No WOL without DC

Copper Contributor



I'm struggling with wake on lan for weeks now. The point is I cannot WOL a domain member computer when domain controller is down. If DC is up there is no problem at all. It's a small subnet, no routers involved, client computer has fixed IP (which shouldn't be important). When I send WOL packet when DC is up  I can ping the IP address of client after about 30 sec. When DC is down it never starts. Any idea what could be the reason for that?


Thanks in advance,


3 Replies

It sounds like expected behavior if you're relying on active directory domain DNS. So a more direct approach may be to look at the problems with the domain controller. Also note it is always recommended to have at least two domain controllers to maintain high availability and disaster mitigation.


As an aside you may be able to use message analyzer to setup a trace.



Hi Dave,


thanks a lot for input!


The domain controller is not down due to any problems, it's just shutdown. Second DC is no option for small shops. I can't figure out how this could be an expected behaviour. A shutdown client with it's NIC waiting for magic packets should'nt have anything to do with DC, since Windows is not running. It even does not know what a DC as long it is in a shutdown state, right? WOL is pure layer 2 business. And that it does work in my environment, at least basically, shows the fact that the client does wake up when DC is running: the client NIC gets the magic packet, recognizes it's own MAC address and switches the computer on. Exactly the same should happen, if DC is down. But obviously something is different then. But what? Any other idea?


Thanks and regards,


obviously something is different then. But what?


 Sounds like you have somehow made the process domain-DNS-dependent. Active directory domain services is not meant to be a part time service. I suppose it may be time to rethink / rework the topology.