Technical Support Blog

How to Fix a Sleeping TimeClock Server

The energy savings settings on modern computers have created an unexpected problem for Virtual TimeClock users:  The sleeping TimeClock Server! While there are few things worse than than finding a worker asleep on the job, a sleeping TimeClock Server impacts everyone as it prevents both users and management from accessing your time clock.

What's a TimeClock Server?
In the Virtual TimeClock Network Edition, all your time clock related data is stored in one database on one computer. This designated computer runs our Virtual TimeClock Server Manager software. The Virtual TimeClock Server Manager takes care of sending and receiving all information to, and between, your various TimeClock clients and computers used to administrate Virtual TimeClock. When TimeClock client computers report network or server errors, this means that they are unable to get or save any information from the Virtual TimeClock Server computer.

Diagnosing a Sleeping TimeClock Server
Clients that are unable to connect or loosing connection with the TimeClock Server are frequently caused by the Server computer putting itself to sleep or spinning down its hard drive to save energy. Symptoms usually center around your Virtual TimeClock Server experiencing periods when it's unavailable, then suddenly becomes available without any other action or intervention. In the morning, your time clock clients may not find the server, then suddenly they start working. Or your Virtual TimeClock Server may work fine most of the day and then suddenly becomes unavailable. 

Many network connection issues can be traced to this problem. If you find that your TimeClock clients getting an error that says 'TimeClock Server not running' or 'TimeClock Server not responding', the server computer Energy Saver settings are likely the culprit.

Understanding Energy Settings
Most computers have several options enabled by default in order to conserve energy. Energy consumption is reduced by shutting off certain computer functions when they haven't been used for some time. Options often include, turning off the display screen, spinning the hard drive down, turning off networking, or putting the computer asleep completely. Other than turning off the display screen, these energy savings features will cause a Virtual TimeClock Server computer to stop responding to your Virtual TimeClock client computers.

Configuring Energy/Power Settings
To verify or modify the energy settings on the Virtual TimeClock Server computer:

Microsoft Windows PC
  1. In the Control Panel, select Power Options.
  2. Find Hardware and Sound then select Change Power-Saving Settings
  3. Select Power Saver and select Change Plan Settings.
  4. Select Change Advanced Sleep Settings and set the Sleep settings to Never for:
  • Turn off hard drive after _ minutes
  • Sleep after _ minutes.
  • Hibernate after _ minutes.
Apple Mac Computers
  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Select the Energy Sarver control panel
  3. Select Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off
  4. Unselect Put Hard Disks to sleep when possible
  5. Select Startup Automatically after a power failure
  6. Select Wake for network access
‚ÄčThe settings above will vary a bit based on particular Operating System updates and releases. The important point is to never allow your TimeClock Server computer to spin down its hard drive, sleep, or hibernate