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Fixing a system stuck on the Windows Resume Loader

Windows Resume LoaderI encountered a fairly annoying problem with my new netbook today (an Acer Aspire One D250 that I upgraded to Windows 7 over the weekend). I left the system running on battery last night, so it automatically hibernated. When I recharged it and powered it back up this evening, the keyboard would not respond on the Windows Resume Loader screen. This posed a problem, as there was no way to get the machine to return to Windows. A quick search yielded a number of other people who have encountered this problem, but not many fixes. Plugging in a PS/2 keyboard was the usual solution given, but as it’s a netbook, there’s no PS/2 port. Connecting a USB keyboard might have worked, but I didn’t have one handy.

I’m not sure why the keyboard would not respond, or if it will happen again; however there is no easy way around the issue, since Windows ignores the F8 key when hibernation data is present, so I couldn’t force it to delete the data. (The menu choice was right there, but couldn’t be selected).

Here’s how I fixed it:

  1. Connected my external USB DVD drive and booted the Windows 7 disc. You’ll also need a USB key with your BitLocker recovery key if you encrypt your drive.
  2. Access the recovery options and bring up Command Prompt.
  3. You need to delete the hibernation data (hiberfil.sys). This is a protected file; however, and it is not easy to delete even at the administrative recovery command prompt. Change to the drive letter for your hard drive. You’ll then need to enter the following commands:
    takeown /f hiberfil.sys
    icacls hiberfil.sys /reset
    attrib -h -s hiberfil.sys
    del hiberfil.sys

    (Those commands are necessary since by default even the administrative user doesn’t have access to modify the file).

  5. Reboot the machine.

The system will then boot normally (but without the hibernation data, it’s a cold boot, so you’ll lose anything you had running when the system originally hibernated)

  1. December 26th, 2009 at 21:21 | #1

    Test comment.

  2. April 7th, 2011 at 09:54 | #2

    Is there any way to fix this without a Windows disk? I’m getting the same problem when I boot in Windows or Linux Mint. I have a Mint boot disk but that doesn’t seem to work..

    • May 15th, 2011 at 06:18 | #3

      If your Linux disc supports writing to NTFS partitions, then it should work.  You may have to manually mount the partition.  A Windows Recovery CD will also work; they are available for download if you do a Google search for them.

  3. Zulu722
    August 15th, 2011 at 05:40 | #4

    I have a usb bootable flash drive with the Windows disk on it as an iso file.

    With everything stuck (no keyboard, unable to access bios) will the computer still boot from the usb drive? 

  4. Nona
    February 16th, 2013 at 15:11 | #5

    Thank you! This has been very helpful! I had the same problem on Windows Vista.

  5. Jamal
    September 11th, 2013 at 14:31 | #6

    Andrew Maiman you are a life saver. Lucky I read your post. You just saved my life, I was about to commit a suicide! seriously. None of the solutions on internet worked for me but yours. Thank you. Thank you very much.

  6. Georgii
    December 11th, 2013 at 01:24 | #7

    I don’t know what the fuck everyone is talking about but it’s happening to mine I just wanna punch the screen grrr all I wanna do is play the gem game on there 🙁

  7. Hunter
    December 20th, 2013 at 19:31 | #8

    It is annoying when you get home to see & hear the PC going flat tackers for unknown reasons> I had know idea why it was turning its self on and going into resume loader & yes I found my self stuck trying to rectify the problem as I would have to close it a couple of times just to have boot properly again… Thanks man the advice solved my problem. No more worrying about being away & coming home to a PC that is running flat tackers & stuck in resume mode… did as you said>>> from an administrated account I deleted the hibernation data (hiberfil.sys) thats simple! thanks 🙂

  8. Donald
    June 10th, 2015 at 20:11 | #9

    This just saved my ass at a client’s office. Can I mail a six pack of beer to you? 🙂 Thanks!

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