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Because of an interaction with Quicken 2000, your machine may not be able to enter standby.

Why is 'Communications Port ... preventing the machine from entering standby'?

The full message is typically "The device driver for the Communications Port COM1 device is preventing the machine from entering standby".

Apparently there's an interaction with Quicken 2000. This article out on the Dell support forums has more details.

Article C2189 - September 17, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Prashant Ray
October 2, 2004 12:57 PM

Please visit the following link for resolution of the issue

If a no go then please check if the modem is installed on the COM 1

February 18, 2005 10:37 AM

I have Quicken 2004, not Quicken 2000. Task list shown when I do cntrl+alt+del does not show QAgent.exe running. What do I try now?

Albert R
April 30, 2005 7:43 PM

I also currently run Quicken 2004, but have had earlier versions of Quicken and when I uninststalled, I did not fully uninstall all "shared" software components.

When I learned how to disable the mrtrate.sys device driver, I was finally able to use the Windows standby feature again!

The steps for disabling mrtrate.sys can be found near the bottom of this page:

Good luck!

Albert Zaretskie
November 19, 2005 4:39 AM

I have only Quicken 2006. I did not find any reference to Quicken 2000 although I have had earlier editions of Quicken in the past. I did not have this problem with Quicken 2004. This is the message however I do get when I want to go to standby

February 13, 2006 4:36 AM

Thank you very much. It worked. I am using Quicken 2000. You know I even tried to look for which driver is associated with which COM port number under Device Manager....I always thought that it could be a hardware like a modem or infrared which gets assigned a COM port and maybe there is a conflict between two devices.

October 21, 2006 5:16 PM

But I don't have Quicken on my machine, so what is causing this?

November 30, 2008 12:36 PM

Worked for me !!
More details at :

johnny be good
April 20, 2009 3:48 PM

i get the message:

the device driver for the 'communications port (com1)' device is preventing the machine form entering standby. please close all applications and try again. if the problem persisists you may need to update this driver.

i remember using quicken on this computer, but i thought i deleted it. and i can't find quicken in any of the files on my computer.

i installed a program called lightsource, which is a series of geometrical graphics/colours/designs.

then i noticed problems with this computer using windows xp home edition service pack three, version 2002.

any suggestions to fix this problem? i like the computer to go into standby when i'm not using it for 30 minutes or so.



September 30, 2009 7:30 PM

I had the same problem even after following the instructions for Quicken 2000. I do not use the download function of quicken so as a test I renamed the driver files that quicken uses. These files are called "mrtRate" and found under the subdirectories system32 and system32/drivers. Bingo, fixed the problem.

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