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Enable wake on LAN remotely

Posted on 2009-04-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,

I manage a network of about 100 computers.  It drives me insane when people don't leave their computers turned on and I have to walk halfway across the building to do any maintenance...  And then the door is locked!

I have Wake On LAN turned on for most of the PC's, but we're constantly getting new one's, replacing main boards, replacing mb batteries (which causes them to lose settings etc.)

My question is:  Is there a way to REMOTELY enable Wake On LAN?  All of the PC's are Dell OptiPlex's of one variety or another.  GX280's, 745's etc.

I suppose I do need the excercise, but it would be so much easier if people would just leave them on - or if WOL was ALWAYS enabled.  Thanks.
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Question by:dkuhlman
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by:xtravagan
ID: 24143994
If all the computers are connected to an AD you can push the settings in various ways from there.
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by:xtravagan
ID: 24143998
Ohh, WOL normally only works if the computer is a S state, if they shut them down.. well WOL won't help you.
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by:dkuhlman
ID: 24143999
Interesting.  That would be ideal.  I thought it was a hardware \ bios setting.

Any idea where the GP setting is?  I look around and didn't see it.
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by:xtravagan
ID: 24144058
There is no standard GPO for it (at least I don't know of any). And it is also depending on the bios as you say. Normally nowadays though it can also be set through the windows driver for the NIC. If the BIOS isn't allowing that then I am not sure how difficult it would be to reprograms the CMOS through a logon script. Certainly not impossible but not likely worth the effort (and usually not necessary today, but your milage may vary.).

As to the NIC driver settings a simple registry hack with a device on / off will solve that. You will need to figure out for each NIC card what to change (many use the same) and your script must check which card it is dealing with and turn it on.

I would go for a logon script for this, but I am not sure if there are better ways.
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by:dkuhlman
ID: 24144067
Anyone else have any input on this?  I'd ideally like to find a single way  to enable WOL on all PC's.  (via GP or login scrip ideally...)

Thanks!
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by:RobDating
ID: 24144147
I know its not exactly what you want but on every site I manage I tell the users not to switch off the PC's as they will auto automatically shutdown at a certain time (via a scheduled "shutdown -s -f -t 10" command" in a BAT file) which I schedule using the local admin account (so it can't be seen through a domain account). I also disable standby.
And they Switch themselves on in the morning via the BIOS

I know it will be a bit of work  but maybe it's the most reliable way to go and may be just as much effort as would be needed to push the various registry entries (because of the different systems involved) via GPO.

If you don't get a solution it just may be the way to go.

Good luck
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by:HDermer
ID: 24152079
I say as RobDating, "I know its not exactly what you want but...". Why dont use a GPO to disable the shutdown option?

Btw, WOL can be set thru windows device manager on newer network cards.

Br, Henrik
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by:rfportilla
ID: 24164034
I have set this up before.  There are few things you need to know.  

1. WOL has to be enabled in the bios.  Unless your computers have a way to access the bios from within Windows or, like HDermer says, the NIC driver gives you access,  you have to do this from within the bios.  Hopefully your hardware is consistent.  One possible issue is that some NIC's required a separate cable to connect to WOL port on the motherboard.  Depends on your hardware.

2. you must have the MAC addresses for all of the machines.  Before the DHCP or IP networking is up, the NIC will only respond to layer 2 communication.  You can get a lot of this info from DHCP if you have one or with a script that uses arp, ping and/or nslookup.  

3. Download a program that can send a magic packet.  The magic packet is what is sent to tell the computer to start.  There are a few that work on the command line.  I like these because they are scriptable.  There are also gui based programs.

4. Wireless links don't work for some reason.  I don't mean just when the client computer has a wireless cards, but also when you are linked over a wireless network.  I have never been able to get it to work.  I think it has to do with the magic packet, but I'm not sure.  

There was a comment made above about computers not starting if they were shutdown.  I have had Dell computers that were shutdown completely that started up when told to.  

With 100 pc's, it is a bit of work, but it is worth it.  I managed my classroom remotely, added/removed software, etc.  I hope this helps.
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by:rfportilla
ID: 24164052
WOL can't be done with GP.  Maybe some funky login script, but that seems like more work, especially if all of your machines aren't the same.  
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by:HDermer
ID: 24165534
Then there is two ways to send WOL. "Magic Packet" and "Pattern Match". With Pattern Match you should be abel to define a certain pattern in the ethernet frame that the NIC should trigger on. This makes it possible to make all NIC's trigger on the same pattern. So insted making a script that sends the WOL packet to a list of specified MAC-addresses you just need to "press one button".

Br, Henrik
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by:rfportilla
ID: 24189238
Good point, HDermer.  I didn't mention pattern match because a lot of cards don't support it.  At least, they didn't used to.  Magic packet is the old tried and true method.  Plus, when I was doing this, it was rare that I ever had to start all of the computers at once.  Maybe the author would find that useful.  

Dkuhlman, what's the status on this.  Is any of this helpful?   I know you were looking for a GP solution here, but there really isn't one.  Is there anything else we can answer for you?
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by:HDermer
ID: 24191941
What network card is it in the computers that you have? My computer at my work is a Dell Optiplex GX280 with a Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller and this card doesn't support pattern match.
I'm sorry that I didn't noticed this before!

One thing that hit me was... The card needs to be set to "Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby.". This is done in the device manager. (Properties for the network adapter > Power Managment).

I attach the AMD Wake On Lan Whitepaper if someone will take a look.

Br, Henrik
AMD-WOL.pdf
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by:dannlh
ID: 24200029
OOOOOOHHHHH!!!! I KNOW I KNOW!!!!!!!!!

Dell has a nifty little utility that can tweek the bios during login!!! Just set the paramaters you want and run the script in your login process. The utility will do the rest, turning on the Bios options you want.  Dell DCCU (Dell Client Configuration Utility) You can also inventory the PC bios from this utility.

And of course once the WOL is turned on in BIOS you can use your normal WOL utilities to poke the PC awake and work on it.

Dell® Client Configuration Utility lets you create a stand-alone package that you can manually run on a Dell client computer to configure a BIOS, update a BIOS, or capture BIOS settings inventory data.
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R204280&formatcnt=1&libid=0&fileid=285029

dh  
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by:rfportilla
ID: 24201538
That looks like a kewl solution.  I just downloaded the utility.  I don't know how well this will work for the author, though.  I think I see where you are going with it, but how would you script it so that you turn on WOL?

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dannlh earned 500 total points
ID: 24201644
Start the config program. Turn on WOL. (Power and performance management, Wakeup on LAN, Enabled for all NICs) Create a BIOS settings file (bottom right of the DCCU screen). Execute the file in your logon script as administrator on the PC that needs to be updated. This will remotely turn on WOL for the NIC during the next login of the user. Now WOL is back on in the machine and you can remotely turn the machine on when needed after that. Check the help file that comes with the package too it gives the basics in there.

Dell also recommends the "Dell Client Manager" to update a large batch of computers or to update on a schedule (in their DCCU help file)

dh
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by:rfportilla
ID: 24206163
As long as this doesn't modify other BIOS settings, I can't argue against this.  Kewl solution.  I didn't know about this, but this will definitely put Dell back up one notch for me.  I have gotten so sick and tired of their "screw the customer" tactics on customer service and sales lately, but unfortunately, the competition isn't doing better.
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by:zeotech
ID: 25092514
Out of curiosity, what Dell systems was this tried on?  My network is mostly Precision workstations and then DCCU Custom Bios Settings exe did not work on the T7400.
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by:dannlh
ID: 25093081
I can only say that I have used this on Optiplex machines. Your mileage may vary. ;-)

Dan
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by:zeotech
ID: 25093206
The exe is effective if run manually from my Optiplex PCs.  I am trying to deploy it via GPO (Computer Settings) though, attached is a logon script that just runs the exe from a share that everyone has read rights to.  It does not appear to be working when run via GPO.  It does work if the script is executed manually.  Any ideas? I was thinking perhaps the Computer Settings Scripts need to be executed with a higher permission level?

How have you guys deployed this exe? I am open to other ways, i thought this would be easier though.
On Error Resume Next

Dim Shell

Set Shell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

shell.Run "\\serverpdc\deployment$\dellbios.exe"

Open in new window

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