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Author Topic: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)  (Read 12484 times)

mouser

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Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« on: January 24, 2008, 02:08:51 PM »
I have a homebuilt spare PC in the bedroom and when it's on it sounds a bit like an airplane (loud).

One of my favorite features of windows that many people don't seem to take advantage of is "Standby Mode", which basically puts your PC into a very low power state, very quickly, that it can very quickly wake up from.  It's a great alternative to shutting down and restarting if you just want to turn your PC off for the night, etc.

BUT

I noticed recently that my PC stopped going into a silent standby mode, for no apparent reason!
What was the cause? How to fix it?

Well, it turns out that there are at least 2 different kinds of Standby modes (S1 and S3) that a PC can go into.  S1 leaves the fans and usb connections on, S3 turns off the fan and usb (this is the quite mode).

And there are several things that can control whether your PC goes into S1 or S3 standby mode.

For me, the answer was to go into the bios and change the bios power setting to "S3 ONLY" mode.

There is also a registry setting that addresses this issue, though it's not clear to me whether you should set this INSTEAD of the bios setting, or in addition to.

For a longer description of related settings see this nice post on the matter: http://thegreenbutto...ms/thread/29899.aspx

From your bios you can also do some nice stuff like configure your power button to go in and out of standby mode.  For a spare bedroom PC this is a great setup -- push the button at any time and the PC wakes up or goes to quiet sleep in seconds.

tomos

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 03:40:09 PM »
I only discovered that myself lately - I was using hibernation on my last machine cause I didnt realise I could change this.

I changed it in the bios -
all I did was change S1 to S3

but my computer wont wake up with the mouse or keyboard - even though it should
In device manager:

    * under Keyboards
          o Properties on Microsoft eHome...
                + Power management TAB
                      # Make sure 'Allow this device to bring..." is checked
          o Properties on your keyboard
                + Power management TAB (if exists)
                      # Change setting based on your preference
    * under Mice and other pointing devices
          o Properties on your mouse
                + Power management TAB (if exists)
                      # Change setting based on your preference
from your link above mouser (these all selected)


but I'm happy enough, oh, forgot to say, it wakes up when I press the power button :)
(on the other hand the power button is set to send it into hibernation :-\)
I might try some of the other stuff he did - registry, other bios settings
or
then again maybe not -cause as I say I happy enough - no fans quickly if I select standby
Tom

mouser

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 03:42:10 PM »
in my case, you can change the mouse and keyboard wakes up and power button function all from the bios.
i never touched the registry.

tranglos

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 09:31:44 AM »
but my computer wont wake up with the mouse or keyboard - even though it should

Since S3 turns off USB, if both your mouse and keyboard are USB-connected, then I can't see how they could possibly work :)

I've always found the power saving feaures deeply confusing. I can never figure out if a setting should be made in the BIOS or the registry, for one thing. Do they work in tandem, or do they wrestle for control? I only ever use power settings to turn off the monitor, and even that doesn't work reliably - some days it does, other times I find the monitor still on hours after I'd touched the machine last. Inscrutable!


« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 09:33:31 AM by tranglos »

f0dder

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 09:39:28 AM »
Keep in mind that S3 consumes a bit more power than off (although not THAT much, since you don't "really get off" unless you pull the plug out of the socket, or flip the switch on your PSU) - see my PowerSlave thread.

And also keep in mind that if the power b0rks while in standby, it's almost as bad as if you hard reboot while the machine is on, only difference is that in standby, at least your filesystem buffers have been flushed.

And also keep in mind that sometimes windows has trouble resuming from standby, although that's really hardware/driver related. So be careful!

I wouldn't recommend standby during the night, use hibernate and unplug your system, you get lower power consumption, and guard against power surges as well. But do use standby when you're leaving your system for more than a few minutes!
- carpe noctem

Armando

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 11:44:37 AM »
And also keep in mind that if the power b0rks while in standby, it's almost as bad as if you hard reboot while the machine is on, only difference is that in standby, at least your filesystem buffers have been flushed.

I made a  related mistake once (and Once is enough) : After a short night, I forgot that my laptop was on standby mode, and I removed my memory stricks (just got some new ones). OMG. Nothing dramatic happened. Could've been worst.  ;D
I don't recommend that to anybody with a weak hearth though.

One thing I discovered recently : while in standby, I have maybe 30s left if I cut the power and remove my battery to put an other one. (speaking of the battery here... not the memory sticks...  :-[)

And also keep in mind that sometimes windows has trouble resuming from standby, although that's really hardware/driver related. So be careful!

I wouldn't recommend standby during the night, use hibernate and unplug your system, you get lower power consumption, and guard against power surges as well. But do use standby when you're leaving your system for more than a few minutes!

I guess laptops are a different story, of course.

When not used, my laptop is almost always in standby mode, unless I have to reboot or I'm gone for a long time. My new fast harddrive makes the difference between standby and hibernation less drastic though, and so I tend to use hibernation a bit more. Ecologically sound, I guess...

f0dder

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 04:21:17 PM »
Well, keep in mind that a laptop in standby will drain your battery. Slowly, but surely.

"But I always leave my laptop on wall power when I'm home!" - don't, you reduce battery lifetime.
- carpe noctem

Armando

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 04:41:06 PM »
Well, keep in mind that a laptop in standby will drain your battery. Slowly, but surely.

Yep, that's for sure...


"But I always leave my laptop on wall power when I'm home!" - don't, you reduce battery lifetime.

I know, I know...  :) But I actually read some contradictory information on the subject. Usually though people agree to say that it doesn't matter that much :

Quote
Removing the battery from the laptop when running on fixed power protects the battery from heat. With the concern of the battery overheating and causing fire, a spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises to eject the battery of affected laptops and to run the machines on a power cord. It should be noted that on a power outage, unsaved works will be lost.
The question is often asked, should the laptop be disconnected from the main when not in use? Under normal circumstances, it should not matter with lithium-ion. Once the battery is fully charged, no further charge is applied. However, there is always the concern is malfunction of the AC adapter, the laptop or the battery.
(Isidor Buchmann, How to prolong lithium-based batteries, http://www.batteryun...y.com/parttwo-34.htm)



Quote
Connect the computer to an electrical outlet when possible because battery life is largely determined
by the number of times the battery is used and recharged
.
• Place the computer in standby mode or hibernate mode when you leave the computer unattended for
long periods of time. See "Power Management Modes" on page 41 for more information about standby
and hibernate modes.
(from my Dell laptop manual)


PS : I should also note that :
Quote
Removing the battery from the laptop when running on fixed power protects the battery from heat.
is NOT recommended in my Dell manual.
The Dell manual actually says :
Quote
For optimal computer performance and to help preserve BIOS settings, operate your Dell™ portable
computer with the battery installed at all times
.
Now, that could be seen as a clever way for Dell to sell more batteries... But I'd doubt it.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 04:46:25 PM by Armando »

oldfart

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 06:52:27 PM »
I suppose you folks would consider it cheating or at the very least laziness but I found a neat little program called http://Local Cooling that not only regulates when and how my system closes down and hibernates, it tells me how many trees, gallons or kilowatt hours I have saved.  They even have an on line community but I've not yet explored that part of the program.  The only drawback is that you don't get to hack the registry or play with the bios in any fun and creative ways, you just install it.
dmg

johnfdeluca

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 08:46:37 PM »
So does anyone know of an app that allows me to schedule standby and resume schedule?  I ask b/c I have a computer in the other room with a wireless card (so no wake up on lan) that I'd like to not keep running all the time.  Ideally, I if I can put it on a schedule, I can access it remotely during certain hours without keeping it on all the time.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 10:09:45 PM by johnfdeluca »

f0dder

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 03:39:05 AM »
I reckon battery lifetime stories will change depending on who you ask, there's probably both money as well as religion involved.

A thing I can say about the topic, though, is that after a couple of years of almost exclusively connected-to-socket operation, my mum's laptop would last less than 15 minutes om battery. And some months back, it would no longer power on, until I removed the battery.

So, personally, once I scrape money together for a laptop, I will be running it off battery, and only connect it to socket when battery is near drained.

Local Cooling was already mentioned here at DC... doesn't do anything fairly useful. Apart from making money.
- carpe noctem

oldfart

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2008, 08:44:55 AM »
Sorry to get out of line F0dder.  I'm new and haven't read all the posts yet.  I don't remember when the energy star power settings were added to Windows [98?] but every review I read for several years all said to shut off the power options in Windows because they would do nothing but mess up your system.  I happened to stumble upon Local Cooling, the program was free and it worked so I was pleased with it.  I didn't look at it as a money making scheme because they haven't gotten a dime from me and I haven't been back to their web site since I installed the program a couple of months ago. 
dmg

f0dder

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2008, 08:49:56 AM »
oldfart: well, many many years ago, power management was pretty buggy - including the stuff that needed to be done at BIOS level, not just Windows. So I guess it made sense as a general advice back then. For the last several years, things have generally worked pretty well though, as long as you're on Windows and have proper drivers.

So no reason to run LocalCooling unless you like the stats and want to help them make money :)
- carpe noctem

johnfdeluca

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Re: Mini How-To: How to make your PC go to silent standby (S3 mode)
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2008, 12:27:45 PM »
So does anyone know of an app that allows me to schedule standby and resume schedule?  I ask b/c I have a computer in the other room with a wireless card (so no wake up on lan) that I'd like to not keep running all the time.  Ideally, I if I can put it on a schedule, I can access it remotely during certain hours without keeping it on all the time.

Here's the answer I came up with:
1.  The resume operation is as simple as Adding a scheduled task (via control panel).  It really doesn't matter what it launches...the key is I just set it up for daily @ 6PM and ensure the "Wake this computer to run this task" under the settings Tab - Power Management section is checked.

2.  The suspend operation is a bit trickier since Windows doesn't come with a pre-installed method to suspend (shutdown....yes but suspend...no).  So a small utility via sysinternals to the rescue:  PsShutdown.  This utility accessible via microsoft technet http://www.microsoft...eous/psshutdown.mspx supports the standby with the switch -d.  So assuming you place PsShutdown in your C root directory, you simply add a task to run "C:\PsShutdown.exe -d".  I set this up to run daily at midnight which then places the machine in suspend/standby each night.

The net is:  A machine which wakes up at 6PM each night and then goes to sleep at midnight each night.  Since the machine is not wired to the network, but rather wireless, I can't opt for a more elegant solution of using Wake on LAN features of a wired ethernet connection and a power management settings which place it to sleep after a period of inactivity.