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The Google Photo Screensaver, AKA the Picasa screensaver displays a weird behavior on my laptop: sometimes it works just fine, but lots of times it starts for a second or two, and then it stops, as if somebody touched the keyboard.

It feels like the very act of starting the screen saver is doing something that makes it "wake up". Maybe I'm just anthropomorphizing.

I don't have this problem with other screensavers, and the Picasa one works just fine on my other computer.

Has anyone seen this? How do I troubleshoot it?

I have a Lenovo T43 with Windows XP SP3.

Update: I don't know if it's relevant, But the laptop is connected to a TV via s-video. The screen saver starts on both screens (whether it successfully starts or not).

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I had noticed similar behavior on my windows xp machine. Any of above solutions didn't help.

I solved my problems by looking at what processes were running on my system. My problem was LogMeIn. Somehow logmein checks the system at certain time interval to keep it awake. If screen saver tried to start when LogMeIn was working, screen saver would start for 1 second then stop. Uninstalling/Disabling LogMeIn did the trick for me.

Process Explorer really helped during this troubleshooting.

Hope this helps.

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There are some known issues with wireless mouses or other devices attached to the laptop which act like they were moves, even if they stand still.

See this Microsoft support article: The screen saver does not work when you use a Microsoft wireless pointing device on a Windows-based computer

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Like I said, other screen savers work fine. Also, I don't have any external input devices connected. – itsadok Oct 7 '09 at 6:10

I'd suggest that you look at this article, because it might be the answer:

It's not so much picasa's problem as it is windows being (or tying to be) smart!

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That article is about a feature in Vista... Also, it's not that the screen saver just doesn't turn on. It actually starts and then stops after a second. – itsadok Oct 10 '09 at 11:06

I had this same issue recently on Win7 64-bit OS and found this post which solved my problem:

The solution is to uncheck that the “On resume, display logon screen” box.

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