Question about Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

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Vista wakes up on it's own. Never goes to sleep.

I'm having 2 related but separate issues with the Vista Ultimate which came pre-installed on my HP Pavilion.

The first problem is that the machine wakes up on it's own after I have manually put it to sleep. This typically happens in the middle of the night but sometimes in the middle of the day. I've checked the "Power Troubleshooter" entries in the event log and they list the "Wake Source" as "Unknown" which isn't terribly helpful. I've already disabled my NIC, Mouse, and Keyboard from being able to wake the machine and gone through all of the devices in device manager and there are no other devices that I can find that are enabled to wake the computer. I've also gone through all of the scheduled tasks (including hidden ones) and none of them have permissions to wake the computer to run. I'm not sure what else to try. I did not have this problem when the computer was new so I suspect it may be related to something I have installed, but I would like to avoid uninstalling everything to troubleshoot that idea. What else can bring a computer out of sleep?

The second problem is that the machine never goes to sleep anymore, so when it wakes up it stays on wasting power. What I would like to find, if they exist, are tools which will help me troubleshoot what exactly is preventing the machine from going to sleep. Like the first problem, this did not happen when the computer was new. If I can solve this problem, I can live with the fact that the machine wakes up on it's own.

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  • Mark Edington Nov 16, 2007

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take a look at the BIOS settings although I haven't changed anything from the defaults that the computer shipped with. The sleep mode is the very low power mode (S3?), and all the fans and everything stop completely. The machine actually wakes itself up from a full hibernate as well. It does not wake up from a shutdown state (as expected).

    My post about the not going to sleep problem wasn't completely clear. It does go to sleep as expected if I initiate the sleep operation manually (from the start menu or the keyboard), but it does not go to sleep by itself after the time period specified in the power options. I've watched the processes in Process Explorer and the machine is basically idle (dwm.exe and Process Explorer itself excluded). -- Mark

  • Mark Edington Nov 17, 2007

    Ok, I found the source of the "not going to sleep" problem. I'm a bit embarrassed to say it was rather obvious but something I overlooked in my previous attempts to find the problem.

    About a month ago I turned on media sharing to enable my PS3 to access content on the Vista media PC. Apparently, when you do this, it automatically makes a change the power setting options that prevents the system from going to sleep when idle.

    Here is how you get to the setting that was causing the problem:

    Control Panel | Power Options | Edit Plan Settings
    Change Advanced Settings
    Expand "Multimedia Settings" and "When Sharing Media" nodes (at the end of the list).

    The problem setting was "Prevent idling to sleep". I changed it to "Allow the computer to sleep" and that did the trick.

    Now that I have changed this setting I'll see if the computer still wakes up on it's own. I'm still very curious to know why that is happening. However, as long as the computer goes back to sleep in a timely fashion after it wakes up I'm not going to be that concerned about solving that one.

    I'll post a follow-up in a few days after I have done more experimenting. Thanks for all your help and suggestions. --Mark

  • Mark Edington Nov 18, 2007

    I found the source of the wake up issue (well, at least one source). It's Windows Update. By default, it's configured to check for updates everyday at 3am, and by default it's allowed to wake the computer to make the check. Contrary, to what I said in my original message I'm sure the computer has been doing this since I first got it. It was only when it failed to go back to sleep that I started noticing this was happening.

    It is possible to disable this behavior in the group policy editor (run gpedit.msc). It's under: Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Update and the setting is called: "Enabling Windows Update Power Management to automatically wake up the system to install scheduled updates."

    It's unfortunate that the entry generated in the event log for the wake up doesn't list Windows Update as the source. I would actually consider that a bug in the operating system. It certainly would have saved me time in tracking this down. When the system wakes up and there are no updates to install it goes back to sleep in 2 minutes (a Kernel-Power event log entry gives the sleep time). The duration of the wake period is a dead giveaway of the wake source (as per the docs on the group policy setting mentioned above).

    I may disable this wake up for awhile to see if I can discover anything else is waking the computer up. If I find anything else I'll report back here.

    Thanks for your help.


  • ram509 Jul 06, 2008

    My Dell is one month old. I contacted Dell with my problem and they sent links to re download BIO's and drivers. That did not help so they can not do any more with this problem.

    I click on start and then sleep. The PC goes to sleep for a minute or two and then wakes up. I set it to automatically go to sleep in 20 minutes and it does but wakes up the same way as above. I am sorry to say, My OS is Vista Home Premium


  • Anonymous May 04, 2009

    This suxx kawk, i'm getting pissed and my name is phr34k1sh so im about to freak my computer in the *********... grr >.>

    If you find a solution, please do share at you will be worshipped, thanks.



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Another way to solve this would be to let it do the update at night, but then set it to go back to sleep. You can do it if you are comfy changing the registry values. Described here.

Posted on Oct 06, 2009

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Sounds like you've tried all the obvious things. Did you check the BIOS settings and turn off all of the WAKE ON settings in there? Otherwise, it sounds like you might have a third party program which is scheduling without your knowledge (check your start up programs and running processes during normal use). If, when asleep, the machine runs a fan, it may also be waking up for the OS to receive a power or overheat warning message from the BIOS.

Problems with machines not going to sleep when asked are often related to drivers that are not unloading when asked to prepare for the sleep/hibernation process. If you have installed any new hardware (or driver heavy software like specialized encryption or hard drive management stuff) trying uninstalling it and testing the sleep functionality.

Ideas, anyway.

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

  • RIchard Wheeler Nov 16, 2007

    Yup - looks like two separate problems to me.

    First, the unusual wake up. Check WAKE settings in the BIOS, then WAKE settings in the network interface card drivers (which have their own set) through PROPERTIES, and any third party software that might think it is responsible for WAKE or network conditions. If not an external device (also check voltage and heat warnings in the BIOS) event, then it must be something running in software like an update scheduling task that is not written properly. If you have a wireless card running, remember that they may seek to handshake at a period set by the router to reissue lease certtificates, and sometimes these periods are set to six or ten hours.

    Also be aware under XP that saving your power settings under a new power profile with a new name has a different effect than simply changing the settings under an existing profile. I think what happens is that if there are any errors in power handling, it reloads whatever is the stored default for the last known good power profile.

    The problem with it not timing out and suspending or hibernating, I bet, is related to a KEEP ACTIVE task running somewhere. Try killing every process the OS will allow and then watch it run down to hibernate and I bet it will go to sleep. I have also noticed (warning - black magic ahead) that some machines are reluctant to hibernate if the hibernation period is less than the screen saver being invoked and other power saving features getting a head start. I know that screen savers and hibernate have different invocation conditions which may, on some systems, need to go in order.

    Anyway, good luck, let me know if any of these work...

  • RIchard Wheeler Nov 17, 2007

    Glad you found it - the media sharing thing is new to me, but reminds me that if your machine is on a (home) network and is hosting shared folders/files, this may, depending upon what other machines are on and running, keep it from entering hibernation, or wake unexpectedly once napping.



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