XP SP3 hangs when going into Standby

Hi experts,

I have a freshly installed XP Pro SP3 that SOMETIMES hangs when going into standby. It remains stuck at the "Preparing to standby" screen, but I can still move the mouse pointer around. Unfortunately the only way of getting it out of this state is by hard resetting the PC.

There are no USB devices attached to it except for keyboard and mouse.

Thanks in advance for any hints!
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Check with Event Viewer the system/application logs for problems reported there, and post them here.


How to View Application Log Events in Event Viewer
To view events in the Application Log of Event Viewer: 1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.  
2. Double-click Administrative Tools, then double-click Event Viewer.

NOTE: Alternatively, you can start Event Viewer by starting the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) program that contains the Event Viewer snap-in.
3. Click to expand Event Viewer (if it is not already expanded).  
4. Click Application.

The events that are logged in the Application Log are displayed in the right details pane.  
5. To view more details about a specific event, double-click the event that you want to view.
6. To copy the details of the event, click the Copy button, open a new document using the program in which you want to paste the event (for example, Microsoft Word), and then click Paste on the Edit menu.
7. To view the description of the previous or next event, click the up or down arrow.
What did you do to the system, between when it worked, and when it didn't?
You might want to take a look here...

Standby & Hibernate Issues in Windows XP

By the way, which brand/model is your pc?
I ask this because once I saw a similar problem with a SONY VAIO, and the problem was that there was some operating system update missing to install, which should be downloaded from the SONY website.
Cloud Class® Course: CompTIA Cloud+

The CompTIA Cloud+ Basic training course will teach you about cloud concepts and models, data storage, networking, and network infrastructure.

jiiins2Author Commented:
Thanks for the replies. I'll check the logs later, when at home.

I just reformatted the PC because of other issues and installed the bare minimum (Office, antivirus,...). The problem appeared from day 0.

There is no brand, it's a custom made PC. On another partition it runs XP SP 3 without any problems... with many applications installed.

I'll post the logs later.

jiiins2Author Commented:
HI Pablov, I checked the link you posted but nothing applies to my situation. Furthermore, there is nothing suspicious in any of the logs (no significant warnings or errors).

Any other ideas?

jiiins2Author Commented:
I just found out that the same happens with hibernation: the system remains stuck with "preparing to hibernate"...

Help! I feel I'm back to Windows 3.11 :(

It's probably a program such as Norton not releasing the system.
Hanging on standbye  could be a screensaver activated
wrong power settings incompatible with this buggy xpsp3 itself.
Did you have any of these problems prior to sp3?
I'd look into what software is running
open your task manager and look at what's running prior

maybe you answered yourself>> On another partition it runs XP SP 3 without any problems

so what drive letter is associated with partition that you are logged into?
Is it C drive?

jiiins2Author Commented:
It's the C drive. I use ESET32 as antivirus, no screensaver. This is a fresh install, so I don't know if prior to SP3 there were any problems. I'm not sure, but there seem to be a link with Outlook: when it's not running, it seems that I have fewer standby hangs. But maybe it's just coincidence...
How can I find out if the power settings are correct?

Here is the hardware configuration:
Asus P5K Deluxe
Intel Core2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
ATI Radeon X1050

look in control panel power options/

I'd also add
If it's a home build could be numerous things pretty hard to pin down.
is this a windows partition with a fully operating system? xpsp2 prior to xpsp3?
Point one>>
I just reformatted the PC because of other issues and installed the bare minimum (Office, antivirus,...). The problem appeared from day 0.
Point two
You say you dont have any problems on another partition so did that have xpsp2 prior?
Some of these new AV use Outlook with newer versions of office especially with ( xpsp3)  
if you dont use Outlook but rather use Outlook Express check in the settings of this AV to disable checking Outlook Client.
I had a similar problem with AVG 8 auto set itself to point to Outlook and I use only Outlook Express.

Could also be related to an old problem we used to get in windows 98 carried on over to windowsxp with a corrupted exit wav.
ring any bells?
when windows shutdown if the exit wav is missing or corrupted it hangs/
disable any exit wavs in control panel sounds and audio devices>Sounds
windows log off. Actually Disable all them.

Could be a sound card drivers problem if the sound card is not happy with xpsp3.
Is this system on a lan have any other accounts active?
Did you switch users without logging off?
Could be a bios version issue with xpsp3

All the above otherwise I would dare say it's the OS is missing some integral system files.
Xpsp3 is an upgrade over xpsp2.
How you installed xpsp3,
personally I'd run a repair re-install.
Or just drop xpsp3 and go back to xpsp2. Good Old reliable,
these new packs oh so failed dismally  that MS was forced to extended the life of XP sp2 can't argue with the majority.
 have you updated it recently looked for patches?

Good Luck


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
I just remembered reading this
XP SP3 Win32_Processor Class Labels Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs Incorrectly


And this one
Install SP3 in Safe Mode. To do this, we can avoid third-party programs conflict and make sure the installation can be performed completely.
jiiins2Author Commented:
Hi Merete, thank you very much for your help. At the end I removed SP3 and things are back to normal... it's amazing how many people have big problems with it! I would have never thought of this possibility.

Thanks again, you made my day!
You are most welcome. Thank you!!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows XP

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.