Wake-on-LAN with Windows

The office desktop is the house network file server.

That does not mean anybody has to be logged into the office desktop, only that the system has to be powered on for other systems to access shared network files.

In that spirit all of the house network Linux systems look for the file server when booting. All Linux systems are configured to power off at night, including the office desktop. If the office desktop is not responding then a wake-on-lan (WoL) magic packet is sent to boot the system. The at scheduler is used to repeat the task until the office desktop is online.

The Windows systems on the vintage computers are configured to access file shares, but can connect only when the office desktop is available. The vintage Windows systems cannot send a WoL magic packet.

The vintage computers have NICs too old to support receiving WoL packets, but that is unimportant because they are powered on manually when needed. On the Linux side of those computers the software used to send the magic packet functions as expected.

Using WoL is not straightforward with more recent Windows systems. A PowerShell script can be used to send WoL packets with supporting versions of Windows, otherwise the history of Windows is using third-party tools. Vintage Windows systems do not support PowerShell. Only the older curmudgeon “batch file” is available.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, Windows

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