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Windows 8 Wake-On-LAN

For the past several years, I have relied on Wake-On-LAN (WOL) functionality to power on my home PC from anywhere. Whether simply in another room or traveling to another state, I have used WOL in combination with my phone or laptop to gain remote access to my files and programs. I have started keeping some files "in the cloud", but sometimes I need access to certain programs installed on my desktop computer.

I'm very excited about the new technologies emerging from Microsoft. I am anxious to acquire a Windows 8 Pro tablet when they become available. In the meantime, I have decided to install Windows 8 on my desktop computer so that I can code and test Windows Phone 8 apps. As I have been installing my developer tools and configuring the system, I tested whether I would be able to wake my computer remotely. The BIOS settings are unchanged and I had looked over all the power and device settings, yet my computer did not wake.

After some quick research this morning, I discov…

Windows 8 Wake-On-LAN Revisited

Occasionally over the past few months I have been unable to remotely wake my Windows 8 computer. I disabled the fast startup in power options to get Wake-On-LAN working in Windows 8. I recall the same computer (and past computers) waking more reliably when running Windows 7. I did a little research and found some more information in an official Microsoft support article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2776718

Apparently, being able to wake a Windows 7 system after shutdown was not intended. Because "users expect zero power consumption and battery drain in the shutdown state", Microsoft has cut off power to all devices when Windows 8 shuts down. This does not explain how I am still able to wake my computer after shutdown, but it might explain why remote wake fails sometimes. I think that Windows 8 may shut down differently after it patches, but I have not found any evidence.

Based on the support article, I tried putting my Windows 8 computer to sleep a few times. Unfortunatel…

Windows Phone Composite USB Device Issue

As a Windows Phone developer, few things are more frustrating than when I lose time to "technical difficulties" that are completely unrelated to code I've written. When I recently tried to connect my Windows Phone to a new computer, the correct device driver failed to install properly. Windows 7 in its infinite wisdom substituted a generic device driver. From then on, my Samsung Focus was labelled as a "Composite USB Device" and was completely unrecognizable to the Zune software and therefore inaccessible to Visual Studio for deployment and debugging.

I really wish that I had taken screenshots to help others recognize if their issue matches what I am describing here. I can no longer take screenshots because I figured out how to resolve the problem, or rather, I nudged Windows into fixing the problem itself. I could uninstall the correct driver and try to duplicate the issue, but I have some software writing to catch up on. Just writing this up means that I'…