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remotely check to see if a monitor is on or off

Posted on 2010-01-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
my work is requiring that I phyically walk to every PC on several floors to make sure all monitors are always turned on.

anyone know if you can remotely check the status of a computer monitor, I only want to be able to tell if the monitor is ON or OFF.  is there any software programs out there that do this?

I'm using Windows XP, would be remoting into other PC's using Dameware
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Question by:jkimzlg
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fhillyer1 earned 750 total points
ID: 26193742
first, you can configure your OS, to not use power options, like in windows > control panel> power
there is an option that at certain time will power down hard disk, monitor etc
well that will be your first choice to not turn of monitor by the OS

then check to see if your monitors can be setup to not go on screen saver, some monitors have that option
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by:jkimzlg
ID: 26193799
no, let's say the user pressed the power button on the monitor to turn it off.  is there any way to tell that that monitor has been turned (powered) off?
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Assisted Solution

by:ibgeorgeroy
ibgeorgeroy earned 375 total points
ID: 26193942
In the past I was required to be sure the monitors were all off.  I used the following VB code obtained from http://www.visualbasic.happycodings.com/Windows_and_Controls/code46.html with some minor modifications.

Private Const SC_MONITORPOWER = &HF170&
Private Const SC_SCREENSAVE = &HF140&
Private Const WM_SYSCOMMAND = &H112
Private Declare Function FindWindowA Lib "user32" (ByVal lpClassName As String, ByVal lpWindowName As String) As Long
Private Declare Function SendMessage Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal wMsg As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, lParam As Any) As Long

'Purpose     :  Switches the monitor on or off
'Inputs      :  bPowerOn            If True, turns the monitor on
'                                   else turns to monitor off
'               [lHwnd]             VB: The form handle OR
'               [sFormCaption]      VBA: The caption of the form calling the
'                                   routine, can be Me.Caption or Application.Caption


Sub MonitorPower(bPowerOn As Boolean, Optional lHwnd As Long, Optional sFormCaption As String)
    Dim lState As Long
    If lHwnd = 0 Then
        lHwnd = FindWindowA(vbNullString, sFormCaption)
    End If
    If bPowerOn Then
        lState = -1
    Else
        lState = 2
    End If
    Call SendMessage(lHwnd, WM_SYSCOMMAND, SC_MONITORPOWER, lState)
End Sub


'Purpose     :  Changes the monitor standby mode
'Inputs      :  bStandBy            If True, sets the monitor to Stand by
'                                   else turns the Stand by off
'               [lHwnd]             VB: The form handle OR
'               [sFormCaption]      VBA: The caption of the form calling the
'                                   routine, can be Me.Caption or Application.Caption


Sub MonitorStandby(bStandBy As Boolean, Optional lHwnd As Long, Optional sFormCaption As String)
    Dim lState As Long
    If lHwnd = 0 Then
        lHwnd = FindWindowA(vbNullString, sFormCaption)
    End If
    If bStandBy Then
        lState = 1
    Else
        lState = -1
    End If
    Call SendMessage(lHwnd, WM_SYSCOMMAND, SC_MONITORPOWER, lState)
End Sub

Hope this turns out handy :)
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by:fhillyer1
ID: 26193943
hmmm tricky but i only have seen if the monitor is turned off from the system, like screensaver or from power options, but not how to verify if it was turned off physically
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Expert Comment

by:Bransby-IT
ID: 26193979
Bummer what a great job!
Do they swich the base off?
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Assisted Solution

by:fhillyer1
fhillyer1 earned 750 total points
ID: 26194025
i see this is only from the powerstate option, managing power settings in the os, but the author said to turn on or off the monitor physically, idk how code, will move a 2 way switch
also it would be good if we have the monitor bards and models, to see if the power button on the monitor is a soft button or a hard button, i tried the code on a sonicview vg150 monitor with the switch off and did nothing, if i press the button on, then i run the code, i can set it to stand by or wake it up, but not physycally maybe your monitors are more advanced than the one i tested
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Expert Comment

by:ibgeorgeroy
ID: 26194134
Ya agreed the option I mentioned will not confirm the physical state of the monitor,  as you mentioned only a specialized monitor with the option built in would support that.  depending on how many monitors it may be more cost  friendly to design hardware/ software to do the job.  I would envision a current detection circuit passing true/false via usb to the pc then collect the status via WMI.  as far as my research this morning on monitors I have not found one with specialized power options that would meet these needs.
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Assisted Solution

by:hkunnana
hkunnana earned 375 total points
ID: 26194149
I sure would like to an the solution to this problem. What I thought of :
The only way might be possible to do that is only if display adapters have some way of knowing status of monitor through the connected cable.
I don't know any ready made package that would do that, and to do that you will need a program that will deal directly with the hardware of the display adapter.

Good luck with your search
But,wait, I have an idea for you. Why don't you get some Hardware techinican disable that power switch, or your employer needs to make a special order of monitors without a power on/off switch.  Or better, find a better job.
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by:fhillyer1
ID: 26194152
yep, kinda the same thing with the UPS's you monitor them thru the rs232 or usb
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by:fhillyer1
ID: 26194219
i agree with the technician disable the on/off swith and leave the connection made, so monitor will not turn off, also you have to make sure you lock the monitor's power cable so that they cannot unplug it and monitor goes off,

i do not buy the option of ordering more monitor as cost may be not easily sold to management on an investment thought

and i disagree with the find better job, i see functionality on this, remember the wallstreet computers monitors, airports monitors or like pizzeria monitors should be on to process orders for instance i can tell you i got free pizza from this place because i ordered online, they did not get my order printed but my order was processed, they blame it on the printer being turned off, and due to an order delay manager gave my order for free imagine i had a party that night 48 dollars worth of food given away because the printer was off, so i see that the author needs something like that becuase of a reason, maybe they dont want to give free pizza
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Expert Comment

by:hkunnana
ID: 26194399
I am sorry about my previous comment where I said  "find a better job", I was just joking.  I hope I didn't hurt your feelings.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jkimzlg
ID: 31673666
Thanks for trying.
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