How to Send a Wake on LAN Command

By James Dalton

Wake on LAN (WOL), is a technology that turns on a computer without you being physically present at the computer. A WOL command broadcasts a specially formed network message called a magic packet to all computers on the same network segment as the target computer. Each computer's network card is uniquely identifiable by its Media Access Control (MAC) address. Only the computer that has the target MAC address will respond by signaling the motherboard to power on the computer. The WOL command-line utility by Matcode is one of many utilities that can send a WOL command.

Things You'll Need

  • Target computer with WOL-compliant hardware
  • MAC address of the target computer
  • Windows-based computer connected to the same network as the target computer

Use Matcode's Wake-on-LAN Command Line Utility to Send a WOL Command

Step 1

Open the Web browser on the host computer and go to Matcode's WOL Web page (see Resources).

Step 2

Click the "Download MC-WOL.EXE" link at the bottom of the page and save the MC-WOL.exe file to a location on the local hard drive, such as C:\Temp.

Step 3

Open the Windows command prompt by clicking "Start" and "Run." Type "CMD" into the dialog box and click the "OK" button.

Step 4

Type the following command into the command prompt. Replacewith the path where you saved the "MC-WOL.exe" file, such as C:\Temp. Replacewith the MAC address of the target computer's network address, such as A1:B2:C3:D4:E5:F6.\MC-WOL

Step 5

Press "Enter." A magic packet is sent to all computers, with the target computer responding to it by powering on.

Tips & Warnings

  • The target computer must have a WOL-compliant motherboard and network card.
  • Update the motherboard and network card to the latest firmware revision.
  • Set the computer's BIOS to enable WOL. The method for accessing a computer's BIOS settings varies by computer, but usually involves pressing a certain key shortly after the computer is turned on.
  • The WOL cable must be properly connected between the motherboard and the network card.
  • LChu Networks maintains a comprehensive list of WOL command software on its website (see Resources).
  • The magic packet uses multicasting technology, which may be flagged by some network routers as a form of computer hacking and may not be passed on. This would cause the WOL feature not to work.
  • The target computer must be plugged into an electrical socket for WOL to work.
  • This article assumes that the target computer is plugged into the same network segment as the host computer. If they are on different segments the "/a ip-address" switch must be added to the end of the command, where "ip-address" is the multicast address for the LAN segment of the target computer. For example, if the target computer's IP address is 192.168.1.20, the multicast address would be 192.168.1.255.