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Wake-on-LAN technology resides in a PC's managed network adapter and motherboard. The two are attached via a wake-on-LAN cable terminated by a 3-pin connector on each side.
When the system is turned off, the managed network adapter uses an alternate power source to monitor the network and watch for a wake-up packet from the server. Once it receives a packet, it alerts the system to power up and accept any maintenance task it is given.