• What's waking up my computer at 3am?

    I was working late last night, and when I was done, I chose ‘Hibernate’ when I was closing my laptop. This morning, I went to grab my laptop and noticed it was warm (with the lid down). Something had caused it to wake up, but what?

    First stop, Event Viewer. In the System Log, there’s this event:

    The system has returned from a low power state.

    Sleep Time: ‎2013‎-‎10‎-‎16T14:59:15.107518600Z Wake Time: ‎2013‎-‎10‎-‎16T16:44:40.891642600Z

    Wake Source: Unknown

    Well that’s not particularly useful.

    I remember previously having a similar problem caused by a scheduled task – so maybe it would be worth checking what scheduled tasks are active and allowed to wake up the computer? You can view all scheduled tasks by opening the Windows Task Scheduler application. The problem is that tasks are listed hierarchically, so you’d need to drill down into every folder and review each task. Maybe PowerShell can do this more efficiently?

    Graimer posts a good example of querying scheduled tasks on Stack Overflow.

    I’ve extended it so that I can filter just the tasks with WakeToRun and Enabled both true.

    function getTasks($path) {
        $out = @()
        # Get root tasks
        $schedule.GetFolder($path).GetTasks(0) | % {
            $xml = [xml]$_.xml
            $obj = New-Object psobject -Property @{
                "Name" = $_.Name
                "Path" = $_.Path
                "LastRunTime" = $_.LastRunTime
                "NextRunTime" = $_.NextRunTime
                #"WakeToRun" = [bool]::Parse( $xml.Task.Settings.WakeToRun
                #"Enabled" = [bool] $xml.Task.Settings.Enabled
                "Actions" = ($xml.Task.Actions.Exec | % { "$($_.Command) $($_.Arguments)" }) -join "`n"
            if ($xml.Task.Settings.WakeToRun)
                Add-Member -InputObject $obj -Name "WakeToRun" -Value ([bool]::Parse( $xml.Task.Settings.WakeToRun )) -MemberType NoteProperty
            if ($xml.Task.Settings.Enabled)
                Add-Member -InputObject $obj -Name "Enabled" -Value ([bool]::Parse( $xml.Task.Settings.Enabled )) -MemberType NoteProperty
            $out += $obj
        # Get tasks from subfolders
        $schedule.GetFolder($path).GetFolders(0) | % {
            $out += getTasks($_.Path)
    $tasks = @()
    $schedule = New-Object -ComObject "Schedule.Service"
    # Start inventory
    $tasks += getTasks("")
    # Close com
    [System.Runtime.Interopservices.Marshal]::ReleaseComObject($schedule) | Out-Null
    Remove-Variable schedule
    # Output all tasks
    $tasks | Where-Object { $_.WakeToRun -and $_.Enabled }

    (It appears that these extra properties are sometimes null or don’t exist, so I had to add them conditionally)

    So, what were the results? There were two:

    Actions     :
    Path        : \Microsoft\Windows\TaskScheduler\Manual Maintenance
    Name        : Manual Maintenance
    LastRunTime : 30/12/1899 12:00:00 AM
    NextRunTime : 30/12/1899 12:00:00 AM
    WakeToRun   : True
    Enabled     : True
    Actions     :
    Path        : \Microsoft\Windows\TaskScheduler\Regular Maintenance
    Name        : Regular Maintenance
    LastRunTime : 17/10/2013 8:16:31 AM
    NextRunTime : 18/10/2013 3:00:04 AM
    WakeToRun   : True
    Enabled     : True

    I think we can exclude the first, as it has never run. The second looks interesting as the NextRunTime is pretty close to the time that my laptop resumed. I’ll change the WakeToRun setting on this task to see if the problem goes away.

  • Windows 8.1 VPN Settings

    In Windows 8 after you had configured a VPN, you could right-click on a VPN connection and a context menu gave you two options:

    • View connection properties
    • Clear cached credentials

    Windows 8 VPN context menu

    The second item is really useful when your password for the VPN has changed, and you need to enter the new password.

    Upgrading to Windows 8.1, this context menu doesn’t seem to exist anymore. It seems that to modify connection properties or credentials, the only option is to search for “Change VPN Settings”.

    Windows 8.1 VPN Settings

    Selecting a VPN connection then enables Edit and Remove buttons. Clicking Edit takes you to the Connection Properties screen, where you can update credentials and VPN proxy settings.

    Strange that this is a bit harder under 8.1.

  • Upgrading to Windows 8.1

    With Microsoft making Windows 8.1 available through MSDN, I thought I’d try upgrading an existing Windows 8 instance. The process was very smooth:

    1. I downloaded the appropriate .iso
    2. Opened the .iso file in Windows 8
    3. Ran setup.exe
    4. Entered license key
    5. Chose to keep existing settings and applications
    6. Wait a while and reboot
    7. Wait a while and then log in
    8. All done

    The only problem I’ve noticed is that connecting the Mail and Calendar apps to an Exchange server with a self-signed certificate no longer works. I’d previously figured out a way to work around this for Windows 8, but it no longer works for 8.1.