Review of SolarWinds Wake-On-LAN Gadget
Encouraging computers to sleep when you are away from your desk is a great idea - until you need a file on that remote sleeping machine!
Wake-up on LAN is a free gadget that really will save you that long walk to arouse a hibernating machine, but my reason for encouraging you to download this software utility is because it's so much fun to use. Try it now! Wake-On-LAN is a free download.
Evaluation of SolarWinds Wake-up-on-Lan Utility
When you press the 'Wake Up' button on the gadget it sends a "Magic Packet" to the IP and MAC address of the remote machine you want to resume, just as if you were sitting there wiggling the mouse. Most modern network adapter can alert the computer to power-up once they receive a "Magic Packet".
As long as 'Wake-Up-On-LAN' is enabled in the BIOS then the system will also resume just as if you pressed the power button. When a device is shut down, its network interface card is still receiving power and keeps listening on the network for a magic packet to arrive - enabling Wake-On-LAN to work its miracle!
What I suggest you do is right-click the NIC, properties, then find the Configure button. Next seek the Advanced tab and scroll to the bottom to check that 'Wake on Magic Packet' is set to 'Enabled'. See screenshot to the right.
The crucial step is to populate the 'MAC Address of PC' and 'IP Address of PC'. What I did was issue the old NBTSTAT -a victim command. Where 'victim' is the name of the machine you ant to awaken. Naturally, if the machine is asleep you will have to go around and run ipconfig /all on that machine.
Once you have primed the gadget with the NIC information just press the Wake Up PC button. See screen shots.
For gadget's such as a WOL magic packet sender the ability to launch the application quickly means the difference from using it regularly, and consigning it to that folder of abandoned projects. For this reason I create a desktop short because that way I can launch any application with a keystroke combination.
My point is that you cannot assign Ctrl +Shift +W to an item pinned to the Windows start menu or the taskbar, but you can right-click any shortcut and assign Shortcut Key. I chose Ctrl +Shift +w because I think of 'W for WOL', incidentally I can execute the combination with just one hand!
SolarWinds Wake-on-Lan Video
The best way to review this WOL software is to watch this YouTube clip.
Try it now!
How to Install SolarWinds Wake-on-Lan Tool
I found the hardest part of the install was remembering where I downloaded the zip file! It was all downhill the rest of the way. I extracted the .msi file, clicked on the licence agreement, and then let the install wizard complete the setup.
After the install completes, the WOL gadget launches, and you are ready to begin waking up computers remotely. Should you need to re-find the application later look on the start menu, or if all else fails navigate to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Free Tools\Installs
Should you need to uninstall, then go to the Control Panel, Programs, scroll down to 'S' for SolarWinds Wake-on-Lan. It's a sign of a good freeware program that it uninstalls easily and completely.
For additional information to wake up a PC remotely, the Help menu is above average.
Other WOL Gadgets
I have evaluated other Wake-on-Lan gadgets, including a few scripts, but they either don't work at all, or else they wake the remote computer once but not again. During my Wake-On-LAN review, I found that this SolarWinds application fired-up machines on the local subnet every time I pressed the button. As this gadget is free, why look any further?
WOL Magic Packet Information
The Wake-On-LAN magic packet is a broadcast frame containing 6 bytes of all 255 (FF FF FF FF FF FF in hexadecimal), followed by 16 repetitions of the victim computer's 48-bit MAC address.
The principle is that the NIC only scans for the string above string when it's enabled to look for a Magic Packet. It is usually sent as a UDP datagram to port 7, or directly over Ethernet as EtherType 0x0842.
A WOL gadget is designed to be simple because it has to be processed by the sleeping computer's network interface card (NIC) while it's operating on minimal power. See more about Wake-On-Lan Magic Packet.
If your machine won't wake-up when it's switched off, only when sleeping, you could experiment with the BIOS settings, but do be careful, BIOS settings are not for the amateur or the ham-fisted.
If you want to at least check the settings interrupt your computer's start-up, the BIOS menu will display a key, for example F2, Delete or Space-bar. Once you have the screen head for the Power Tab.
If there is a Wake-Up or WOL item on the Power menu, then you have a chance to enable it, if not then don't mess with the BIOS, just accept that your machine does not support this aspect of Wake-On-Lan.
Note: Check your BIOS information by running: msinfo32.
Firstly, ensure that your remote machine is configured to receive a "Magic Packet". To do this make a note of the sleeping machine's IP and MAC address. Install SolarWinds WOL freeware, then enter the IP and MAC address digits, now you are ready to press the 'Wake Up PC' button.
Additional Free and Trial SolarWinds Network Software
Here are nifty gadgets which I have evaluating on my network. Some are completely free, while other downloads are trial versions of the full product. I think SolarWinds have a great strategy, namely, supplying a free utility, yet providing a big-brother suite of programs for larger organizations.