View Full Version : WinXP standby funny

29-01-2008, 04:42 PM
My second PC runs Win XP Home with all the updates. It is set to go into standby after 20 mins idle. Usually this all goes OK - the monitor turns off, all the fans stop, and to all intents and purposes it is dead - all you see is the power light flashing. To revive it you briefly press the power button and it all comes back to life.

Sometimes however it behaves differently. After 20 mins The monitor turns off, the fans keep going (I can't tell if the disks stop), the power light flashes and the disk light stays on. To bring it out of this state I have to press the reset button. Pressing power has no effect (unless I hold it down for > 6 secs). Pressing reset revives it OK.

I can't find anything that describes this set of circumstances - but maybe I was just using the wrong keywords.

What's going on? I suspect there is some process running under these circumstances that is stopping a proper standby - how would I find out if this is the case?

This is not a big deal - just another of those little Windows mysteries that we love so much.

14-04-2008, 05:14 PM
A general cleanup may be the answer:

I assume that you've updated and run your AV and Antispyware.
In addition to that, run an online check:
Housecall Online Scan is good.

Do you have adequate Antispyware?
In addition to Windows built in Defender you need:
Ad-Aware (there's a free personal version)
Spybot (free!)
AVG Anti-Spyware (free for home use)
SUPERAntispyware (free for home use)


Run System File Checker to restore and repair all Windows files:
Start Run Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes. There's a space before the /.
Click OK.
Have your Windows CD ready to insert if prompted when repair is necessary.

If SFC doesn't fix the problem and a solution can't be found:

Repair installation of Windows.
This leaves all your programs and data intact while reinstalling Windows.

1. Boot the computer from your XP CD (if this won't boot, you may need to change the order of boot devices in BIOS setup).
2 Eventually you will see the "Welcome To Setup" screen. Press the Enter key to start Windows Setup.
3. Be careful NOT to choose R, which is "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console".
4. Accept the License Agreement.
5. Windows setup will search for existing Windows installations.
6. Select the XP installation you want to repair (there is usually only one) and now press R to start the repair.

More complete instructions on how to do this, complete with pictures, are here:

Back up your data first, just in case!

Speedy Gonzales
14-04-2008, 06:37 PM
I think thats what its meant to do.

I just put this in standby, everything shut down like you said. (monitor went off, fans stopped). Only thing (as you said), was the hdd LED flashed

And the hdd flashes (which means youre in standby). Move the mouse / press a key, it'll come back to life.

14-04-2008, 07:02 PM
I think thats what its meant to do.The point I was making back then that there are two different behaviours, and I can't work out why sometimes it is one and sometimes the other. Both are OK(ish), although the one where the fan keeps going seems to be fairly useless.

14-04-2008, 07:19 PM
How old is the pc, ACPI intructions differ from 2000- to todays pc's. The BIOS settings may need adjusting, however your comment that it works okay sometimes is the spanner in the works.
How long a period before re-activation, system processing set to automatically run, BIOS settings for waking etc.
You will need to investigate further you motherboards capabilities.

14-04-2008, 07:25 PM
however your comment that it works okay sometimes is the spanner in the works.Exactly - that is what is weird. I've never bothered to investigate thoroughly as it is a seldom-used machine. I have suspected, but never been able to prove, that the "no-fans-off" behaviour happens if I leave certain apps running, which could mean they are refreshing themselves or something and causing the PC not to sleep properly. However it has also happened when there seems to be nothing running at all.:illogical :confused:

Speedy Gonzales
14-04-2008, 07:53 PM
And whats the CPU / system

I spose something like cool n Quiet might stuff something up. (doesnt this do something similar, to save power)??

14-04-2008, 10:24 PM
The mobo is an ASUS A7N8X and the CPU is and AMD Athlon XP2400.

Not running anything sexy like Cool n Quiet.

Speedy Gonzales
14-04-2008, 10:42 PM
Have a look in the ASUS forum (http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=A7N8X&board_id=1)

Murray P
15-04-2008, 12:53 AM
Have you had a look at your BIOS settings?

Try changing what action wakes up the machine, e.g. space bar or mouse.

15-04-2008, 07:35 AM
Have you had a look at your BIOS settings?

Try changing what action wakes up the machine, e.g. space bar or mouse.The only thing I have enabled is wake-up on LAN. I have that enabled so that my Windows Home Server backups will get executed overnight. I don't see how that could cause this occasional odd semi-sleep behaviour.