My screensaver exits for no reason after several seconds.
December 2, 2004 8:34 AM   Subscribe

My laptop screensaver exits after a random amount of time, for no apparent reason - usually after less than 1 minute. Anybody know of specific programs that run in the background that might be responsible? Searching Google gives me a ton of free screensavers, but no help finding out why they won't work. [more inside]

So it seems like a frivolous question but it's damn annoying. The system should go screensaver --> standby but never gets that far, as the 'saver exits well before standby is invoked. It often exits almost immediately, quick enough to avoid locking the workstation (if i had that option enabled). Basically I'm left with an always-on system that may or may not lock itself, and that stinks.

I've tried the obvious (cycling through running programs/processes, kill, start 'saver, watch for it to exit) but so far have not been able to nail down any suspects. Ad-aware and Spybot S+D find nothing. What makes it more frustrating is that my home system does not do this, and i have the same damn software installed there. The only differences I can see are the US Robotics wireless drivers and OpenAFS, which are both on my laptop but not on my desktop - unfortunately killing either task on my laptop doesn't help, so I'm as stuck as ever.

Anyone else ever have a similar problem? If so, what type of program was responsible? If annybody with a little more background than me wants to take a look at my currently running processes, I'll be happy to share.

(...and for the love of god, if one of you says "get a mac" I swear I'll hunt you down and choke you to death with your own damn iPod headphone cords... thanks for your consideration.)
posted by caution live frogs to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
And silly me, I forgot: WinXP pro, SP2.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:35 AM on December 2, 2004

Do you have a mouse plugged in? I have a similar problem with one of my machines, and I suspect that there's a tiny jitter in one of the mouse's sensors (perhaps the scroll wheel), causing it to tell the computer that it's moved when it really hasn't. The computer interprets this as user action and wakes the machine up. Unplugging the mouse fixes it.
posted by xil at 11:54 AM on December 2, 2004

that was my first suspect, as i usually noticed this happening when the system was docked with a USB mouse - but all of my recent troubleshooting attempts have been made while undocked, touchpad only.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:06 PM on December 2, 2004

No background process should be able to cancel the screensaver, unless it's generating mouse clicks or keystrokes (highly doubtful). More likely your touchpad is way too sensitive and is reacting to a slight breeze or something. Try calibrating it?
posted by knave at 12:23 PM on December 2, 2004

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