the first time. I would appreciate feedback from others whether this is indeed the recipe for causing the problem.

For now I have set the computer to never sleep and shut the monitor off after 20 minutes. I will also rely on the BIOS and OS to slow the processor down during idle times to try and stay green. Not helpful I know for laptop users, but this is occurring on a desktop machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2016   #10
PaddyMcQ

Windows 7 Pro X64
 
 

After 2 years of flawless operation, my Win 7 desktop PC is now randomly going into sleep mode exactly as cniggeler describes. Even in the middle of typing or whatever. Same events in Event Viewer as cniggeler describes. Screen saver has always been disabled. No hardware changes and same OS except for updates. Disabled all sleep/hibernation settings. Checked mobo/cpu temps. Restored previous restore point. Checked for malware. Always kept a minimal number of installed programs and nothing (knowingly) new since this crap started... except Windows Updates. Too weird and really frustrating. WTF? Help! Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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