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Fixing a system stuck on the Windows Resume Loader

December 22nd, 2009 9 comments

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).
  4.  

  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)