Resume by RTC Alarm

Posted on 2006-04-25
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
MSI K8N Neo4 Platimum Board provides Wake UP event Setup under Power Management in Setup.  Options are to Enable/Disable, Set Date (0-31) and Time (HH:MM:SS).  If I want the computer to turn on at 4 pm every day of the week how would I specifiy values for Date and Time?  Once set, does this take place automatically after I Shutdown, or must I leave the computer in some other state?

Ultimately this is designed to allow Quicken to perform a "Scheduled Update".  In order for the update to run, once the computer is up and running, a Pin Vault password must be entered.  I've indicated the password is to be provided at Windows startup.  Assuming I did a "shutdown" at the end of the day, and the RTC alarm turns the computer on a specific time, how does this password get entered?  If, instead of shutdown I leave the computer in some other state, would the passworld still reside from previous Windows startup?

I know....lots of questions... but I appreciate the "magic" that can happen here.

Thanks in advance.
Question by:rcrete
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution


    I would have thought that you would have to put the computer into a power saving (standby) mode rather than shutting down completely, but there are different levels of stand by modes to complicate things, namely S1, S2, S3, and S4.  The "hibernate" mode is usually referred to as S4.  The differences are, according to the following reference page):

    S0 - System is on, CPU is fully up and running, power conservation is on a per-device basis.
    S1 - System looks like it is off, CPU is stopped, RAM is refreshed, system is simply running in a low power mode.
    (S2 - System looks like it is off, CPU has no power, RAM is refreshed, system is in a lower power mode than S1).
    S3 - System looks like it is off, CPU has no power, RAM is in slow refresh, power supply in reduced power mode.
           S3 is referred to as "Save To RAM" state because data is still in RAM Memory.
    S4 - System looks like it is off, hardware is completely off but system memory saved as temporary file to HDD
          S4 is referred to as "Save To Disk" mode.
    S5 - System is off, hardware completely off, OS has shut down, nothing saved temporarily, needs full reboot.

    S4 (Save To Disk) is obviously a safer state if there is a power cut which would otherwise lose any data held temporarily in RAM.

    Note: As far as I was aware, there wasn't an S2 state as shown in the aaforesaid referenced page.  I'm not sure if they are talking about screensaver mode coupled with Windows power saving settings, but I think we can ignore S2.

    My previous understanding whas that RTC Alarm was only able to wake up the system from standby modes S1 to S4, but further reading indicates that it can resume the system from S5 also (as long as the power on/off rocker switch to the ATX Power Supply has not been switched off !!).

    From the table in that referenced page, you can wake up a system from the various sleep modes as follows:

    Wake-Up Lan - S1, 3, 4, and 5.
    USB KB or Mouse and PS/2 KB - only S1 and S3 in Win98, Me, 2K, XP
    PS/2 Mouse - only S1 and S3 in WinMe, 2K, XP.

    One thing that may be important, when considering these standby modes, is that the standby mode (and other BIOS-related settings) seems to be set during the installation of Windows XP (Hardware Abstraction Layer - HAL), and is difficult or impossible to change without a reinstallation:

    The referenced page ( is from a software utility named "Auto Power-on & Shut-down" which purportedly can wake up from all except S5 state.
    There are other such utilities like this one: that use the RTC Alarm.

    You would get some more qualified information here:
    (seems to be unavailable - try this:

    Don't search for ACPI in, or you'll reach the "Anglican Church Planting Initiatives" page :-)

    Your stumbling block is the "require password on resume" security setting which is presumably enabled in the CMOS Setup.  I don't know how to overcome that, apart from disabling it and powering off (S5 mode).  You COULD just use Windows Task Scheduler to create a task to perform your backup, and then use the RTC Alarm to wake the system up a few minutes before the Task Scheduler job is due to run.

    I'll need to experiment a bit and see what I can get to work.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you, rcrete

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