Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a very strange problem:
My Windows 7 laptop is set to show the default windows screensaver after 10 minutes. No matter how long the screensaver is active, the network connections are fine. I know that, because I listen to an online radio all day and it keeps playing, even after the screensaver kicked in.
But: When I return to my laptop and move the mouse to disable and return my work, all network connections drop for a short time. They automatically restore themselves within seconds, but all connections are lost (VPN, Online radio, Putty, ...).
I already tried to change power saving settings, so the network connections are not disabled, but that didn't help and honestly, that was already a desperate deed, because it wouldn't make sense to disable the network cards to save power not when the computer is unused, but when the computer is used again...
Any ideas?

share|improve this question
Wow. Weird. Does the laptop have any vendor power management software installed, or is it using vanilla Windows? – Paul Nov 11 '11 at 11:12
As far as I can tell, no such power management software is installed. I installed the laptop (a dell precision M4400) myself with a Windows from MSDN, so no vendor delivered DVD either... Can this be a hardware issue? Maybe a problem with the docking station? – Daniel Hilgarth Nov 11 '11 at 15:39
Sounds like it might be an issue with the VPN software. If it's configured to drop the VPN when the user is away, it might be triggering after the screensaver. (Unlikely behavior, but not improbable.) Once the VPN drops, everything relying on network connectivity will drop as well. Depending on how long your system takes to switch from the VPN to the normal network configuration, some applications may not be able to tolerate the momentary loss of connectivity. See if there's anything about power saving or idle timeouts in the VPN client configuration or connection profile. – Iszi Jul 31 '14 at 22:13
Alternately: Does this happen when you're not using the VPN also? – Iszi Jul 31 '14 at 22:14
@Iszi: Thanks for your comment. I have since upgraded to Windows 8 and it is no longer happening. The VPN was OpenVPN, so it was unlikely to be the cause, because it left alone all internet traffic. – Daniel Hilgarth Aug 1 '14 at 9:35

I suggest trying to uninstall all power management bloatware first.

A VPN exchanges public keys and renew public keys many times, so when you continue using pc after screen saver, you may need to connect to the VPN again. So I'd like to know if it also happens on a normal network, and not only VPN.

You can disable windows power saving on a wireless adapter in device manager by deselecting the checkbox.

enter image description here

Another option is to change power management settings of current plan. I suggest disabling power saving on wireless networking.

enter image description here

If none works, you can try disabling the screen saver and using turning off monitor as a power saving method.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.