There's some weirdo config option in the kernel which protects the bottom 64k of memory from being written to by processes. It sounds like you need it. I can't tell you where - I think it was early on in the config, but I've spun through in a hurry twice or three times recently. To hibernate, select swap as a resume partition, and boot with 'resume=/dev/sdax' where x is your swap partition.
cat /sys/power/state - should have mem disk, meaning you can suspend to memory or disk
echo -n disk > /sys/power/state should hibernate. Likewise for mem and suspend.