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Recently, my computer stopped honoring the power saving settings. It stays on all the time, even though I have it set to go into sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity.

It used to work as expected, and now it does not. I only ever witnessed this behavior before if there were an open "save" dialog or some such thing. I don't see anything like that now, however.

Any tips for debugging this?


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1 windows 7 machine just started acting similarly, as well. I had chalked it up to my not being able to tell how long it had been idle.... – Babu Aug 7 '10 at 14:52

Mine used to have this problem, but after downloading a lot of windows updates and restarting it was fixed. I'm not sure if it was the updates or restart that fixed it, but you might want to try that.

Another thing that's probably more likely to be causing this is a microphone. If you have microphone hooked up and you have the "Listen to this Device" checkbox checked on it, then your computer won't automatically enter sleep mode so it won't cut off in the middle of recording.

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Start by unplugging all external devices (except the monitor) and see if it sleeps. If it does, start plugging them back in one at a time, waiting to see if it sleeps before adding the next one back.

If it doesn't sleep when there's no devices plugged in, then the next thing to check is drivers that may be keeping it awake. Use MSConfig to disable 3rd party startup services and applications and see if it sleeps. If it does then enable them one at a time and reboot, testing sleep before (re)enabling the next.

Hope that helps...

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I have experienced similar behavior, though was unable to pinpoint the exact reason for it. Afaik there are ways for a program to bypass the power saving policy (think video players) and maybe such problem arises if such a program doesn't revert this properly, though this is some speculation on my part.

At any rate, a reboot will restore the original behavior in most cases.

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