My fist through the heart of standby

In an effort to save energy, I rescheduled my backup and sync programs[1. Jungle Disk, Karen’s Replicator] to start earlier and run for only a few hours, then use Slawdog Smart Shutdown to put my computer into standby.

When I woke up this morning, my computer couldn’t. *gasp*

Since my computer is on lower shelf of a wire rack, I had to:

  • unplug the eight cables (4 USB, audio, Ethernet, VGA, and power),
  • move my Canon CanoScan 5600F scanner out of the way (since it’s on the top shelf), and
  • remove the computer cover.

After that, it was a matter of removing the BIOS battery and holding down the power button for about ten seconds to dissipate the power.

Warning: Geek lingo after this point.


Sick of it all, I decided to update the BIOS firmware[2. How to flash BIOS in DOS mode for Shuttle barebones systems]. Without a floppy disk drive, I searched for a way to make a USB flash drive bootable (to DOS). That’s tougher than it sounds.

I stumbled onto this page, “Creating a bootable USB thumb drive,” because I couldn’t download the HP Drive Key Boot Utility from the official page. Fortunately, it was less than 2MB[3. HP Drive Key Boot Utility weighs a ridiculous 45MB.].

Once my USB drive had DOS on it, I copied my new BIOS file and the flash program, booted into DOS, and updated my BIOS.

All is well, but I’m not sure I want to try standby again.


Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

3 thoughts on “My fist through the heart of standby”

  1. I hate using standby. All that means for me is that when i go to turn on, well, wake up my computer, I just have to deal with the memory leaks, crapped out virtual memory, or anything else that was there when it went in standby. If i’m waking it up manually anyways, it seems standby is just kind of stupid (unless i specifically WANT to keep programs open, but i never do)

    What I did was make a scheduled job run that just shuts down the computer every night at midnight. Its easy… the command is “shutdown -s -t 0”

    That makes it shutdown the computer (“-s”), while waiting zero seconds (“-t 0”)

    Now, I use my home computer from work a lot, so if it was shut off, I would be out of luck, so what I did was look around in my BIOS screen for the section that enables it to turn on the computer at a certain time. I set it for 6am.

    Many BIOS’s have that option anymore. Maybe its something ya might wanna check out? 🙂


  2. I wish I understood all of this. 🙂 When my husband starts to talk in this language I do my best to keep up, but most of it goes right over my head. Glad you were able to get it all worked out though.


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