Monday, May 18, 2009

Green your computers with Wake on LAN

You want to save energy at your company and at home, but there are updates you need, remote access that's essential or data that needs to be accepted even during times when no one is around.

So do you leave the computer running, sucking up energy and waiting? Or do you miss out on the updates and access?

There is a third choice, and odds are it's already built into you computer. The process is called Wake on LAN. In plain English, it means that even if your computer is in energy-saving hibernate or sleep mode, it can wake up and accept data or allow access even when no one is around to press a button.

There's a complete step-by-step of the process on Lifehacker, but basically it's as simple as making a few tweaks in your computer's BIOS settings, then changes the settings in the Device Manager to allow your computer to utilize the new BIOS.

Best of all, after your computer has stretched its virtual arms and accepted your remote access or incoming data, you can tell it to go back to sleep (or into hibernate) again until the next update.

A free PsShutdown tool from Microsoft SysInternals can be used to script automatic standby after each use.

The whole process will take less than 10 minutes to install, but the energy savings, especially for a large company running PC's at every desk can be enormous. Who said becomig a greener business was hard?