White paper now available for installing and configuring Away Mode

Update Rollup 2 for Windows XP Media Center 2005 introduced a new feature called Away Mode.  This feature allows a computer to appear off to users, but still be able to perform tasks that do not require any user input (such as recording scheduled TV shows for Media Center).

An Away Mode white paper has been published on MSDN very recently that provides detailed information about what Away Mode does to the system, how to install, configure and uninstall it, and what hardware it requires.  I encourage you to take a look if you are interested in some behind-the-scenes about how Away Mode functions.


Comments (13)
  1. Yardman says:

    Why is this feature only available to OEM? I prefer to build my own system shouldn’t i have access to all the technology that’s available with windows media center? This is not right….

  2. Mark Sowul says:

    I concur; away mode would be really great but silly me, I built my own machine so I can’t use it.

  3. Hi Aaron.

    Might want to point out to the MSDN folks that they have a typo in the article..

    In the Bios modification section

    AwayMode-KB902347-xxx.exe should read AwayMode-KB902437-xxx.exe

    Any hints on where ‘end-users’ can find the abovementioned file? <g>

  4. Eli Allen says:

    <aol>me too</aol>

    With all the end users who build their own boxes to use with MCE doesn’t seem right to limit what they can do.

  5. Hi all – I am sorry, but the policy for availability of this Away Mode package still appears to be OEMs and MSDN Universal subscribers.  I don’t have any control over that decision-making process, but I understand your frustrations and have sent this data on to the team that works on Away Mode.  The hardware requirements to get Away Mode working correctly are pretty narrow and there is still some concern that it will cause more problems than it solves if folks try to configure it on hardware that doesn’t support it (or only partially supports it).  I’m sorry for not being able to provide better news.

  6. Jason Anderson (Away Mode Program Manager) says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m the PM that created the Away Mode feature.  As a technical audience – I understand your frustration to not being able to use Away Mode on your home built systems.  I suffer from the same frustration on my home systems.  

    However, in order to ensure that we have a good, consistent user experience for Away Mode on all PCs we needed to create a method by which the Away Mode drivers could communicate to the BIOS to toggle the power LED when entering/exiting Away Mode.  This required some minor BIOS modifications to support a new ACPI control method of Away Mode transitions.  In addition, this notification can serve the purpose of letting the BIOS determine if other functions should change on Away mode transitions such as thermal policy for fan speed.

    Hope this explanation helps understand why Away mode is limited in it’s availability.

  7. Yardman says:

    Hi Jason;

    I understand your point, but why would you inplement such a kool feature and put it out of the way of the DIY crowd?

    Why not make it accesable like how we have S1 or S3 in the BIOS.

    am not trying to be bitchy…am just an MCE user  who would like to have all the features available.

  8. Sylwester Rutkowski (MS OEM System Builder program member) says:

    I am registered OEM System Builder and I cannot find any information neither about hardware requirements for this more nor about this mode at all on OEM System Builder’s site. Can you provide me info where can I find it and why it is not abailable on OEM SB’s web site?

  9. Jason Anderson (Away Mode Program Manager) says:


    Point well taken.  Given the implementation of Away Mode for Update Rollup 2, we really didn’t have much of a choice, unfortunately.

    Oh – and I feel your pain on my own home built systems that don’t have this feature!


  10. Jason Anderson (Away Mode Program Manager) says:


    You can find the details on installing and configuring Away Mode on MSDN here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnxpmce/html/install_config_awaymode.asp

    As for the bits themselves, they are actually on the OEM Supplemental CD in the OPK.


  11. John says:

    I have an MSDN subscription, but can’t find it. Where is it?

  12. To John… it’s not available on MSDN.

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