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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 discovered that the inability to Wake-On-LAN is a result of settings that enable faster startup times. I think I prefer having remote access to saving a few seconds on start up. I found this official Microsoft support article on the topic:

Go to Power Options in the Control Panel. Find "Choose what the power buttons do". If the settings are grayed out, click the "change settings that are currently unavailable" near the top. Uncheck "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" under Shutdown Settings and save changes.

Windows 8 Shutdown Settings

I have tested it and this will allow Wake-On-LAN to work again (if everything else is setup properly). Making this change may increase boot times, but for me, I use WOL to avoid sitting in front of my computer while it boots anyway. On-demand remote access has proven to be invaluable.


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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:

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…