Wake on LAN braindump

This content is 12 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

I lost quite a bit of sleep over the last few nights, burning the midnight oil trying to get my Dell PowerEdge 840 (server repurposed as a workstation) to work with various Dell management utilities and enable Wake On LAN (WoL) functionality.

It seems that the various OpenManage tools were no help – indeed many of the information sources I found for configuring the Baseboard Management Controller and kicking SOLProxy and IMPI into life seemed to be out of date, or just not applicable on Windows 7 (although ipmish.exe might be a useful tool if I get it working in future and it can be used to send WoL packets). I did find that, annoyingly, WinRM 2.0 needs an HTTPS connection and that a self-signed certificate will not be acceptable (according to Microsoft knowledge base article 2019527).  If I ever return to the topic of WinRM and IPMI, there’s a useful MSDN article on installation and configuration for Windows Remote Management.

In the end, even though my system is running Windows 7, the answer was contained in a blog post about a PowerEdge 1750, WoL and Debian

“Pressing ‘CTRL-S’ brings us to a configuration panel which allows for enabling the Wake-On-LAN (WOL) mode of the card.”

I’d been ignoring this because it the Ctrl-S boot option advertises itself as the “Broadcom NetXtreme Ethernet Boot Agent” (and I didn’t want to set the machine up to PXE boot) but, sure enough, after changing the Pre-boot Wake On LAN setting to Enable, my PowerEdge 840 started responding to magic packets.

On my WoL adventure, I’d picked up a few more hints/tips too, so I thought it’s worth blogging them for anyone else looking to follow a similar path…

“Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 do not require that WOL be turned on in the NIC’s or LOM’s firmware, therefore the steps using DOS outlined in the Out?of?Box and Windows NT 4.0 procedures are not necessary and should be skipped.  Enabling WOL with IBAUTIL.EXE, UXDIAG.EXE or B57UDIAG.EXE may be detrimental to WOL under Windows 2000 and Windows 2003.”

    • Presumably this advice also applies to Windows XP, Vista, Server 2008, 7 and Server 2008 R2 as they are also based on the NT kernel, so there is no need to mess around with DOS images and floppy drives to try and configure the NIC…
  • I downloaded Broadcom’s own version ( 19/10/2011) of the Windows drivers for my NIC (even though Windows said that the Microsoft-supplied drivers were current) and I’m pretty sure (although I can’t be certain) that the Broadcom driver exposed advanced NIC properties that were not previously visible to control Wake Up Capabilities and WoL Speed. (Incidentally, I left all three power management checkboxes selected, including “Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer”). There’s more information on these options in the Broadcom Ethernet NIC FAQs.
  • There is a useful-sounding CLI utility called the Broadcom Advanced Control Suite that I didn’t need to download; however its existence might be useful to others.
  • Depicus (Brian Slack) has some fantastic free utilities (and a host of information about WoL) including:
  • Other WoL tools (although I think Depicus has the landscape pretty much covered) include:
  • There’s also some more information about WoL on Lifehacker.

One thought on “Wake on LAN braindump

  1. Spiceworks also has WOL functionality in it and you can use the Intel Power Manager and Intel Maintenance Manager to schedule startup or shutdowns.

    On the server hardware front I’m using a set of Dell Optiplex SFF 780s as my servers. I have 5 of them ($600 USD apiece plus expanding the RAM to 12GB apiece) on a cart so the cluster can be portable. 3 of them are a VMWare ESXi cluster, 1 x AD DC and 1 x is a Windows (7 or XP) client for testing. I also have a Iomega Ix2-200 NAS for iSCSI to the VMWare machines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.