Faulty powersave features on the LAN card

Posted On 2009-06-08 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: Disconnected Network Drive Random NIC Power Save ACPI Share Mapped
Tags: Software Hack/Tweak Networking Tip Windows XP
Views: 1744

Some Network Interface Cards (NICs) have an option to allow Windows to turn off the device to save power. While this seems like a great, green power saving idea, it can cause some real problems.

One of the problems that can be had is disappearing network drives. Normally, Windows will disconnect a network resource after it has been idle for a period of time, usually 15 minutes. When the user clicks on the resource, say a mapped drive letter in Windows Explorer, they should experience a slight delay while the session is re-established.

However, if the NIC is powered off, this will not happen, and you're left with a user who cannot access network resources. This is slightly misleading, though. Internet surfing will work, email will work, but drive mappings will be unavailable. Strange, eh?

Fortunately, there is a fix that might help in these situations.

  1. Open the Control Panel, and open the networks icon.

  2. Highlight the affected connection, right-click it, and and select "Properties."

  3. Press the Configure button next to the card/controller itself, near the top.

  4. You'll see a multi-tabbed pane. Look for a "power" or "advanced" tab (depends on OS), usually the rightmost.

  5. If the box labeled "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" is checked, un check it.

  6. OK your way out, and the problem should be cured for this card. Repeat for any other network connections. (other than dialup)

  7. There is generally no need to reboot, you should see the effect immediately.

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