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Wake-On-LAN technology

 
 

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Network administrators and Information Systems (IS) personnel in large companies are required to perform tasks, such as backups or installation of software upgrades, at remote sites at night when system downtime does not impact the users. However, these tasks performed after hours require the users to leave their machines on overnight, resulting in twice as much electricity consumed as daytime usage.

Working together, AMD and Hewlett Packard (HP) came up with a solution to this problem. Since power is generally on inside a green machine, the network side of the machine could be left in a state, whereby it would continue to scan every packet coming in from the network, this time looking for the special data sequence that would serve to wake up the sleeping machine. The value that separates one machine from another on an Ethernet network is its unique IEEE address. This unique address repeated 16 times in a row anywhere within a valid network frame's data field was chosen to serve as the wake-up call. This frame has now been called a Magic Packet frame.

The Magic Packet technology is used to remotely wake up a sleeping or powered off PC on a network. This is accomplished by sending a Magic Packet frame to a node on the network. When a PC capable of receiving the specific frame goes to sleep, it will enable the Magic Packet mode in the LAN controller, and when the LAN controller receives a Magic Packet frame, it will alert the system to wake up.

The same technology from Intel is called Wake on LAN (WOL).

Certain network cards also support a security feature called "SecureON password". This feature allows users to set a Magic Packet password. The password is 6 bytes like the MAC address. Still, only a few NIC and router manufacturers seem to support such security features.

What do I need to use WOL?

  • An ATX motherboard with an onboard, 3-pin "WOL" connector and ATX power supply.
  • A network card that can support WOL with its cable to the motherboard properly installed.
  • In the BIOS Power Management, you must enable the LAN Wakeup option.
    The option can also be named like: Wake On LAN, MAC Resume From S3/S4, MACPME Power Up Control, Power On By Onboard LAN, Power Up By Onboard LAN, Power On By PCI Devices, Resume on PCI Event, Resume by LAN, Resume By WOL, Resume on LAN, Resume on LAN/PME#, Wake on LAN from S5, Wake Up On LAN, WakeUp by Onboard LAN, WOL (PME#) From Soft-Off, PME Events Wake Up, Resume by PME# Function, Resume On PME#, Wake On PME, Wake Up On PME.
  • Then take a look at your network card settings, (right click mouse on "My Computer" icon on your desktop, select Manage -> "Device Manager") in "Device Manager" open properties of your "Network Card" and select "Power Management" tab. Here wakeup should be also enabled as shown on the picture below.

    Some network cards support additional options to wake up from shutdown.

After all, check that the "Good Connection" light (typically green led) on the back of the network card is lit when the machine is off.



Using our RSHUT Pro software you can use the power of the Wake on LAN technology to wake up your computers remotely over network. You can schedule this on any specified time or date or do it manually. This operation can be performed from the program's GUI or from command line.

Also you can try out online Wake-On-LAN tool to wake up your computer over Internet from our web site.



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