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Setting Power Options in Windows XP

Power settings are an important part of configuring Windows to get the most out of your computer. Many people either neglect or don't realize that they can change these power options. If you didn't bother to change these settings or didn't know you could then you should make an effort to look into what you can change and how its done.

Windows will allow you to control how your computer uses power and saves power simply by adjusting a few settings. You can control things like when your monitor and hard drives power off, when your computer goes into Standby or Hibernate mode, what happens when you press the power button and so on.

To get to these settings go to your Control Panel and click on Power Options by clicking on Start, Control Panel or Start, Settings, Control Panel depending on how your Start Menu is configured. The options you see will vary depending on what version of Windows you are using and if you are using a laptop or desktop.

When you open the Power Options utility you will see several tabs such as Power Schemes, Alarms and Power Meter.

Once again the tabs that you see will vary depending on your computer’s configuration. The Power Schemes tab is where you will adjust most of your settings. If you have a laptop then you will have settings for plugged in and running on batteries.

The Turn off monitor option tells Windows when to shut down your monitor into low power mode. Turn off hard disks does the same for your hard drive(s). System standby puts your computer switches in a low-power state where devices, such as the monitor and hard disks, turn off and your computer uses less power. When you want to use the computer again, it comes out of standby quickly, and your desktop is restored just as you left it. Hibernation saves everything in memory to disk, turns off your monitor and hard disk, and then turns off your computer. When you restart your computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. It takes longer to bring your computer out of hibernation than out of standby. You can use the built in power themes or create your own and save it to use again in the future.

The Alarms tab is used by laptops to determine what the computer does when the battery gets to a certain level. You can have an alarm set that will put the computer into hibernation or standby to save power after the battery gets down to a certain percentage that you decide on. You can also have it send a message, make a sound or run a certain program.

The Power Meter tab is also used for laptops and shows you the status of your battery and how much power you have remaining. It also shows if you are running on AC or battery power.

The Advanced tab gives you more power settings that you can configure for your computer.

Here you can tell Windows what to do when you close the lid on your laptop, press the power button or sleep button on your computer as well as whether or not you want Windows to ask for your password when it comes out of standby.

The Hibernation tab lets you choose whether or not hibernation is enabled for your computer. It also shows how much disk space will be used for hibernation.

Your computer may also have its own software provided by the manufacturer that you can use to adjust your power settings. It may or may not have more options than the built in Windows power management so it’s up to you which one you want to use.


Related Tips:
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
Replacing a Power Supply


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