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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    I'm fully patched; also run a dual boot Vista and don't have this problem there. I don't use any screensavers.

    I have my XP Power Options set to turn off the monitor, usually after 15 minutes of inactivity, but I've experimented trying to solve this problem. It has happened in the past, gone away for a long time, and now has reappeared, so I think that a Windows patch somewhere along has brought it back. After booting, the power WILL turn off on the monitor after the prescribed time, but somewhere during the day, "something" deactivates it and I'll come back to the machine with the screen NOT dark. If I open Power Options and re-select the correct drop down, it will work again for some undetermined period of time. I don't think it's Avast or some other program updating itself or I would be able to catch it. My only other "real" scheduled task is my overnight backups but this also happens during the day.

    For example, I'm getting ready to leave for a few hours and have just reset the power options. I'd wager that when I get home this afternoon the screen will still be live. There's so many hits on Googling that I don't seem able to find a good search phrase. Does anyone have any tips for me?

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Got any pets that might hit your mouse or keyboard?
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What's more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    I don't know if you meant that jokingly, Jeremy, but I suspect you were serious and rightly so! As strange as this coincidence may sound, it just so happens that today I put my cordless mouse and keyboard up out of the way of my feline, just in case!

    And guess what? I just came home at 3 PM and the <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> screen is NOT blank! So, something in the past 4 hours has prevented that power option from activating. RIGHT NOW, I'm going to reset it for 5 minutes and watch that buzzard to see what happens as I work around the house on a few chores.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Occam's Razor Al <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>
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  5. #5
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    BigAl,

    Do you have any regularly scheduled update checking programs that would kick in? Have you checked the power management settings on various devices? Have you updated any drivers recently that may have reset any power management settings to some default?

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    That's a complex set of questions, Joe, so let me try to address 'em as best I can. My "test bench" for today is that I RESET the power options this morning to 15 minutes before I left the house and it WAS working at that time.

    I just now went through the Event Viewer screens, one by one, looking for anything that triggered TODAY and found nothing. But the screen was not blanked when I got home. Yes, I do have lots of software that checks its home site for updates, such as Avast and SpywareBlaster and others, but I don't know how to determine, other than Event Viewer, if one of them could have caused this problem. For example, MailWasherPro checks my email every 10 minutes, but since I've been home and with a fresh reset of Power Options, MW has checked my email and did NOT re-awaken the monitor, so I don't think that one is a problem. Others, I don't know how to watch for.

    In the past hour, I even did a rip of three or four Christmas music CDs to my hard drive, using Ashampoo and the screen went dark, as expected, even in the middle of those rips.

    I have been through Device Manager on EVERY device I can think to check and I don't see anything that would be contradictory to power saving taking effect.

    Wow, I've been caught up in the recent Secunia stuff and HAVE updated all kinds of software to eliminate security problems, but no DRIVERS per se that I remember. And even if that HAD happened, I would think that my resetting of the power setting would override anything else. It HAS for the past hour that I've been back in the building. I'm still puzzled... And thanks for chiming in...

  7. #7
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Bring out your camcorder or webcam <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Try disconnecting the devices from the usb port. Maybe you're getting some sort of interference?
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    That's a viable idea and I may have to try it later, but for now I'm gonna hold that in abeyance. The reason is that I have a bunch of USB peripherals, some connected directly and a few via a powered USB hub and they've been like that for the past couple of years, even when I was NOT having this monitor problem. So if it's USB, it would be because of a patch to Windows that incited the change.

    I'll say what I have done. Shortly after making my last post and just prior to the Lounge "witching hour" last night, I changed the time to power off the monitor to five minutes and continued using the computer. As you can imagine, it was a bit annoying reading a newspaper article or something similar and the screen would go dark, but I was just looking, looking... Also, when it came bedtime, I closed Firefox, Thunderbird, Palm Calendar and MailWasher which I don't normally do. When I came back to the computer this morning the monitor WAS turned off! Either it's one of those four apps or Windows just "doesn't like" my usual 15 minute setting! Ever onward... (as we used to sing)

  9. #9
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    It seems that one of the four has some sort of activity that Windows is now interpreting as mouse or keyboard movement. Something to "wake up" the monitor. Have any of the four been updated recently?

    Joe
    Joe

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Oh yeah, updating something is a seemingly constant process for me, Joe! <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15>

    In November, Firefox, Thunderbird and lots of other apps and stuff were updated. And, during my work with Secunia, plugins for Fx as well like Flash Player, etc. So, it's something like that. I'm getting ready to leave again and I'll leave the "usual" stuff running to see if the same thing happens as did yesterday. What'll really be funny is if it works OK at this 5 minute setting - reckon why Windows has gotten tired of my usual 15 minute setting... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Well, if XP is nothing else, it's sporadic! I've left my usual programs running and the power option for the monitor to five minutes and all day yesterday and overnight, the screen properly turns off at the prescribed time. Seems like that old elusive (and unsolved) problem with the disappearing tray icons. Such is life on the electronic superhighway...

    <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

  12. #12
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Al,

    I've noticed with my Belkin wireless keyboard/remote while watching movies that even while undisturbed, after a period of time, the mouse will move, bringing up the progress bar and play controls in Windows Media Player... Just a thought, since undoubtedly it would have the same effect were I to apply the power options.
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  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    Thanks fer hangin' in, Jeremy! Well, this is really strange. For the past two days and nights, with the monitor power-off set to 5 minutes, this thing has been behaving itself like a well trained puppy. Wild as it may seem, I do wonder if there is something going on with Windows where it doesn't like my chosen 15 minute period. I'm now gonna set this sucker back to 15 and see what happens. If it still behaves itself, I'll be none the wiser.

    One thing for dang sure - it ISN'T screen writing activity that does it. For the past two days I've watched the monitor turn off while I was defragging, backing up, watching videos and all kinds of other stuff that required no mouse or keyboard action from me but was constantly "writing" to the screen.

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    This is probably the weirdest thread in Lounge history, but I can't help but post this. I changed my monitor power off back to 15 minutes yesterday afternoon as I stated and this <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> thing did NOT power down for the rest of the evening and through the night. When I got up this morning the screen was on. I immediately changed it back to 5 minutes and it has been shutting down all day today, both while I was in the building and after I left for my work assignment.

    I've been back for about an hour now and popping on to the computer and going off for some other household chores as well. Every 5 minutes this thing shuts itself down and I'm giving up on finding an answer to this one. It's in the history books.

    Although I normally run XP most of the time, for the next couple of days I'm going to leave Vista running to see if anything like this happens with that OS. I realize it's probably some strange combination of embedded apps and XP at its most patched level, but...

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    Re: Power Options (XP MCE SP3)

    My guess is that there is something scheduled to run every 5 -15 minutes that the system interprets as mouse or keyboard activity. Remember the 'keep alive' jobs that many of us had when we were mostly dialup and did not want to be automatically disconnected? Something on that order. Or an automatic updater.

    Joe
    Joe

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