Dell Wyse 3040 – Enabling Auto Power On

This article explains how to enable a Dell Wyse 3040 thin client to:

  1. Power itself on automatically when AC power is provided to the unit
  2. Automatically power itself on at a specified time

My organization has several offices in different locations, all running 3040 Thin Clients. After first rolling out thin clients, we were having issues with thin clients being powered off by end users or by blips in the office’s power, which would require a trip to the remote office to power them back on so that we could resume managing them remotely.

We eventually implemented the auto power on feature below, and no longer have any trouble keeping our remote thin clients online and connected to the WMS server, even if an end user powers the unit off when they leave for the day. This allows us to easily keep all of our thin clients up-to-date with the latest firmware and device configurations.

Environment Context

  • Wyse 3040 Thin Clients running ThinOS┬áv. 8.6_024
  • Wyse Management Suite (WMS) v. 1.4

Available Methods

Only one these methods works for my 8.6_024 ThinOS thin clients in my environment, but I will list them all for completion.

Within your Policy Group in WMS:

(1) Under Device Configuration > General Settings > Auto Power

This was my first attempt at enabling this feature, which ultimately didn’t have any effect. Regardless of the firmware version on the thin client and whether this setting was checked or not checked, it never worked. When supplying power to the unit, the power LED would light up for a few seconds, but then turn back off without the unit powering on.

Despite being the new kid on the block and several updates (which have added great new features), WMS still lacks a lot of the features and flexibility that the original wnos.ini configuration method provided as built-in settings. Fortunately, they included an ‘Advanced’ section under ‘Advanced Device Configuration’ which we can use to inject classic wnos.ini parameters into our WMS Policy Group to back fill the missing settings.

Under Advanced Device Configuration > Advanced:

(2) Using the ‘Device=cmos’ Parameter

Full parameter:

Device=cmos AutoPower=yes

This parameter worked for my thin clients before upgrading them to v. 8.6_024. I believe I was running v. 8.6_013.

The ‘AutoPower=yes’ feature also activates the BIOS setting to automatically power on the unit at a specific time each day, so this one parameter satisfied both of my requirements.

(3) Using the ‘Device=DellCmos’ Parameter

Full parameter:

Device=DellCmos CurrentPassword=<Your BIOS Password> Audio=yes AutoPower=Daily AutoPowerTime=6:00 ACRecovery=PowerOn USBRearPort=yes USBFrontPort=yes WakeOnLAN=LAN

Quick Note: the default BIOS password for the Wyse 3040 is ‘Fireport’.

Once I updated my thin clients to 8.6_024, the ‘Device=cmos’ parameter was no longer recognized as a valid parameter, so it was back to the drawing board. Luckily, I found the ‘Device=DellCmos’ parameter, which worked on the new firmware.

While the ‘Device=cmos AutoPower=yes’ parameter (option #2 above) provided auto power on for AC restore and at a specific time of day with only one , the ‘Device=DellCmos’ parameter requires you to be a little more specific with what you want. This is actually a positive, since you can be more granular with how you want your thin clients to behave.

Verifying the BIOS settings

You can check the BIOS settings of a thin client by pressing F2 on the Dell splash screen to enter Setup. Then navigate to Power Management and check ‘AC Recovery’ and ‘Auto On Time’ – they should reflect the values you specified in the parameter above.