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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

New laptop wakes up unexpectedly

 12:23 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a new laptop (Dell Inspiron 1501 Vista). I am baffled as to why it sometimes wakes up from standby and then can go back to sleep again (it was warm this evening after supposedly being in standby for three hours). Yesterday, I returned to it to see the hard disk extremely busy.

So far, I have not transferred any particularly secure data to this computer. I have reduced both the wired and wireless network ports to TCP/IP only. This has also happened when disconnected from the wired port.

One way or another, I can certainly track down the cause, but I'd appreciate suggestions - they might save me a lot of time.




 3:27 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Look at the various "wakeup" mechanisms -- Scheduled task can wake up the machine, as can activity on quite a few of the interfaces -- including wired and Wireless network interfaces.

I don't think that the Indexing Service can wake up the machine, but you might want to check...

It's also possible that the mouse, touchpad, or keyboard input is noisy and is waking it up.

As always, make sure file and printer sharing is disabled on any public-network-facing interfaces.



 11:36 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Look at your settings for windows update. A lot of times they are set to run in the early moring hours.

Other programs may be phoning home for updates at night also such as an antivirus app.

I'm not sure if vista has an event log similar to XP. I believe it would. Sometimes that can give you a clue.

Also, try doing a search for all files modified in the last 24 hours. You can see what files are being updated.



 7:00 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions...

File/printer sharing are both off and neither mouse (touchpad) nor keyboard cause a wakeup. Windows update is on "manual" - it just lets me know what's out there.

I was under the impression that only hardware activity could cause a wakeup - are we agreed that scheduled events can cause a wakeup? Some quick research does suggest that it is possible to schedule wakeups in advance. Does anyone know how to disable this?

This may seem a minor issue, but a few days ago, I left this laptop on my bed (on standy) and returned to it to find the fan trying to stop a meltdown - the CPU had already overheated and crashed!



 2:57 am on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's definitely not paranoia on my part, I just witnessed it wakeup a couple of minutes after going into standby!

Most references to this behaviour on the internet point to spyware but I can't see how it arrived - other than Delphi, Firefox and AVG, there's nothing installed yet.

I'm going to leave ProcessMonitor going - this should record file/registry activity if it wakes up again.



 11:16 am on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

here is one more thought.. Most virus apps will send/receive data nowadays. You might want to try running a packet sniffer like etherreal either on the laptop or on another machine that is on the same part of the network (same switch).

That way you can see if it is making an internet connection somewhere..



 12:20 pm on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

From ProcessMonitor results, Windows Media Center is now looking suspicious.

I have emailed Dell Tech Support. The bottom line is that the bios should ignore all wakeup requests (unless specifically enabled). If Dell can't supply a bios upgrade in the coming weeks then I'll send it back and demand a refund. I pointed out in my email that, as things stand, it's a fire hazard.


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