Fix: Driver Power State Failure on Windows

If you are a regular user of Windows then you are likely to get this error in the near future. This error might also happen if you just recently upgraded to Windows. You might see this message randomly at any time. The error will be presented on a blue screen with the DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE message at the bottom.

This error happens because of the outdated drivers. The Wi-Fi and display drivers are associated with this error. Basically, this error happen because one (or more) of your drivers went to a lower state, a.k.a sleep, while you were using your computer. Your computer usually sends the signal to your driver/device to wake up and solve this situation. The error is shown when the device/driver doesn’t respond/wake up from the signal that your computer sent.

The solution for this usually involves updating or re-installing the drivers. Since it can be related to both Wi-Fi and Display drivers, it wise to update both to avoid any problems in the future. However, the problem isn’t always related to Wi-Fi and Display drivers. So, it makes sense to check and update any outdated drivers while you are at it.

Method 1: Uninstall the Driver (If you can’t get into the Windows)

Usually, your Windows will automatically detect and install the most compatible driver on the Windows start. So, the best approach for you will be to just uninstall the problematic driver, restart and let the Windows handle the rest. But, this might be hard especially if you cannot boot into the Windows.

So, if you cannot get into the Windows then do the following

  1. Restart your computer
  2. You might see a Startup Repair Window when your PC starts. If you don’t, restart the system again. You might have to restart the Windows a total of 3 times for this. Do this when the Windows logo appears.
  3. Once you see the Startup Repair Window, select Advanced Options

  4. Select Troubleshoot

  5. Select Advanced Options

  6. Select Startup Settings

  7. Click Restart

  8. Once the reboot is done, you will see a Startup Settings screen with multiple options. Press 4 on this screen to Enable Safe Mode. This is to go to Safe Mode and uninstall the driver
  9. Hold Windows key and press R
  10. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  11. Double click Sound, video and game controllers, Display adapters and any other device driver with a yellow warning sign with it
  12. Right click the driver/device with the yellow warning and select Uninstall

  13. Follow any additional on-screen instructions
  14. Now reboot your computer

Once you are back in the Windows, everything should be fine. You can follow steps 9-11 to confirm that the driver is fixed (there shouldn’t be a yellow warning sign anymore).

Windows 7 and Vista

If you are using Windows 7 or Windows Vista then do the following

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Start pressing Keeping pressing the F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Menu. If you didn’t see this menu then that means you didn’t press the key at the right moment. Restart your computer again and repeat this process until your see the Advanced Boot Menu.
  3. Now, use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter
  4. Your Windows should start in Safe Mode now
  5. Follow the steps from 9-14 that are mentioned above

Note: The above given steps won’t work for third party drivers. You will have to go to the manufacturer’s website, download the latest drivers and install them manually.

Method 2: Uninstall Drivers in Safe Mode (Alternative)

The method 1 was for users who were having trouble getting into the Windows. If you can easily get into the Windows then follow the instructions below to go into the Safe Mode and uninstall the driver

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter

  3. Select Boot tab
  4. Check the option Safe Mode
  5. Click Apply then Ok

  6. Click Restart when the computer asks
  7. Once the system reboots, you will be in the Safe Mode
  8. Hold Windows key and press R
  9. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  10. Double click Sound, video and game controllers, Display adapters and any other device driver with a yellow warning sign with it
  11. Right click the driver/device with the yellow warning and select Uninstall

  12. Follow any additional on-screen instructions
  13. Hold Windows key and press R
  14. Type msconfig and press Enter

  15. Select Boot tab
  16. Uncheck the option Safe Mode
  17. Click Apply then Ok

  18. Now reboot your computer

Now problem should be solved and there shouldn’t be any yellow warning signs on your drivers.

Note: Follow steps 8-12 and then reboot if you want to uninstall the drivers without going into the Safe Mode.

Note: The above given steps won’t work for third party drivers. You will have to go to the manufacturer’s website, download the latest drivers and install them manually.

Method 3: Updating Drivers

Another solution for this is to check and update your drivers. The problem might simply be because you have an outdated driver. So, follow the instructions below to update your drivers

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter
  3. Double click Sound, video and game controllers, Display adapters and any other device driver with a yellow warning sign with it
  4. Right click the driver/device with the yellow warning and select Update Driver Software…

  5. Select Search automatically for updated driver software

  6. Follow any additional on-screen instructions
  7. Reboot once you are done

Method 4: Changing Performance Settings

If uninstalling or updating the drivers didn’t work, then you can change the performance settings to solve this problem. The reason for this problem was that your driver/device went to low state (sleep) and didn’t respond to the wakeup call. So, setting the performance to maximum will keep your device/driver always awake which will certainly help in this situation. Although it’s not a permanent solution but it should work until a new solution comes forward.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type powercfg.cpl and press Enter

  3. Click Change plan settings of your selected plan
  4. Select Change advanced power settings

  5. Double click PCI Express or Graphic Settings or Link state Power Management (one of these should be present depending on your system).
  6. Change their settings by selecting maximum performance from the drop down menu or by selecting off (if you have savings option under them). Do this for both plugged and battery.
  7. Double click the Wireless adapter settings
  8. Double click Power Saving
  9. Select maximum performance from the drop down menu. Do this for both plugged and battery
  10. Click Apply then ok

Now you should be fine. As long as these settings are set to maximum performance, there shouldn’t be any problem. But, don’t forget to install the latest drivers or updates since those will have the solution for this.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Driver Power State Failure on Windows

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