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AppDataWorks Video HowTo: Forcing your PC to wake up to run a ShadowProtect Backup Job

OK so you have finally decided, like I have, that leaving all your PC’s on 24/7 may not be the most “green” thing to do. OK, I’ll admit, I’m old school, and back in the day, before sleep mode and hibernation and hybrid sleep, you had to put your computer through more pain and agony on startup than you did in a month of usage. And when Sleep Mode and Hibernation technologies first came out, they didn’t work too well. They were unreliable and the Internet is full of horror stories about PC’s that went to sleep and never woke up again…

So we all kept our PC’s on 24/7. At least the old school IT people like me did. And some still do. And in some cases, you have to. But if you’re anything like me in 2014, there’s a computer in the Living Room/TV Room/Family Room, one in the Office (or more!), a backup server, your wife/husband has their own laptop or desktop, maybe one in every kids bedroom. In my house, no kidding there are no less than 8 PC’s! One is a Windows Home Server, which backs up all of the PC’s every night, but the rest are development machines, personal machines, media server machines, and none of them need to be on 24/7. It eats up a lot of unnecessary electricity, which these days is not cheap. So I decided a while back that I would start putting these machines to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity.

The Windows Home Server can’t go to sleep. It runs 24/7 and takes backups of all of the networked PC’s. These backups can be used to restore the machines to brand new hard drives and works well – I know because I’ve used it (see my post Disaster Recovery means Recovering from Disaster. When the rubber meets the road in your Backup and Recovery strategy.

I have SQL Servers running in Virtual Machines. The host machine can go to sleep without affecting them. There are no users, they are strictly used for software development. In the case of SQL Servers that have to have high availability, then of course those would have to run 24/7. SQL Servers typically have to back up databases, or be available to backup systems so the databases can be backed up, so they typically will run 24/7 in a production environment. The same goes for web servers, email servers, file servers, etc. It’s pretty much a given that these server machines need to run 24/7.

But we’re not talking about servers in production environments here. We’re talking about a bunch of home PC’s and the fact that they’re just unnecessarily using lots of electricity when they’re not in use.

So, I tried to implement my 30 minutes to sleep mode policy, and it worked great. Until I realized that I was no longer getting email alerts from my 2nd backup system – ShadowProtect Backup. On 3 of my machines, the most important ones: Software Development, Recording Studio, and my son’s Video and Animation machine, I have licenses for ShadowProtect Backup, and I have all of those machines configured to run at 9:30 PM and run Full backups on Sunday evening, and incremental backups the rest of the week. The backup software is supposed to send out email alerts when the job completes. For several days I didn’t get any alerts.

So I started doing research and found that ShadowProtect Backup will NOT wake your computer from Sleep mode to run. Why? I’m not sure, but maybe it’s because you can tell it to take incremental backups every x minutes from time A to time B, which would potentially cause your computer to never sleep, or wake up too often to make sleep mode effective. I found lots of blogs and message boards with different ideas and solutions, but the one I show you in this video I pretty much decided on after a few hours of researching and reading other peoples solutions.

This solution can be used to wake your computer up at any time, on pretty much any schedule, for any reason. Keep it in mind because it’s not all about ShadowProtect. ShadowProtect was the cause for the creation of a solution, but it could have been anything. It works perfectly and your computer will go back to sleep after your job completes.

Be AWESOME!!!

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Jerry Boutot is a Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). He owns AppDataWorks, LLC, which develops custom solutions for Desktop Software, Web Applications, Database Systems, and Online Marketing Solutions.

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