I have a desktop that, when I put it into the standby mode, it will turn
itself on. This can happen in minutes or after many hours. At first, I thought
it was the anti-virus software that I use attempting to get an update, so I disconnected
the computer from the internet and disabled the anti-virus. It turned itself
on overnight. I tried turning off as many running programs as I could; no
help. I’m running Windows XP. This has been happening for a while, so I can’t
say that there was a specific event that occurred prior to this issue.
I want to be clear: I don’t have “The Answer” for this.
I do have some suspicions and some directions to look in, however, based
on some of my own experiences.
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Your computer’s BIOS
Most often, I blame the BIOS.
More specifically, I blame the BIOS in older machines.
Standby is actually heavily dependant on ACPI – Advanced Configuration and
Power Interface – as implemented by your computer’s BIOS.
While ACPI has been around for a while (it was first published in 1996),
many BIOS implementations were apparently buggy and had assorted problems –
particularly related to standby – that took a long time to work themselves
It’s actually one of the reasons why I’ve avoided even using standby for
many years – I simply found it too unreliable.
So, one of my first recommendations would be to see if there’s an updated
BIOS available for your particular computer model. It’s possible that one of
the reasons for an update might well be an ACPI or power-management
Standby and the desktop
Standby is a feature that’s typically only enabled on laptop computers as
a battery-saving measure.
I’m somewhat surprised to hear that you have it enabled on your desktop
computer. While it can save a little power and start-up time, standby doesn’t
have nearly as much value in the desktop environment.
My concern isn’t that it won’t work, but rather that the corresponding
power management and ACPI Windows drivers installed in your desktop system
won’t have had the same thoroughness of testing – both prior to release and
in the field – simply because it’s not something that most people think to
So similar to the BIOS, check for updated drivers for your system from
your computer manufacturer.
I could also see other components, such as software installed in your desktop system, simply assuming that because they’re running on a desktop machine, there’s no possibility of being on standby.
Some BIOS have a number of “wake on” settings that might be worth
looking into and perhaps disabling. Wake on keyboard or mouse movement, for
example, could cause the computer to resume simply because the mouse was
moved (or, perhaps, a wireless mouse’s signal was interrupted or confused by
Yet other possibilities?
I’ll throw this to you as well. If you’ve had experience with unexpected
resume form standby and know what caused it, share below in a
comment. This is a common question and I think many would benefit.
ACPI Advanced Configuration &