Whenever the system goes to sleep for a few hours or more, chances are it’s not going to wake up. These long sleep periods, such as overnight, usually result in system crashes. The start of my work day, almost every day, involves bringing my Surface Book back from an unplanned full shutdown. If I attend a few meetings then come back, it might be dead. Catch a flight to the East Coast? The laptop won’t make it.
In the three months I’ve been trying to solve this problem, I’ve found it’s so common it has a name. Sleep of Death has plagued Surface users, particularly on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, since early this year. Searching “sleep of death Surface” on reddit.com brings up 50 relevant threads. Even more damning, the same search on Microsoft’s own support forums yields over 75,000 results; for users who don’t know the bug’s nickname, a simpler search like “Surface sleep crash” nets even more: 250,000.
Sleep of Death is just what it sounds like. You leave your computer in sleep mode. When you come back, it’s shut down, and needs to be powered back up, leaving you to sift through auto-saved versions of files, hoping to avoid data corruption. This can happen whether in tablet or laptop mode, on battery power or plugged in (including docked), with or without hibernation enabled. Even if the system is set never to hibernate, long sleep is usually fatal