Enable WoWLAN on a 945GCT-M3 motherboard/BIOS?
December 22, 2010 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Enable WoWLAN on a 945GCT-M3 motherboard/BIOS?

I have an older Gateway machine that has a 945GCT-M3 motherboard, running Windows 7. I'm using a Linksys PCI Wireless-G adapter. I'd like to enable Wake-on-Wireless so that can pull the computer out of sleep remotely (though on the same local network), but the option is grayed out when I try to change the settings on the adapter.

I've tried to override the auto-disabling of WoWLAN using this registry hack to no avail. Various Google searches lead me to believe this is something limited by the motherboard/BIOS, and booting into BIOS settings on the machine reveals no setting for anything like this at all.

Main question: what can I do to enable WoWLAN on this computer? I'm hesitant to update the BIOS haphazardly unless I'm certain the update will provide a fix (and I can't find supporting information on this).

Would buying a different wireless NIC fix this problem -- perhaps a USB one?

Any other ideas? I really don't want to run my computer full-time, and I also don't want to run ethernet to this machine.
posted by nitsuj to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I'm going to take a stab in the dark and presume that WoWLAN is not too far different from regular WOL. From the WOL wiki:

Wake-on-LAN support is implemented on the motherboard (BIOS) of a computer and the network interface (firmware), and is consequently not dependent on the operating system (and NIC drivers) running on the hardware. Some operating systems can control Wake-on-LAN behaviour via hardware drivers. If the network interface is a plug-in card rather than being integrated into the motherboard, the card may need to be connected to the motherboard by a cable.

The other suggestion I can think of is to run a wireless bridge, if that board has WOL support (I imagine it does). My friend did this with a cheapo $20 airlink router and flashed it with DDWRT firmware. His xbox360 is connected to the wireless network with the router-now-bridge that sits on top of the xbox.
posted by liquoredonlife at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2010

Best answer: WoWLAN is still a pipe dream for 99% of hardware, and you're never going to get it to work on that old board. WOL is easy - the half-powered component of the sleeping machine can lay back and listen for a magic packet. In WoWLAN, the WNIC has to stay up and associated to the SSID of the wireless network it expects to receive the magic packet on. This is much more difficult than wired WOL and in most cases requires a very tightly integrated solution (NIC, chipset, OS). The Intel Centrino line apparently offered this but few vendors chose to / were able to implement it. (good description of the problem here: http://revolutionwifi.blogspot.com/2010/11/wake-on-wireless-lan.html)

I've tried this on many different machines: acer netbooks, toshiba lifebooks, 3 different IBM thinkpads, 2 dell precisions, never had one successfully work. I would really love to see it working but sadly that's just not the case at the moment :(. If you really have to have this thing do WOL, buy a wireless XBOX adapter and do traditional WOL over the wireless bridge. Good luck!
posted by datacenter refugee at 9:25 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the dose of reality, datacenter. I too stumbled upon that blog in my research.

posted by nitsuj at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2010

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