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Solutions: Prevent your sleeping PC from waking up on its own

My HP PC running Windows 7 will not stay asleep. It will go to sleep if it is idle for one minute or if I manually put it into sleep mode. The problem is that it will wake up without being prompted. If I am working in the room I can hear it wake up and then go back to sleep. Is this normal? If not, how do I fix this problem?

Your network card is probably set to wake up on activity, or every so often to refresh the network state. You can check this setting on the Device Manager/Network Adapter/Properties, Power Management tab. You can get there by clicking the Windows 7 orb, type Device Manager and then click the link displayed at the top of the list. Expand Network Adapters then right-click the network adapter you're using.

An example can be found at that should be similar to what you see on your PC. On some PCs, this setting is an option in the computer BIOS information accessed when rebooting and pressing a specific key. It will usually display which key to hit while rebooting and before initiating Windows.

Recently, I have been receiving the following message when I go into certain sites: "Security Alert. Information you exchange with this site cannot be viewed or changed by others. However, there is a problem with the site's security certificate. You can do the following:" It lists three items, then highlights the following: "The security certificate has expired or is not valid. Do you want to proceed?" This message appears whenever I go into bank sites, sites to make a purchase or one that needs a password. I recently changed my security software and have called my provider to inquire. They say it isn't a problem and not to worry. Why then has this message started to appear if there is no problem? I am concerned.

A certificate is like a permit for your browser to access a site. What you're seeing would be a valid message if that site's certificate had expired. Since this is happening at multiple sites, that's probably not the issue. This could also happen if somehow your PC's date/time are off, so check that and modify it if it is incorrect (double-click on the time icon on the bottom right). It could also be the result of old cookies on your PC. If you're using Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options, and click Delete, and then check Temporary Internet Files and Cookies.

Ever since I bought an HP computer with 64-bit Windows 7 I have been getting this message: "These files cannot be opened. Your security setting prevented one or more files from being opened."

I still could read the files. Then I updated my Adobe Reader to Adobe Reader X. I cannot open .PDF files anymore.

Right-click on one of the .PDF files and choose Properties. If you see "This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer," click the Unblock button.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Prevent your sleeping PC from waking up on its own 05/22/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 22, 2011 4:40pm]
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