Use powercfg to arm a device to wake your Windows PC up, demonstrated by adding Wake-on-LAN to a WiFi-only Lenovo Yoga 13

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 10 2013 in
  • Network
  • Reviews

    Consider using powercfg to arm a device to wake your PC up, and for un-arming other devices. Desktop, laptop, ultrabook, doesn't matter. Same straight forward commands, Windows 7 or Windows 8. Read more about powercfg over here.

    WOL (Wake-On-LAN) and those magic packets have been around since 1998. LogMeIn Free Remote Control has a unique ability to use any other always-on PCs on your home network as helpers, which is how this can work without poking holes in your firewall. Even if you leave your system suspended and leave your home, you can still get in remotely, because LogMeIn triggers a magic packet to get sent from any other PC that you did leave running on your home's network, automatically. Explained in more detail at LogMeIn's here, and their forums here.

    This video example shows a Lenovo Yoga 13, with a $32.99 USB 3.0 to Gigabit adapter, armed to listen for WOL (Wake-On-LAN). Yes, the USB 3.0 needs to be left plugged in for this to work. It's just a specific example of what you can do with powercfg, but the commands and techniques covered are broadly applicable to a variety of hardware.

    In Windows 8, the commands I demonstrate by pressing Win+X, then "Command Prompt (Admin)", include:

    powercfg /DEVICEDISABLEWAKE "RTL8723a 4.0 + High Speed Chip

    to disable any chance of this Bluetooth device from waking my Yoga 13 up.

    For the particular USB to Gigabit adapter I'm using, it's:

    powercfg /"DEVICEENABLEWAKE "ASIX AX88179 USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

    Where I'm heading with this? I'd like to configure a way to remotely allow me to get to a remote Lenovo Yoga 13, even if it happens to be left asleep by its user. It's usually left charging at night, and with a single USB 3.0 cable connected. So this effort seen in the video is just the first step in experimenting with various ways to make that possible. Next steps, testing with the Lenovo USB 3.0 dock, coupled with a network bridge, for situations where CAT5/5e/6 cabling is not practical. Why go to these extremes? Well, because WOL doesn't work over WiFi.