What brings a PC out of standby?

Dell / Precision workstation 390
March 9, 2009 at 04:17:55
Specs: Windows XP
Besides the installation of new hardware, as I saw in an earlier post, what brings a PC out of standby? Something is bringing my PC out of standby. What are some possibilities that I could look into?

I recently installed WinXP (last week), but I was having the same problem even before reinstallation. It generally stays in standby mode for 2-6 hours before coming out of it.


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March 9, 2009 at 04:35:30
Shutting down the hard drive is problematic. On some systems bringing the system back up is not possible and a reboot is required.

I recommend you set the hard drives to never and do not use hibernation. I also set the monitor and standby for never turn off on my systems but do use a screen saver. If shutting off the monitor works for you then by all means use it.

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March 9, 2009 at 04:56:43
Thanks. My setting are as follows:

Turn off monitor: Never
Turn off hard disks: Never
System Standby: Never

When I want the system to go into standby, I change this last setting to System Standby: 1 minute.

After 1 minute it goes into standby mode. But within 2-3 hours or whatever, it comes out of standby all on its own. What is bringing it out of standby? Hardware? Software? A virus?

Thanks for any insights.

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March 9, 2009 at 05:41:30
Do NOT use standby or hibernate on a desktop machine. Configure your power settings as recommended by OtheHill.

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Related Solutions

March 9, 2009 at 05:56:57
If you heed jam & othehill's advices you will never have to go HERE.


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March 9, 2009 at 06:15:12
To answer the question on what is bringing the computer out of stand by I would guess there is activity on the internet. Could be auto updates, notifications, or malware of some sort.

I personally don't allow any auto updates. The downside of that is that I have to periodically update manually. That is how I want it.

You can check internet traffic using any number of utilities. I am currently running net meter trial version. You can see up and down activity and can record a log if you wish. find it below.


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March 9, 2009 at 07:07:25
I agree with OtheHill that shutting down the hard drive is problematic. However, I disagree with the recommendation not to use standby or hibernation on a desktop machine. You can use standby or hibernation without shutting down the hard drive. I find that that works very well along with S3 sleep mode, which you should be able to configure in the bios. S3 is a very good compromise between S1(cpu fan still spins) and hibernation. While standby or hibernation save power for laptop computers, they can also be beneficial for desktop computers. Read this article in maximum pc magazine:

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March 9, 2009 at 07:29:01

If your computer functions OK when using those settings then by all means use them. Many users are not so fortunate.

According to the linked article using S3 does shut down everything and holds settings in RAM to restore to the previous state. This doesn't seem to work well for most hardware.

Perhaps OEM computers that may come with the latest hardware that may be fully compliant will work as described. As I stated, if it works for you then use it.

I use a PS/2 mouse and when I have attempted to use S3 settings the mouse would not wake up the system. Seems to be counter to what was suggested in the article.

Another point I would challenge is the amount of current a PSU may draw at idle. That would be an interesting test to run though.

Finally, the article recommends Enabling WOL. I strongly disagree with that idea.

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March 9, 2009 at 07:54:51
If you want a PS/2 mouse to bring the computer out of standby, you might be able to do that by enabling it in the bios. I certainly agree about enabling WOL. I also agree that it is up to the user to decide what works best for them, depending on their hardware, operating system, etc. My point was that I would not make the blanket recommendation not to use standby or hibernation on a desktop machine.

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March 9, 2009 at 08:09:44
Well, it thought the statement was to be considered an opinion. I will just state that I have had no luck with S3.

That could be due to a PSU that may not be fully compliant. I have been using the same tower for years and the PSU has only gone through one upgrade since new.

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