It has been a long time in coming. For more than two years of using this cursed desktop PC, one of the most expensive problems I have had to live with was its inability to sleep or hibernate. Each time I got Windows to initiate the energy-conversation sequence, it would relinquish control to the hardware to shut down, only to have the hardware immediate wake up. So much for going green. Given the sheer number of problems I had been dealing with for this computer, I thought this was yet another stinking fault of the motherboard. Over time, I have tried to update the BIOS revision, read around others' discussions of similar problems, but those were all in vain. It is funny how the electronic engineers who work on such technology and devices almost never participate and educate the masses on the inner workings of these marvels we cannot survive without nowadays; all there is left is wild speculation and conjecture on what may be causing such problems and plenty of trial and error to fix our own problems.
After all, my gaming PC running Windows XP can Standby and Hibernate, my laptop running Windows Vista or 7 can Sleep and Hibernate. What is wrong with this particular desktop? Does it really want to live up to its name of DIABLO so much and give me constant nightmares and high electricity bills?
Today, I have finally found one of the most incredulous design features of Windows Vista, that seemingly escaped most people. The things that have been kicking my computer awake are my keyboard and mouse. Each time the OS successfully performs its Sleep or Hibernate sequence, it must hand the system over to the hardware to power down. For some reason my USB-based input devices would deliver some electric shock to wake the system whenever it wanted to sleep. Y'know, like how the US Air Force punished Ham for doing the wrong thing during spaceship training. Looks like my computer must work hard and remain fully on all the time. So enabling the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option in the USB Root Hub devices of my computer had no effect, as others had suggested.
But how did I eventually find out it was due to my input peripherals? My other computers were doing completely fine without me tinkering with those input devices. Well, last night while moving around aimlessly in drunkard stupor after downing a can of Coca-Cola, I opened up the properties dialogs for my input devices in Device Manager.
Allow this device to wake the computer? It was originally checked. This ridiculous option has to be disabled. Enabling this feature simply means to keep the machine running forever; I cannot fathom what sort of "power management" facility it provides.
But wait, what about my other machines?
It seems that my laptop does not consider input peripherals to be useful electric shock devices; there is no Power Management tab in the first place.
For the case of Windows XP, it is implemented differently to respond only to Standby situations. Despite this computer possessing USB input devices as well, there is no "shock generation" when using Standby; the devices can revive the system properly when a key or button is pressed.
Windows Vista did away with Standby in favour for the hybrid mode Sleep, which is apparently a different energy-saving mechanism at the hardware level. For that effect, the input devices are now wired to perpetually keep computers "awake". What a slave driver.
Microsoft, I want a reimbursement on my electricity bills.