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Achieving Windows Sleep Protection

Now that Windows sleep appears to be working properly on my production PC, I’ve begun to understand that various influences can disturb that hallowed and blissful state. Starting last Thursday, I noticed that my PC was already running in the morning when I arrived in my office. Apparently, something other than my moving the mouse or striking a key on the keyboard was waking up the machine. Mildly curious, I started researching how to figure out what was causing the wake-up to occur, so I could provide some Windows Sleep Protection.

I found my answer in a nice article from Ghacks.net entitled “How to find out why your PC wakes up, and how to stop it.” Although this article from December 31, 2013, predates the Windows 10 release date in mid-2015, it applies to Windows 10 in every particular nonetheless. From its contents, I learned that the powercfg command can provide useful information about wake causes, and that the Windows System log in Event Viewer can shed even more light on what’s causing wake-ups to occur. That’s the foundation on which Windows sleep protection rests.

Windows Sleep Protection from Wake on LAN

The powercfg command shows information about the most recent wake-up, and devices that have caused recent wake-ups.

Windows Sleep Protection Requires Preventing Unwanted Wake-up Events

The most important clue in the preceding screen shot comes from the presence of the Intel network interface at the tail end of the -devicequery version of the powercfg command. That let me know that something arriving from the network was waking up my system. Because I’m no longer relying on that system to provide services to the network, it doesn’t need to respond to Wake-on-LAN packets anymore. Once upon a time, that PC had been the host client for a USB-attached printer, and also served as the “master system” for my local Homegroup. But no longer. That means it was now OK to block Wake-on-LAN events as a form of Windows sleep protection.

Confirmation came from inspecting the March 24, Power-troubleshooting events in Event Manager, as this detail display illustrates:

Windows sleep protection from Wake on LAN

The event detail for 3/24 clearly confirms the wake-up originated from the Intel I211 GbE network interface.

How to fix this? Simple! I know from long prior experience with local area networks that the Power Management tab in the Properties window for modern Windows network interfaces includes a “Wake on LAN” pane, with a variety of wake-up options related to the so-called “Magic Packet” that can trigger a wake-up event. I simply made sure all of those checkboxes were unchecked, and I have not had an unwanted wake-up since. Here is my current settings look like:

Windows Sleep protect from Wake on LAN

Please note that none of the “Wake on…” checkboxes is selected. That’s the trick!

Not every unwanted wake-up will be as easy to fix as this one was, though these techniques should work for any kind of cause. Follow-up research on how to delay or disable the cause of the wake should provide the additional details necessary to keep Windows from being disturbed when you don’t want it to be. Blissful snoozing should be the resulting outcome.

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