PC won't Standby on timer


C

Charles Lavin

Hi --

I have a Windows XP Pro SP3 box with the following Power settings:

When the computer is plugged in:

System standby: After 2 hours
System hibernates: After 3 hours


The computer does neither. If the computer is left to run a task, and that
task completes, the computer will sit there idle for hours and hours and
hours and never switch off.

The computer goes into Standby or Hibernate mode on demand without any
problem.

Which leads me to question 2:

Is there a way to script a hibernation (or even standby) call on a WinXP SP3
machine?

The shutdown command in Windows Vista includes a /h flag to hibernate the
machine. In this scenario under Windows Vista I would simply command the PC
to "at 3 am today shutdown /h".

I would have thought that by now that option would have made it to Windows
XP ... but apparently it hasn't. The only options I still see on a Windows
XP shutdown command are -s and -r to shutdown and restart, respectively. Is
there any other command to make Windows XP go to sleep?

Thanks,
CL
 
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D

Dave Onex

I don't know about scripting a hibernation command but I ran into a similar
issue with my laptop - even though it was set to power down it never would.
Turned out this was a pretty common issue - something was running (software)
that was keeping the computer alive (preventing it from being idle).
What I did was download ProcMon
(http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx) and then ran
it to see what software was keeping the computer alive. As soon as I picked
it off I got rid of the software (or adjusted it) and it's worked perfectly
ever since.

Even though that doesn't answer your question it should lead you to the
answer :)

Best;
Dave
 
U

Unknown

Why not shorten the timer to say 5 or ten minutes to see if it will go into
standby.
If it does you have something running in the background resetting the time.
Virus scanner?
 
C

Charles Lavin

Thanks. I've thought of that possibility, but I've checked that the CPU is
idle almost all of the time during these "down times." The screen saver
kicks in -- and even shuts down the monitor. Any other process running is a
background process, like the virus checker, which should be just that --
"background" ... How did you tell what process was causing the problem?
 
C

Charles Lavin

_Active_ virus scanner? No. Real-time background monitoring, yes. But I was
under the impression that that was a _background_ process ...
 
D

Dave Onex

Charles Lavin said:
Thanks. I've thought of that possibility, but I've checked that the CPU is
idle almost all of the time during these "down times." The screen saver
kicks in -- and even shuts down the monitor. Any other process running is
a background process, like the virus checker, which should be just that --
"background" ... How did you tell what process was causing the problem?

By using process monitor. It will monitor disk activity, registry activity
etc. It will show you everything that the computer is doing when it's
'supposed' to be idle. I believe any disk activity etc will keep it 'awake'.
You can think of it like this, there's a timer in the computer that is
watching for activity. If activity occurs it resets itself and starts the
countdown all over again. The computer won't power down until the timer
expires without any activity. That's how it 'tells' if you're still using
the computer.

I don't know specifically how it works (I didn't create the O/S nor am I a
programmer) but I know that process monitor is invaluable for determining
what program/programs are keeping the computer awake. It's a tool that
provides a remarkable insight into what's going on in your computer 'behind
the scenes'. I forget what process it was that was keeping my computer awake
but I do recall that I was quite surprised when I found out what it was -
and by removing it or adjusting it the computer would then power down
properly.

Eyeballing the CPU usage etc is not an effective way to determine what's
holding the computer up. If you run processor monitor you'll get a bird's
eye view of what's really going on. You'll be quite surprised at how much
activity is taking place when the computer is doing 'nothing'.

The nice thing is that you can filter out a lot of the data with ease. To
put you on the right track - look for disk activity. That was what was
keeping my hard drive from powering down.

The other process monitor is really good for is watching the registry. If
you've ever installed a trial program that only works for a short period you
know that it's able to 'tell' if the trial has expired. Ever wondered how?
It's usually an innocuous registry setting. Watch process monitor while you
install a program and you can find out every file it makes/alters and every
registry setting.

If it sounds too complex - it's not. And it won't harm anything while you
mess with it. All I know is that if you have a need to look behind the
scenes and see what's really going on - process monitor is the answer.

Best;
Dave
 
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U

Unknown

Shut it down to test.
Charles Lavin said:
_Active_ virus scanner? No. Real-time background monitoring, yes. But I
was under the impression that that was a _background_ process ...
 

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