Laptop turns itself on

  skeletal 11:02 13 Jan 2010

We recently bought my son a new Dell laptop that includes Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit edition. We have successfully installed Office 2003, this being the only extra software we have installed on the machine (it has a trial of Mcafee as supplied by Dell).

He does not use any date setting (etc.) procedures in Outlook.

The problem is that, in the middle of last night, the computer turned itself on.
He had left it switched off and closed the lid.

It is the first time it did this since Xmas.

Luckily, it was not it its bag and so did not get hot.

This is a potential fire risk and I’m amazed it can happen.

Any ideas please?


  chub_tor 11:40 13 Jan 2010

Most PCs can be woken up by a variety of signals and these are set in the BIOS. You need to go into the Power Management section of the BIOS and see if any of these are enabled. Look for such things as Wake up on LAN, Power on by Keyboard, Power on by Mouse and set those that you don't need to Disabled.

  skeletal 11:49 13 Jan 2010

A good point chub_tor, I will have a look to see if I can spot anything although I’m puzzled as to why this has only just occurred after many days.

Also, given that it was just sitting there with no mouse or keyboard (etc.) operation, it would have had to come from the wireless LAN perhaps?

I was hoping that it was a known Win 7 problem and the answer would be easy!


  chub_tor 15:18 13 Jan 2010

I run Win7 on a desktop and a laptop and have never had a random boot up, but I do always check the BIOS to make sure that such things are turned off.

  rambus 22:07 13 Jan 2010

I think that you will find that what caused the laptop to self start is your defragment settings.
my laptop self starts and defrags, you can stop this by changing the settings for the programme.

  skeletal 09:24 14 Jan 2010

I had a quick look at the BIOS last night but could not find anything with a helpful name like “Wake up on LAN”. I found a wireless switch and, without knowing what it was, disabled it. It was the WiFi, so I just managed to lose the network for my trouble!

I was going to look at the Win7 power options, but your idea, rambus, of an auto defrag is also worth looking at.

It did not turn itself on last night, this being part of the problem; as it has only happened once sinice Xmas it is hard to prove whether any fixes have worked...we will have to wait several weeks to find out.

When I get a chance I will investigate further.


  skeletal 14:48 17 Jan 2010

I looked at the degfrag settings and sure enough, it was set to do a defrag at 1AM on a Wednesday. We think it turned itself on a Wednesday.

Also, the options on turning the computer off were mostly set to sleep. I have changed them to hibernate and a complete turn off.

As I said in the previous post, it will now be difficult to determine if this has worked or not.

I’ll tick as resolved, but look out for a new post in a few month’s time!

Thanks for the help guys.


  Technocrate 12:15 02 Mar 2010

What are the POWER setting set at in the SCREEN SAVER section of desktop properties? It could be that your compute ris just going onto standby instead of powering off.

Also check in the BIOS to see if WAKE ON LAN (or similar) is enabled, if it is, and your computer is only going onto stanby, then could be the cause

  skeletal 14:16 02 Mar 2010

Funnily enough, I was going to re-visit this thread because after a few weeks of behaving itself, it turned on again recently in the middle of the night.

Following the starting this thread I found several “auto-updates” that, for some reason, were set to do their task at about 3AM. AFAIK I had disabled them all (which was confirmed, to start with, by the lack of starting ups).

By far the biggest culprit seemed to be McAffee anti-virus which, overall, is getting very annoying (when queried manually it always says “up to date”, but as soon as my son starts to use the computer, up pops an annoying pop-up for an update, which then needs a re-boot. All other AVs I’ve tried manage 99% of their updates without re-booting).

I will check out the screen saver bits (to be honest, I’ve now forgotten some of what I set up last time). As per my earlier post, I can’t find anything that looks like “Power on LAN” in the BIOS.

I will also check on McAffee to see if it has turned its auto-update on again although it is getting so annoying I may uninstall it anyway.

Thanks for the help.


  rambus 16:34 02 Mar 2010

hi again skeletal, regarding anti-virus software, i would urge you to use microsoft`s own product called "microsoft security essentials" its a excellant av doe`s not nag or ask to reboot and updates without disturbing you. we as a family have 5 laptops and a pc all using mse and have never had a problem.just google to go to download site. but dont forget to uninstall your present av which may require a uninstall tool to get rid off. norton and mcaffee dont like to be dumped.
good luck and lets know what you do.

  skeletal 17:37 02 Mar 2010

Hi rambus

I am always fiddling with AV software on our various computers. It’s almost like the fashion industry, one minute X is the best, then X is deemed useless and Y is the must have.

Then free stuff is not as good as paid for, but is good enough for home users, but perhaps not…

It is rare that a week does not go by without some such threads on the forums.

However, the M$ one is getting some good press recently and, although possibly not “the best” may be a good option for my son’s laptop and I have been thinking about it.

In the past, the M$ firewall did not monitor outgoing traffic and this was seen as a big(ish) minus point, do you (or anyone) know if it has been upgraded in this respect (I’m too lazy to Google ATM if someone knows off the top of their head).

And yes, I’ve heard that McAffee can be a pain to get rid of, perhaps another reason to drop it!


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