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How does wake on LAN work?

I was wondering if it was possible to turn on a computer via WOL and if so what network card can do it? I can wake my computer from sleep no problem with my current network card but what I would really use the WOL for (as I never have my computer sleep) is to turn on my computer for some reason if it powers off or is accidently shut down.

Thanks.

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, sblair, surfasb, AndrejaKo, studiohack Nov 17 '11 at 22:08

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your motherboard has to support it. Along with your NIC, if it isn't builtin. Simple as that.

Edit:

You can either google your computer model, or restart your computer and go into the BIOS settings and look for a setting similar to "Allow wake by PCI devices", "Allow WOL", or "Power on by Alarm".

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The "support" usually comes in the form of "Allow wake by PCI devices" or similar BIOS setting. (This seems to apply to integrated NICs as well.) –  grawity Nov 17 '11 at 21:14
    
Ah yes, I should be more specific. –  surfasb Nov 17 '11 at 21:39

To check for capability. The setting should be in your bios to enable or disable. Some more information about this setting in the OS, assuming windows 7:

http://windows7-issues.blogspot.com/2011/03/wake-on-lan-wol-for-windows-7-made-easy.html

also note if its a laptop, you need to make sure the network card does not get turned off:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee617165%28WS.10%29.aspx

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