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Software or Hardware Solution for Desktop?

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Oakton

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The most common circuit we all know how to breadboard is a timer. Like me, you've probaby memorized hundreds.

I've built many tower style desktops, including the one in my home office. I want to add a simple timer circuit driving
a small relay. If that's all I needed, posting here would not be necessary.

When I press the power switch, bootup and Windows startup time is not consistent. That's because I can select several
different configurations from a control box attached to the tower. I want the timer module to de–energize a relay shortly
after Windows finishes loading. I can't do that, because bootup times can vary a lot.

My script creation skills are good, but I would never call myself an expert!

Is there a command supported app that can power-up or power-down a device like an internal CD/DVD drive? All devices
in my desktop tower are SATA, except the floppy disk drive. I know how to enable or disable a device from the command
line. Is it possible to actually turn the power on and off with a command app? If it is, I probably don't have the expertise
to do the job, unless the app is similar to NirSoft's NirCmd.
 

ClydeCrashKop

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If you can access the hard drive light, you could make something happen with the power on AND the hard drive has been inactive for a short time after boot up.
 

spec

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Just write a small application, in C# for example, that runs after Win had booted up. You can then make the application do whatever you want.

spec
 

AnalogKid

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In windows, the system power monitor can be set to power down drives and monitors after set periods of time, so there must be a way to do it as an all-software solution. Note that the devices are not *completely* off. The system does not shut down the 5 V and 12 V powering the drives, it sends a sleep mode command that shuts down the motors and probably some of the signal system, but keeps the bus interface alive to receive a power-back-up command.

Separate from that, you could add a "beep" routine as the last item on the startup processes list, detect the beep at the speaker terminals, and use that signal to drive whatever. If other program elements cause beeps curing boot, you could send a character to the printer port and detect that.

ak
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
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I want the timer module to de–energize a relay shortly
after Windows finishes loading. I can't do that, because bootup times can vary a lot.
That would be the problem. I don't know of any way to programmatically determine that Windows and all startup programs have finished booting. Writing a script or program to load and run at boot isn't a problem but getting something to run when Windows has finished loading is not going to be easy. I have seen the question before and I have never seen a workable answer, not that I follow this sort of stuff very much anymore.

Ron
 

Tony Stewart

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the windows start notification sound notifies that the desktop has loaded.
Use that voltage or unique frequency to trigger a filtered detector/relay driver
 

AnalogKid

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That would work if the desktop were guaranteed to be the last thing to load, but it isn't. This was soooo much easier in DOS.

ak
 

Les Jones

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How about a DOS script that was started in the startup file that tried to ping the router (Or check if the PC had been given an IP address by the DHCP server in the router.) The first time the script received a responce to the ping it could send a text string to a com port. I'm not sure if these things could be done in a DOS script but it might give some other ideas.

Les.
 

AnalogKid

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The underlying problem is that while Windows might not be great at multitasking, it does enough of it to pretty much eliminate rock solid predictability (tech term: non-deterministic). Plus, it is re-entrant, so one process doesn't necessarily have visibility of all others. There probably are not-well-documented operating system hooks that could ease the problem if not outright solve it, but that's way outside my experience base.

ak
 

spec

Well-Known Member
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What you all say about the non predictability of Windows completion is true it is also true that windows never stops loading configuring testing, monitoring etc, etc. But in practical terms you could implement a practical realization by executing a script/program which ran when Windows had pretty much settled down when it would then execute the script/program. A suitable delay could then be built into the script/program before the script program commanded the OP's required action.

This is all off the top of my head based on PC user experience, rather than getting into the nuts and bolts of the Window operating system, where I suspect a more definitive Windows completion could be established.:)

Of, course the bottom line is: what does the OP wish to achieve with the commanded action and how critical is the application.

spec
 

Tony Stewart

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If one wants to shutdown CDROMs on power up, this will not save much power.

Why would you need this? These devices can be disabled in the BIOS or in Group Policy.
Beside the idle current is peanuts.
 

Reloadron

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If one wants to shutdown CDROMs on power up, this will not save much power.

Why would you need this? These devices can be disabled in the BIOS or in Group Policy.
Beside the idle current is peanuts.
The only time I have seen this done was on secure systems I worked with. Frequently systems are set to boot from any media (bootable media) in the CD DVD drives before booting from the HDD. This can be done (disabling the CD DVD drives) in the interest of security. It can prevent malicious software from installing on boot. The same thing can also be accomplished by making BIOS changes but where I worked the systems would not accept bootable media in the CD DVD drives or any USB ports. That is about the only time I have seen it done and why. Beyond those remote possibilities I haven't a clue. :)

Ron
 
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