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I have a low-end laptop always turned on whose only purpose is to initiate Wake-on-LAN for a second (primary) computer on the same local network, so I can work via remote desktop on this second computer.

Wake-on-LAN is set up and works perfectly by accessing the low-end laptop over the internet to turn on the primary computer - but only when the primary computer shuts off without error. When the primary computer crashes, WOL fails.

I would be grateful if someone knows how to resolve this problem.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

wol is not ipmi, you can not control the power input of your pc with it, you just tell the bios to notify the OS of state change. If the OS is crashed it does nothing.

One solution for your problem would be to configure windows for rebooting in case of crash. If your primary computer has a BMC card ( look for message at boot about "BMC Configuration" ) configure it and you will be able to power cycle it via IPMI.

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Thanks - I do not believe I have a BMC card. Do you know if it is usually possible to install one? - I should note that my primary machine is a Clevo X7200 desktop-replacement system with an X58 motherboard and a desktop i7 970 CPU - but in a (very large) laptop case (~13 pounds). –  Dan Nissenbaum Nov 25 '11 at 6:39
    
Also - do you know of another way to determine if the machine has a BMC card? There are very few messages at bootup. –  Dan Nissenbaum Nov 25 '11 at 6:48
    
If you're using an old stand-alone NIC, it may have a few pins that you can connect to your motherboard to trigger the power button. The more recent ones can do this directly over PCI, so they tend to omit the pins. Search ebay if you really need the feature, but it is generally much more useful to just make your computer reboot after a bluescreen. It's an option in the computer's properties panel. –  billc.cn Nov 25 '11 at 8:50
    
I'm afraid I can't find the "reboot computer after bluescreen" option in the Computer->Properties window. –  Dan Nissenbaum Nov 25 '11 at 14:40
    
Also - for the "trigger the power button" feature, what would I search for on eBay? –  Dan Nissenbaum Nov 25 '11 at 14:45

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