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USB Modem / Windows 7 goes to sleep

I have a Novatel USB727 modem that has been working flawlessly on this computer for four months. In the last week or two, it picked up a new trick:  the device seems to go to sleep, and most of the time Windows 7 cannot get it restarted. I believe that something is timing out and going to sleep, and that something may have changed in Windows 7 to cause this, but I don't know what the answer is. I changed the power management setting for the Novatel device so that it doesn't try to power the device off to save battery, but so far have seen no other setting I could change, and this did not fix the problem. The laptop is a Dell Studio XPS 1740. I took the Novatel device back to Verizon, who exchanged it for me, and I tried re-installing the VZ Manager software. None of these things made a difference.