PC's standby interrupting user's sleep

September 18, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Earlier this year, I purchased a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion (6640C) computer. From the day it was up and running, it has sporadically turned itself on! The only consistency is the time: usually between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Since my home office resides in my bedroom, the early morning wake-up call has begun to bother me.

I wondered if there was a light sensor or some kind of timer installed, but HP has no idea why this happens; they referred me to user groups for an answer. No other user seems to know why my machine does this.

Your PC is likely set to go into Standby mode rather than shut down when you click the Start/Shut Down button.

So your machine snoozes until its instructions for a scheduled task kick in - probably defragmenting the hard drive or running ScanDisk or some other operating-system routine maintenance chore.

These scheduled events can be set up using a software wizard, and they also can be deleted.

Click on Start, then Programs and Accessories and then scroll down to System Tools.

When you select System Tools you will get a large number of options including Scheduled Tasks.

Therein, you will find the commands to either add new scheduled tasks or wipe out the one that is cutting into your sleepy time.

I need your advice about how to keep my free NetZero Internet service provider from hanging up on me during downloads. From your past columns I found out about Download Manager that keeps America Online from disconnecting, but now I am getting disconnected at NetZero.

The automatic hang-up routines built into America Online and other Internet service providers kick in after a set time passes without a response from a customer's computer.

The programs tend to hang up when a subscriber is passively downloading data and thus sending almost no data back into the incoming stream.

But if you're running a program such as Napster (simply download the program from www.napster.com) and other computer users are downloading music files from your hard drive, you should be in luck.

The activity-monitoring software from AOL or any other service provider detects a flurry of responses from your computer and postpones hanging up on you.

To make sure that I get lots of hits, I have added a bunch of hugely popular cuts from Eminem, the Beastie Boys and Dr. Dre along with the Nanci Griffith, Willie Nelson and Louis Armstrong cuts that I prefer.

With all those kids hip-hopping onto my hard drive, it looks like I'm hitting the keyboard harder than a truckload of BBs rolling down a tin roof.

Send e-mail to Jim Coates at jcoates@tribune.com.

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