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Windows 7 gave my PC insomnia

Posted on 25th Jun 2009 at 16:07 by Clive Webster with 29 comments

Clive Webster
I’ve never really liked Windows Vista – it had too many annoying habits and not enough good ones for me to bother with it. However, I was always envious of its Sleep mode – Hibernate in XP is fine, but Vista's Sleep is much better. I was therefore keen to use Sleep after installing the Windows 7 RC, but there was a problem.

I could put my PC to sleep, but after a short period – sometimes just minutes, sometimes up to an hour – my PC would wake up again. Unfortunately my PC is in my bedroom, isn’t particularly quiet, and has far too many blue-LED fans in it. Imagine my response when I was awakened by weird-looking light show and loud whirring sounds at 1am. The bedsheets remained dry, but it was a close call in my confused and groggy state.

The odd thing was, the PC wasn’t doing anything. It wasn’t downloading a fake update, or starting a virus scan, or running some other scheduled event; nothing was happening, it had just woken up.

Windows 7 has given my PC insomnia.

Some hunting on the interwebs turned up this article on Sleep issues with Windows 7. It seems that Windows 7 has some odd network controller behaviour by default – even when the PC is in a power-down state, the network controller feels it needs to poll the network to update its status. Why, I have no idea; the PC’s off, so it has no need to update anything until the power comes back.

Anyway, the way to fix this is to enter Device Manager, right-click on your network controller(s),click Properties and go to the Power Management tab. Then de-select the option "Allow this device to wake the computer." It says on the forum post I’ve linked to that this is a problem with XP and Vista, but none of the Vista or XP PCs I’ve checked give the network controller the power to wake the PC by default, so it does like a Windows 7 quirk.

As the post says, opening the command prompt and entering powercfg -devicequery wake_armed does give you a readout of every device that has the Power of Insomnia, so you can hunt out other devices causing Sleep issues if the network controller wasn’t to blame. Happily, I can now use Sleep mode, though I’m not sure that this is the full reason for why I woke up so early this morning that I was in the office 20 minutes early.

29 Comments

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capnPedro 25th June 2009, 17:18 Quote
This happened to me when I first installed Vista.
Tomm 25th June 2009, 17:22 Quote
Hmmm. With XP, I had a similar problem - If I hibernated the PC, I would be awoken at 7.12 am every day. Doing a full shutdown prevented this. I did a new install of XP and it changed time to 02.18am instead, which makes me think it's not a Wake-on-LAN thing.

Now I'm on Windows7, I shall see if your tip helps. Thanks.
sui_winbolo 25th June 2009, 17:26 Quote
Haha, I experienced this too. Only when I tried accessing my laptop from my Xbox 360. Then I thought, wait, I probably need to wake my laptop off. Then the lights came on and it turned itself on. lmao
coolius 25th June 2009, 17:29 Quote
This has happened to me with both 7RC and Vista, very annoying to get woken up by piercing blue leds!
Skiddywinks 25th June 2009, 17:32 Quote
That's nothing. My computer was fully Shut Down, and managed to turn itself on at about half 3 the other morning.

I mumbled something along the lines of "What the ****" in my semi-conscious state, turned it off again, and went to bed. Nothing since. Very odd.

And since there is no OS running that can turn the PC on, I am still to this day confused as hell.
capnPedro 25th June 2009, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm
Hmmm. With XP, I had a similar problem - If I hibernated the PC, I would be awoken at 7.12 am every day. Doing a full shutdown prevented this. I did a new install of XP and it changed time to 02.18am instead, which makes me think it's not a Wake-on-LAN thing.

Was it Media Center Edition? MCE wakes the PC at the same time every day to update the EPG, then doesn't bother putting it back into standby, but there's a tool to change the time (no way to change it through Windows natively however!)
GoodBytes 25th June 2009, 18:00 Quote
It is a driver issue.
I recall the same by many people who tried Vista beta.. but was fixed once Vista was out and official drivers (and sometimes BIOS update) was released.
I expect the same as under Win7.

You can see the Event log of WIn7 to see what makes it wake up, it could be a device that does this.
I have Win7 RC 64-bit on my laptop (dual boot with Vista), it's the Latitude E6400 with the Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M. And despite having Vista 64-bit drivers, and Win7 beta drivers for the video card, it doesn't have any sleep problem.
dicobalt 25th June 2009, 18:16 Quote
Low power modes have never ever worked correctly for me on any computer I have ever had with XP/Vista/7. I don't bother with it anymore.
Aracos 25th June 2009, 18:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
That's nothing. My computer was fully Shut Down, and managed to turn itself on at about half 3 the other morning.

I mumbled something along the lines of "What the ****" in my semi-conscious state, turned it off again, and went to bed. Nothing since. Very odd.

And since there is no OS running that can turn the PC on, I am still to this day confused as hell.

My old computer had a bad power supply, I'd try and turn it on then wait....and wait....and wait....untill about 10 hours afterwards at 5am it would decide to turn on XD gotta love dodgy power supplies :)
GoodBytes 25th June 2009, 19:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
Low power modes have never ever worked correctly for me on any computer I have ever had with XP/Vista/7. I don't bother with it anymore.

That is because you do something that you should not do... probably attaching a bad device, or enabled USB wake-up, or play with the BIOS sleep option.
HourBeforeDawn 25th June 2009, 20:54 Quote
do you have an optical mouse? that was my brother issues his mouse was sensitive to movement that the slightest vibration could set it off. Personally I have had no issues with sleep but Im running on my EeePC 1000he.
Paradigm Shifter 25th June 2009, 23:13 Quote
An issue I have encountered also. However, I didn't do any searching for an answer as I'd discovered (by accident rather than design) that if I had the system disconnected from my home network, it didn't wake up from Sleep unless I told it to. As soon as it was talking to the network, it would wake itself up after a few minutes of being asleep. I assumed this was Wake On LAN, so disabled any wakeup related features of the network cards.

dicobalt has a point, Goodbytes - pretty much every system I've overclocked has had issues with low-power states once taken more than about 5% out of spec. In XP it usually resulted in Standby refusing to come back, or just plain resetting the system rather than going into Standby... in Vista/Win7 it either refuses to wake up, or goes into Sleep then immediately goes back to the Windows login prompt.
docodine 25th June 2009, 23:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
do you have an optical mouse? that was my brother issues his mouse was sensitive to movement that the slightest vibration could set it off. Personally I have had no issues with sleep but Im running on my EeePC 1000he.

The only device that sleep worked perfectly for me is also my EeePC, though I have the 4G.
GoodBytes 25th June 2009, 23:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter

dicobalt has a point, Goodbytes - pretty much every system I've overclocked has had issues with low-power states once taken more than about 5% out of spec. In XP it usually resulted in Standby refusing to come back, or just plain resetting the system rather than going into Standby... in Vista/Win7 it either refuses to wake up, or goes into Sleep then immediately goes back to the Windows login prompt.

I have 10-11 systems that I build with 2000, XP, Vista, Win7 in the course of my life (considered as official builds). Excluding any beta version and considerate latest BIOS and drivers, all my system overclocked or not, sleep and hibernates all correctly. Even back in days where I was too young to build computers and did not even have the internet, Win95 and 98 worked correctly for us, I and my older brothers and parents don't recall such issue.

My experience was always assemble the system, install Windows then driver and system is up and running correctly. After OC, it still works correctly.
If OEM's can do it, so can you.
knuck 25th June 2009, 23:58 Quote
slightly off topic but i installed 7 on my laptop with a brand new 320Gb 7200rpm hitachi drive and it runs amazingly smooth ! I am really impressed so far by both my laptop and 7's lightness. I knew it ran perfectly on my pc but that wasn't a surprise. My 3 year old laptop however is impressing me

Dell XPS M1210 - Core Duo 2Ghz - 2.5GbDDR667 - GeFoce Go7400 - 320Gb 7200rpm
UnFixed 26th June 2009, 02:40 Quote
I had a printer a few years back that went bad. It started turning on randomly and would attempt to filter through the sheets and print random lettering. And this was UNPLUGGED from any computer and/or network.

Those old printers were old, and mine scared the **** outta me.
UnFixed 26th June 2009, 02:40 Quote
Those old printer were loud*

*typo*
Horizon 26th June 2009, 03:28 Quote
thanks for the fix, i had resorted to scheduled shutdowns. it was really annoying sometimes for example, when i'd put the computer to sleep and it would resume almost immediately.
Tris 26th June 2009, 10:29 Quote
had the same problem when i installed windows 7 on my htpc, was a fairly easy problem to figure out with the aid of google tho.

The thing I am currently banging my head against is when i hibernate the machine (via remote control), when i wake it from hibernate (still via remote control) it powers up, then goes off again. Always wakes and starts working the second time i wake it. Very odd.
SteveU 26th June 2009, 11:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Then I thought, wait, I probably need to wake my laptop off.

Glad you spelled that correctly!! lol
GoodBytes 26th June 2009, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tris

The thing I am currently banging my head against is when i hibernate the machine (via remote control), when i wake it from hibernate (still via remote control) it powers up, then goes off again. Always wakes and starts working the second time i wake it. Very odd.
Yes.. very odd... that sound like a motherboard (or BIOS) problem. Maybe its a power option configuration?!

Actually knowing that the Geforce GTX makes 1 or 2 buzzing sound and have the fan speed up at max speed and delay the system actually startup, it's like if the GPU need a lot of power to startup due to some cost cutting decision done on the PCB with cheap hacks probably done at the firmware level to make it startup. Probably suggest that you have a hardware inside of your computer that causes this problem as maybe the motherboard can't deliver the power or the hardware was untested with such setup, or maybe the PSU acts funny as coming out of hibernate is not the same as an actual start up... some crash thing like that.

Bit-tech, you guys have countless amount of hardware coming at you on the shelves, you should try that next time you review a motherboard or have free time :) I mean if I have it working, so does OEM's... you guys should.
Cupboard 28th June 2009, 16:42 Quote
Ever since I stopped using my nforce 4 motherboard and upgraded to my Abit IP35 Pro and now with my Intel whatsit, my computer hasn't been able to sleep which is very annoying. It goes to sleep fine but never wakes up again :( if you turn it off and on again, it resumes from hibernate.
flibblesan 29th June 2009, 00:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
Ever since I stopped using my nforce 4 motherboard and upgraded to my Abit IP35 Pro and now with my Intel whatsit, my computer hasn't been able to sleep which is very annoying. It goes to sleep fine but never wakes up again :( if you turn it off and on again, it resumes from hibernate.

Update your BIOS as I had a problem simular to that which went away when I updated the BIOS.
perplekks45 23rd July 2009, 19:08 Quote
Good to know. My Vista install is too old apparently and begins to act up so I'll just put either Build 7100 or 7600 on it.
talburton 3rd August 2009, 22:48 Quote
Be glad that is the least of your concerns. I've heard stories of people buying pirated Window and after installing there computer would never wake up again! Good posting though! I saw this parody on "Catch a Predator" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVHhuTUp_30
perplekks45 4th August 2009, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by talburton
... stories of people buying pirated Window ...
That sentence is flawed.

I'm running Win7 Build 7600 x64 at the moment and I'm really happy BUT my graphics card acts up... again. I had the same problem with 7056 and 7100, nvldd...dll crashes randomly. No matter what driver I use, no matter what I do [video, browsing, gaming, idling]. Quite annoying to be honest.

Anybody got any idea on what that might be? Maybe it's just time to upgrade my 8800GTS/640, eh?
GoodBytes 4th August 2009, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
That sentence is flawed.

I'm running Win7 Build 7600 x64 at the moment and I'm really happy BUT my graphics card acts up... again. I had the same problem with 7056 and 7100, nvldd...dll crashes randomly. No matter what driver I use, no matter what I do [video, browsing, gaming, idling]. Quite annoying to be honest.

Anybody got any idea on what that might be? Maybe it's just time to upgrade my 8800GTS/640, eh?

Could be faulty card which sends a signal of overheating to the drivers. Which then makes the driver crash to stop all programs from using the GPU. An easy way to prevent work loss and continue to use the system all by making itself happy.
perplekks45 4th August 2009, 19:12 Quote
The card works flawlessly under Vista/XP. That's exactly what I don't understand. :|
thehippoz 4th August 2009, 19:24 Quote
did you try driver sweeper off guru 3d perp- use it in safe mode, reinstall the nvidia driver and see if that fixes it.. I haven't seen that problem in about a year but I remember when nvidia was having issues with drivers that was a problem.. if you installed alot of driver betas it was always a good idea to get rid of the registry entries and files left behind by the old driver, even after a uninstall.. if you just installed on top of an old driver it was almost guaranteed to happen

win 7 does treat memory differently than vista, so it could be the case that nvidia needs to write a driver for it.. but try the sweeper and see what happens
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