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WinXp will not reboot when screensaver is active

Created: 09 Sep 2013 | 8 comments

We are a large K-12 shool district and use the Altiris Deployment Center. Here's our problem.

When we attempt to run a job through Altiris that requires the machine to restart, the computer will not restart if the screensaver is active.  The screen saver will continue to run until you manually hit a key or move the mouse, at which time you will see the "Windows is shutting down..." bitmap. This will also complete the restart sequence and the machine will reboot.  Since the screen saver nornally isn't active when you manually restart a computer, I'm sure this is a WinXP screen saver issue.

Has anyone else faced this or do you have a solution?

Operating Systems:

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HighTower's picture

I've never seen this and we've been managing XP for a loooong time.

What version of DS are you using?  6.9 or 7.1?

Does this happen with a different screen saver?

Tony Haire's picture

By default, all machines are set to the black screen with the floating WinXP logo.  Haven't tried changing screensavers.

We are currently using verson 6.9.

HighTower's picture

We're using 6.9 SP5 MR3... all the way back since 6.8 something and have never had this problem with overriding a screen saver.  Except for when we had the Novell client installed (???!!!!).

Tony Haire's picture

No Novell worries here. Don't use it.

I'm really thinking it's more of a WinXp issue than Altiris. During normal use, the screen saver is going to stop working by mouse movement or keystroke before you manually restart the machine.  But if running jobs, there's no such movement to stop the screen saver.

Run the job and the machine appears inactive in Altiris as it would with any restart. But when the machine doesn't become active again, we put eyes on the computer. We find the screen saver still on and the Windows is shutting down bitmap when we keystroke or move the mouse. The computer will then reboot within seconds of the screen saver stopping.

BBC's picture

We've also seen this on various occasions when using a screensaver other than the system integrated ones. To get around this, I use the checkbox to Force applications to close when shutting down. This and at times updating the NIC drivers.


Tony Haire's picture

BBC, we're only using the default WinXP logo.  When Altiris jobs run, they often reboot the machine without giving any option with regard to forcing applications.  For example, when you configure the compute rname and connect it to a domain.

HighTower's picture

Will these computers restart remotely from a command line when the screen saver is active? 

shutdown.exe /m \\COMPUTERNAME /r /t 0

If not, does this work?

shutdown.exe /m \\COMPUTERNAME /f /r /t 0

Tony Haire's picture

HighTower, we haven't tested the scenario using those commands but I certainly will give it a shot.  

Thanks for the suggestion.