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Roxas_XIII
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19 Aug 2011, 5:19 pm

Question for the techs here. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1545 with the original BIOS (no updates, it's the factory-installed version from around 2009) and dual-boot options for Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

Anyways, I was reading an article on Lifehacker about how it was possible to have you PC start automatically using the BIOS settings. They mentioned a particular option in the BIOS setup under "Power Management" that will start your computer at user-specified intervals if it's not running already. I'm not talking about waking from sleep or hibernation, it's having the computer powered off but plugged into AC and having it boot automatically.

I would like to be able to do this, because I use my computer as an alarm system to wake me up in the morning. However, this requires that I leave it on during the night. If I could autostart the computer, I could program it to boot, say, 5 or so minutes before my alarm goes off. That way I wouldn't be wasting power and heating up my PC while sleeping.

Unfortunately, my BIOS options seem somewhat limited. The only option I have that comes even close to the above function is "Power on LAN", which allows the computer to receive a boot signal through an Ethernet network. Unfortunately, I use a wireless network, plus I would need some kind of server to send the signal.

I'm thinking it might be because my BIOS is outdated. A few of the tech forum members that I spoke to told me that most recent Dell systems have a "Power on Alarm" function that autostarts the computer using the internal system clock. However, they failed to specify the definition of "recent." Knowing the computer industry, it is quite possible that my BIOS is an earlier version that does not have this option.

That said, I'm looking to update my BIOS. I know Dell has BIOS and driver files on their website, but I'm not sure if it has what I need, and I'm worried something will glitch and I'll screw up my computer. Can anyone share some advice?


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Tom_Kakes
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19 Aug 2011, 5:33 pm

Roxas_XIII wrote:
Question for the techs here. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1545 with the original BIOS (no updates, it's the factory-installed version from around 2009) and dual-boot options for Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

Anyways, I was reading an article on Lifehacker about how it was possible to have you PC start automatically using the BIOS settings. They mentioned a particular option in the BIOS setup under "Power Management" that will start your computer at user-specified intervals if it's not running already. I'm not talking about waking from sleep or hibernation, it's having the computer powered off but plugged into AC and having it boot automatically.

I would like to be able to do this, because I use my computer as an alarm system to wake me up in the morning. However, this requires that I leave it on during the night. If I could autostart the computer, I could program it to boot, say, 5 or so minutes before my alarm goes off. That way I wouldn't be wasting power and heating up my PC while sleeping.

Unfortunately, my BIOS options seem somewhat limited. The only option I have that comes even close to the above function is "Power on LAN", which allows the computer to receive a boot signal through an Ethernet network. Unfortunately, I use a wireless network, plus I would need some kind of server to send the signal.

I'm thinking it might be because my BIOS is outdated. A few of the tech forum members that I spoke to told me that most recent Dell systems have a "Power on Alarm" function that autostarts the computer using the internal system clock. However, they failed to specify the definition of "recent." Knowing the computer industry, it is quite possible that my BIOS is an earlier version that does not have this option.

That said, I'm looking to update my BIOS. I know Dell has BIOS and driver files on their website, but I'm not sure if it has what I need, and I'm worried something will glitch and I'll screw up my computer. Can anyone share some advice?


Wake on LAN.

;)



Cornflake
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19 Aug 2011, 5:47 pm

Tom_Kakes wrote:
Wake on LAN.
That requires something else to be running to wake up the machine over the LAN.

Best thing I can think of is to have the BIOS set to switch the machine on as the power is applied (this is usually selectable from options like remain off, keep previous state, and power on) and that would require a simple external timer switch.
(I'm assuming that once the correct OS has been booted it will already auto-start whatever you need for the alarm function)


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Tom_Kakes
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19 Aug 2011, 5:57 pm

Cornflake wrote:
Tom_Kakes wrote:
Wake on LAN.
That requires something else to be running to wake up the machine over the LAN.

Best thing I can think of is to have the BIOS set to switch the machine on as the power is applied (this is usually selectable from options like remain off, keep previous state, and power on) and that would require a simple external timer switch.
(I'm assuming that once the correct OS has been booted it will already auto-start whatever you need for the alarm function)


Duh!

Teach me to read a post correctly.

;)

If you do decide to use a timer, make sure it has a conductor type relay as you don't want to surge your board.



SammichEater
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19 Aug 2011, 6:06 pm

Or you can just buy an alarm clock for $10.


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Cornflake
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19 Aug 2011, 6:19 pm

Tom_Kakes wrote:
Teach me to read a post correctly.
:lol:
Quote:
If you do decide to use a timer, make sure it has a conductor type relay as you don't want to surge your board.
Nah, that shouldn't be necessary at all because whether it's turned on by the wall power switch, the laptop's power switch or by a timer switch - it's still a case of going from 'no AC power' to 'full AC power' in a few mSec, and the PSU would take much longer than that to stabilise afterwards.
Then again the 'click' of the timer switch would probably wake me up anyway and that would be annoying, so the silent operation of a conductor type switch would be an advantage there. :wink:


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Cornflake
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19 Aug 2011, 6:21 pm

SammichEater wrote:
Or you can just buy an alarm clock for $10.
What? And fail to make interesting technology do entertaining things as a result? 8O
Never! :lol:


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Tom_Kakes
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20 Aug 2011, 4:12 am

Cornflake wrote:
Tom_Kakes wrote:
Teach me to read a post correctly.
:lol:
Quote:
If you do decide to use a timer, make sure it has a conductor type relay as you don't want to surge your board.
Nah, that shouldn't be necessary at all because whether it's turned on by the wall power switch, the laptop's power switch or by a timer switch - it's still a case of going from 'no AC power' to 'full AC power' in a few mSec, and the PSU would take much longer than that to stabilise afterwards.
Then again the 'click' of the timer switch would probably wake me up anyway and that would be annoying, so the silent operation of a conductor type switch would be an advantage there. :wink:


Too paranoid for that...

My desktop is even on two surge protectors Lmao.

I'm not sure but I think the minimum European standard for wall socket timers is 3kw with a conductor anyway.
;)



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20 Aug 2011, 5:11 am

If you are willing to use hibernate instead of turning the machine off fully you can just use the task scheduler in windows to do this.

The instructions here should help you do the same on ubuntu,

http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/ACPI_Wakeup



Cornflake
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20 Aug 2011, 7:25 am

DC wrote:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/ACPI_Wakeup
This is a very nice trick, using the RTC and ACPI.


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