How to Fix: Macrium Reflect Backup Won't Wake from Sleep

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Kamala E. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I installed Macrium Reflect on my system recently, and have my C drive backup set for 3 AM in the morning during the week. The problem is that when I turn my computer on at 9 AM, the backup starts and takes quite a while for it to finish. In the mean time, I can't use my computer because it's too slow - the backup is eating all my resources. Why won't Macrium Reflect wake my laptop from sleep to perform the backup? How can I make my backup run at the time I specified? "

My response:

By default, Macrium Reflect should wake a computer from sleep, but some systems may also be set to hibernate - in which case, Macrium Reflect may not be able to wake the system to perform the backup at a specified time.

There are a few things you will need to check to make sure that the system is setup up properly, and failing that, you may need to disable sleep altogether. First, check your backup settings to ensure that the backup is in fact set for the specified time (3 AM). Secondly, Macrium Reflect uses Windows Task Scheduler to schedule backups; as such, you'll need to verify that the backup has been programmed for the specified time -and- so that it can wake the system at that time. Finally, ensure the system is set for 'regular' sleep mode and not hybrid sleep or hibernation. If that doesn't work, then you can disable sleep mode altogether. I'll explain how to do all of that below.

How to Fix: Macrium Reflect Backup Won't Wake from Sleep

  1. Click Start and type in "reflect" (no quotes); wait for the Macrium Reflect icon to appear, and click on it.
  2. Near the top middle of the screen, there are 3 tabs: Create a Backup, Backup Definitions, and Scheduled Backups. Click on the Backup Definitions tab, then under the File Name field, right click your backup and select Schedule from the dialogue menu. Under Heading #2 you will see "Add / Edit Schedules"; review the specified backup time and ensure it's set properly (in this case, 3 AM). If it is not set for the correct time, you can double click the schedule and make changes to it. When you're done making changes, click on the Finish button near the bottom of the window.
  3. Now, verify that the Windows Task Scheduler is set to wake the computer if it's sleeping. Click Start, then type in "schedule"; wait for Task Scheduler to appear in the list and click it. The Task Scheduler window should now appear; on the top left of the screen, it will say "Task Scheduler (Local)" and under that, a folder that says "Task Scheduler Library". Click on the Task Scheduler Library to highlight it. Next, scroll through the "Name" heading (near the top middle of the screen) until you see "Macrium-Backup-XXX" in the list, and double click to edit it. The backup settings schedule will appear; click the Conditions tab and look under the heading "Power" and ensure that "Wake the computer to run this task" has a check mark beside it.
  4. Next, it's time to check the computer's Sleep / Hibernate settings. Preferably you should only enable Sleep and not Hibernate, since Macrium Reflect may have issues with the Hibernate feature. To do so: click Start and type in "power options" (no quotes); wait for the Power Options icon to appear and click it. Under the "Preferred Plans" heading (near the top middle of the screen), click on the "Change plan settings" link. On the proceeding page, click on the "Change advanced power settings" link. A new "Power Options" window will appear; scroll through the list of options until you see the "Sleep" setting, and expand its list of options. Expand the "Allow hybrid sleep" and ensure the setting is Off. Do the same for "Hibernate after" - set it to Never. For "Allow wake timers", select Enable, then click Apply, then OK.

At this point your system should wake up from sleep and proceed with any scheduled backups at the specified time. The only thing to do now is to wait 24 hours and see if your backup has run at the proper time. If it does not, then you will have to disable the sleep feature. To do so, follow Step #4 again (above), then change the setting "Sleep after" to "Never", and the computer will stay awake all the time.

If you're using a laptop, you will also want to change the way your computer behaves when the lid is closed - you will need to disable the sleep there as well. To do so, click Start and type in "power options", then click on the Power Options icon when it appears. Near the top left of the screen, click the link that says "Choose what closing the lid does". The System Settings window will appear; in the middle of the screen, look for the heading "When I closed the lid:" and select "Do nothing" for both "On Battery" and "Plugged in".

I hope that helps.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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ghostwriter's picture

I use Macrium also and I really don't understand why anyone would want to do a automatic backup. The only time I make a backup is when something has changed in the operating system, like, I'll make a backup before installing a new program, or trying a program out, or after a MS update. All my data is stored on a different drive so when I restore an image my data doesn't change. If you use your computer daily and it's working OK why would you need to make an automatic backup daily?

Jim's picture

What exactly is hybrid sleep and why do I want to disable it?

rcprimak's picture

"Hybrid sleep is designed primarily for desktop computers. Hybrid sleep is a combination of sleep and hibernate—it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. That way, if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. When hybrid sleep is turned on, putting your computer into sleep automatically puts your computer into hybrid sleep. Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default on desktop computers."

In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, Hybrid Sleep is also used on devices with limited onboard storage, such as 2-in-1's and tablets. The hiberfile used in hybrid sleep is much smaller than the hiberfile used in traditional hibernate, and recovery with Fast Startup is much faster when using hybrid sleep than with hibernate.

But like traditional hibernate, hybrid sleep can interfere with waking on a schedule for Scheduled Tasks, like running a backup or a virus scan.

Because Fast Startup is tied closely with hybrid sleep, Fast Startup also needs to be disabled to prevent Shutdown from going to hybrid sleep instead of a full shutdown.

This will slow noticeably Windows startup, but it will allow for running of scheduled tasks when the device is not in use.