Fix slow hibernation in Win XP

2008/06/30 by Lassi A. Liikkanen

How to speed up slow recovery from hibernation in Windows XP

This tip is intended for advanced users and may put your system's security at risk. Always use an up-to-date security software on your system to prevent damage to operating system, documents, and hardware.


Windows XP (with service pack 2, or later SP3) is very sluggish to boot up (de-hibernate) after a normally fast hibernation (suspend to hard disk) operation. The slowness can start at 'recovering Windows' display when the indicator bar gets filled up, but nothing happens after, or this phase can be completed fast but the login prompt (or desktop, if you have not set pasword prompt after hibernation) takes minutes to come up. In my laptop, this has at worst taken more than 10 minutes! This behavior seems quite random, but feels like it hits you when it most hurts, after the computer has been unused for some time.

Cause and Fix

A post from Svenlange to Skype user forum suggested that this problem was due to the Windows Data Execution prevention system that gets mixed up after a long period of hibernation. Luckily, you can disable this feature by editing c:\boot.ini and rebooting Windows. You can edit the file either by opening this file explicitly in a text editor such as Notepad or through System properties -> Advanced settings ->Start up and recovery -> Edit Make the following setting:


e.g. in my laptop:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS='Microsoft Windows XP Professional' 
/fastdetect /NoExecute=AlwaysOff

After this procedure, my slow downs have reduced to less than minute, which, if not perfect, is still much better than what it used to be.

Related content:
How Windows 7 restore really works, 2014/04/26

Instructions for creating bootable Windows 7 recovery environment on a USB flash device, 2014/03/30

Disabling background software installations and upgrades in Windows, 2013/03/03

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Keywords: [windows] , [computers] Document's status: Ok (Document dates explained)

This document created: 2008/06/23
Modified: 2008/06/30
Published: 2008/06/23

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