Windows 8 – Wake Over LAN – It Works!

Part of my Windows 8 Start Screen

This is a short article to follow up from the article: How To: Wake Over LAN + Internet which explains how to get Wake Over Lan and Wake Over Internet working in a Windows OS.

This article applies to Windows 8 and Windows 10

For users of UEFI BIOS enabled boards – please see my update at the end of the article.

Part of my Windows 8 Start Screen
Part of my Windows 8 Start Screen

After installing Windows 8, I found that my WOL wouldn’t work. Nothing had changed in the hardware of my system but try as I might I could not get it to work.

After a long search session on-line  I found that:

  • Many others also had this problem.
  • Most solutions pointed to disabling Hybrid Boot which did not work for me at all
  • Most solutions and discussions referred to the pre-release version of Windows 8
  • The solution was buried within a lot of mis-information and surprisingly, came from Microsoft themselves.

So anyway here’s how I got it working. This may not work for everyone but it did for me and a number of associates.

First, follow the instructions at the article How To: Wake Over LAN + Internet to set up hardware and WOL devices.

The simple solution: Don’t Shut Down – Hibernate. Although in Windows 10, normal shutdown will enable WOL.

Hibernate still completely shuts down your machine. It saves a file to help restore things as they were when you next boot up.

Leave Hybrid Shutdown on, it doesn’t make any difference at all, despite what you will read in many places (mostly articles that are still referring to the pre release Windows 8).

I discovered this after finding a very well hidden official document from Microsoft about Windows 8 WOL: Wake-on-LAN behavior in Windows 8

The conclusion being:

As a result, Wake-Over-LAN is only supported from sleep (S3) or hibernate (S4) in Windows 8.

Description of Hibernate from:

When you select Hibernate, the computer saves the current state of the system from the computer’s RAMto the hard disk, then shuts down. When the computer is restarted, instead of going through the typical boot sequence, the previously saved state is automatically loaded into the RAM. The open windows and running programs from your previous session appear just as they were when the computer entered Hibernate mode. Basically, Hibernate mode acts like Standby mode, except the computer can be completely turned off.

Rebooting Over and Over

Another anomaly associated with Hibernation and WOL seemed to be the machine rebooting at odd times (sometimes immediately after shutdown).

Windows 8 Device Manager
Windows 8 Device Manager

I found that a few steps solved this, any one or more of them may do the job for you:

  • Head to Device Manager and making sure the settings for Allow this device to wake the computer was unchecked on most of the devices that may send a signal to your machine.
  • Make sure that the network adapter is set to Only allow Magic Packet to wake this computer.
  • Check your power settings. Make your own Power Profile if you wish. Here again you can adjust more settings regarding which devices can wake the computer.
  • Check Task Scheduler and make sure there are no events scheduled that have permission to wake your computer.

Just One More Thing

Recently I had an issue which caused WOL to fail despite all of the above. I tried everything possible. Nothing worked.
I had verified that the Magic Packet was being received by the computer by using a WOL Sniffer application available here: but no matter what I tried, WOL just would not work.
I tried reverting to different LAN Card drivers. Nothing seemed to work.
What eventually solved it was… Pulling the LAN cable out of the router and plugging it back in again!

Update: UEFI BIOS – Success

This information added September 2013 – I have just built a new system based around the ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME Motherboard which uses UEFI BIOS. I find that both WOL and WOI work perfectly with a normal shut-down on this system, even with UEFI Fast start enabled. This was a clean install of windows 8 on the new system. Of course UEFI Fast Start is not the same thing as Windows Hybrid Shutdown.