The Problem

When you send your physical computer running Windows 8.1 to sleep (stand-by), the computer screen goes black but all other power lights remain on, and you cannot wake it up by pressing any key or whatever, you have to hard reset it by pressing the power button till it stops.

Root Cause

The main problem in my case at least was a conflict between a VirtualBox network driver that it installed on Windows 8.1 (the host) to support “Bridge” networks in virtual machines (clients). Windows hangs at trying to turn this off.

Note that it’s not the same device you see in front of other network adapters in device managers. The one you see is the “host only network”.

The Solution

I managed to solve the problem by uninstalling VirtualBox, and then installing it again without Bridge network support. In the install wizzard “Custom Setup” step, under “VirtualBox Application” -> “VirtualBox Networking”, I disabled “VirtualBox Bridged Networking”, and continued the setup with everything else set (the default).

virtualbox

Note that I tried removing bridged networking from the virtual machines that used it and it didn’t solve it. I had to remove the feature as explained above.

But I need bridged networking!

Ideally, most of the use cases for bridged networking will be solvable using NAT networking instead, use this for your virtual machines unless you really really need the bridging, and then you need to choose between it and the ability to set the computer to sleep, at least until BirtualBox solves the problem.

Applies To: (Version information)

I experienced this problem with VirtualBox 4.2.18. Most likely the problem itself will be solved in some future version.

Update

If you want to watch for progress on this issue, check out the issue report in VirtualBox issue tracker:
https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/12063

Now that we're done, click this out ;)

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  • jacob arlington

    i suggest simply disable all network card before sleep for now

    • http://gurustop.net/ @Meligy

      Unfortunately as mentioned above, the “bridging” feature does not show as a network adapter like the internal/host-only network (which is what adds the extra VirtualBox network adapter). and even if no VMs having bridges to real network adapters the problem still happens.

      • jacob arlington

        Its not important, i just disable all my network adapter before sleep and its work fine. you can try yourself.

        • http://gurustop.net/ @Meligy

          The whole point of Sleep for me is put down the screen lid, or press Fn+F4 (or whatever on your machine) and the laptop is off. Anything more than that will be comparable to Hibernate, and maybe even to Shutdown if I can quickly save all work (even Chrome can restore tabs on next run).

  • Kiliman

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was experiencing, and it’s working perfectly now.

  • steve

    oh sweet jesus thank you thank you thank you. I do kind of need bridged networking but not as much as I need my laptop to not freeze every time I close the damn lid.

  • Ben

    Thanks a lot, works for me.

    Need to push Oracle to fix the bug!

  • Grateful

    … just wanted to say thanks! On my clean Win81 Enterprise install this was the culprit… likely never would have stumbled across this myself.

  • Josh

    You are a legend…exactly the problem! Shame about bridge mode – although I don’t think the problem will last too long.

  • haekal

    i got the same experience.unfortunately although i haven’t install the virtual box yet, my notebook still cannot wake up. i’ve asked my friend and he said i need to setting my power option. however, it still not fixed because i don’t understand how to set up like windows 8 sleep/wake up setting

    • Jason

      I’ve had two notebooks (Dell) that both exhibited the “hang on standby” issue and none of the online information helped. I verified that nothing was keeping the computer from sleeping and it happened even without VM host software installed. Turns out in both cases it was an issue with the “Deterministic Network Enhancer” in the network card properties. You can try disabling it (right-click network card | properties), in the list. If that works (or even if it doesn’t), you can install an updated one from http://www.citrix.com/go/lp/dne.html which has worked immediately after reboot for me. I haven’t had any issues since, and I installed 8.1 on the day it web released. BTW, once installed, the item in the network card properties list will read “DNE LightWeight Filter” rather than “Deterministic Network Enhancer”.

  • Troels

    Thanks for the info. Took me quite some time to find this post :)

  • Mar

    Thank you for providing this. It was very time consuming on identifying the root cause and further more to fix it.

    Many thanks

  • Alice

    I have this problem but I do not have Virtualbox.. Are there any other things that can fix this?

    • http://gurustop.net/ @Meligy

      Problems like these historically happen due to driver issues. Sometimes network driver (Wifi?) Sometimes weird things like Graphics driver, sometimes also common drivers like Intel Chipset that don’t seem needed and sometimes don’t get installed from Windows Update like other drivers.

      • Alice

        This issue started right after I installed windows 8.1 pro build 9431
        I did not have this issue before

        • http://desartsplastiques.tumblr.com Alicia

          Yeah, try updating your network driver, that worked for me. I also didn’t have VirtualBox.

          • Alex E.

            how do you update your network driver?

          • http://gurustop.net/ @Meligy

            Well, always make sure you have latest from Windows Update, but for new Windows versions this alone may not be enough (it takes some time for driver updates to be tested and pushed to Microsoft). You’ll want to go the site of the vendor of your computer and see what’s latest in their support downloads page for your model.

            You may also do the same for the vendor of your network adapter (Intel in my case), sometimes they’ll have more recent versions that may work better (or worse, depending on how much the vendor of your entire computer needs customizations of the driver).

            Also, check the forums of both vendors. There may be some beta drivers that solve the problem that are not fully released yet.

          • Bob

            Hello!
            I have the same problem as Alice mentioned. But for me, sleep mode is only working when no program is running.
            I installed all drivers, and win updates.
            I have Toshiba L850. Win 8.1 x64
            :s
            Please somebody help! Thanks! :)

  • Rob

    What an oddly specific answer to my broad search “windows 8.1 hanging” but nevertheless, spot on! I had virtualbox, would never have thought this was the culprit. My Event Log was mum on the topic.

  • Brandon

    Just wanted to pipe in here. I’m having this EXACT problem and don’t have VirtualBox installed on my Yoga at all. So, i’m not entirely convinced it’s a VBox issue…

    • http://gurustop.net/ @Meligy

      This kind of problem often happens when drivers need to be installed by the user or updated by the vendor to work with the new OS. The post is about the case when this is not the cause of the problem, but depending on your configuration it could be a different cause like drivers or other incompatibility.

      • Brandon

        Yeah I’m about 2 steps away from resetting the entire PC back to Win8, going to 8.1, and seeing if the problem still exists…

        • Jason

          See my comment above. It’s worked for me twice.

          • Brandon

            Thanks Jason. I actually haven’t had the issue since I rolled through the latest updates from Lenovo for my Yoga 13. They released a handful about 2wks ago that seem to alleviate quite a few issues.

  • Ronnie

    Just got a laptop with Win8 installed yesterday — thought the problem was due to the upgrade to 8.1! Thank you for this!

  • Bingi

    or installing KB2883200 would fix the issue

  • Jorge L

    Wow! thank you so much, I would have never figured that out by myself.

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  • Ricardo Gonçalves

    Thanks a lot! :)

  • Shashwat Black

    I was having this problem as well.. just the way described here..
    Installing windows update KB2883200 seems to have fixed the problem for now..

  • tankslappa

    Sadly this is still an issue with Virtualbox 4.3.10

    I attempted to add to the forum thread, but after filling in the highly intrusive Oracle sign up info, and using the verify link in the email, it refused to let me log in.

    Anyway, Gigabyte P35K running 8.1. Locked up on sleep. Uninstall Virtualbox. Sleep worked. Reinstall without bridging. Sleep now works. QED!