April 7, 2012

Quick Tip – hiberfil.sys on Windows 2003 Server…

This is not an Exchange focussed post – but it is something that has driven me nuts for the last few days on one server within my Exchange 2007 lab running on Windows 2003 Server which I ported from VMWARE to Hyper-V.

The situation was that on this specific LAB server – I found an instance of “hiberfil.sys” weighing in at 3GB located in the root of the C: drive that I could not get rid of!

Now, I know that you can drop to a command line and use “powercfg –h off” or turn the hibernation features off from the Power Options applet within the control panel – but I found that the command line would return the following error when trying to execute the command:


and the Hibernation tab (in the GUI) was missing – see below:


To compound matters – when trying to delete the “hiberfil.sys” file (from the root of C:\) I received “This file is in use by another process” or “Access is Denied”.

The solution

After a lot of messing around with the server in question, I arrived at the following solution (detailed in the following steps):


Add the following command to the “boot.ini” file (which is typically found in the root of c:\):


An example of my “boot.ini” is  provided below:


DO NOT reboot your computer at this stage.

Step 2:

Open Computer Management MMC and expand “System Tools”  node and then right click on the “Device Manager” node. From the context menu that appears choose [ VIEW->Show hidden devices ] – see below


In the right hand pane that appears navigate to [ Non-Plug and Play Drivers –> VGA Display Controllers ] – see below


Right click on the entry for the “VGA Display Controller” – and from the context menu that appears choose “Uninstall” – see below:


Step 3:

When the “VGA Display Controller” has been removed from the system reboot your computer (you should be prompted for the reboot).

Step 4:

When the reboot has completed you will see that within the “Power Options” control panel the “Hibernate” tab will now be displayed – un-tick the “Enable hibernation” check box under the “Hibernate” option area and then click on “OK” – see below:


If you then run the “powercfg –h off” you will see that the values for system hibernation are now set to “Never” – see below:


and most importantly the “hiberfil.sys” has now been removed from your computer.

General Microsoft Products 5 Replies to “Quick Tip – hiberfil.sys on Windows 2003 Server…”
Andy Grogan
Andy Grogan


5 thoughts on “Quick Tip – hiberfil.sys on Windows 2003 Server…

    Author’s gravatar

    Holy cow!!! You ROCK. Thank you so much for sharing this. Saved my assets 😉

    Author’s gravatar

    This fix was so awesome I have to say than you one more time!!! 🙂

    Author’s gravatar

    Thank you, so so so much!

    Author’s gravatar

    It didn’t work on my pc..
    I have several OS in my hard disk. First priority boot: server 2003 x86.
    In C, no hibersys.fil

    Maybe you can help..
    Thank you!

    Author’s gravatar

    Awesome. Thanks for posting! Fixed my issue.

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