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Power Management

In addition to the tabs provided for the desktop, power management for portable computers includes the Alarms and Power Meter tabs. A major difference between power management for desktop and portable computers is that you can change settings based on battery use for a portable computer. Figure 20.4 shows the Portable/Laptop options of the Power Options Properties page

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Figure 20.4 Portable/Laptop Options of the Power Options Properties Page

System standby can reduce the power consumption of your computer. Depending on whether your computer is plugged in or running on batteries, you can choose a different length of time for the computer to go into standby. The time specifies the length of time that your computer is inactive before going into standby mode.

You can change the properties of an existing power scheme or create a new power scheme using Power schemes . Select a power scheme that works best with the way you use your computer. You can choose from the six preset power management configurations discussed earlier in this section: Home/Office Desk, Portable/Laptop, Presentation, Always On, Minimal Power Management, and Max Battery.

To change the properties of an existing power scheme

  1. In Control Panel, click Power Options . The Power Options Properties page displays. Make sure the Power Schemes tab is active.

  2. Select the power scheme from the Power schemes list.

  3. Select the time settings you want on the Turn off monitor , Turn off hard disks , System standby , or System hibernates lists, and then click Apply .

To create a new power scheme

  1. In Control Panel, click Power Options . The Power Options Properties page displays. Make sure the Power Schemes tab is active.

  2. Select the power scheme from the Power schemes list.

  3. Select the time settings you want on the Turn off monitor , Turn off hard disks , System standby , or System hibernates lists. If you want, set other options.

  4. Click Save As , enter a name for the new power scheme, click OK , and then click Apply .

To change the elapsed time before your disk drive automatically turns off

  1. In Control Panel, click Power Options . The Power Options Properties page displays. Make sure the Power Schemes tab is active.

  2. In the Turn off hard disks lists, select the time intervals you want under Plugged in and Running on batteries .

  3. Click OK .

To change the elapsed time before your monitor automatically turns off

  1. In Control Panel, click Power Options . The Power Options Properties page displays. Make sure the Power Schemes tab is active.

  2. In the Turn off monitor lists, select the time intervals you want under Plugged in and Running on batteries.

  3. Click OK .

The Alarms tab lets you set a low-battery alarm and a critical battery alarm. You can set the type of notification — an audible alarm or a displayed message — when your battery power drops to the levels you specify. You can also specify whether the computer goes on standby or shuts down when the battery alarms go off, or you can specify a program to run.

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Note

The critical battery alarm level must be less than the low battery alarm.

To set the battery alarms

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Alarms tab.

  2. Select the Activate low battery alarm when power level reaches check box or the Activate critical battery alarm when power level reaches check box.

  3. Drag the slider to change the battery level at which a low battery alarm or message is activated.

  4. Click Alarm Action , and then click either the Sound alarm or the Display message check box, or both.

  5. If you want, click the When the alarm goes off, the computer will list and select Standby , Hibernate , or Power Off . This specifies whether your computer immediately goes into standby or shuts down when the alarm sounds or a message is displayed.

  6. Click the Force standby or shutdown even if a program stops responding check box if you want the computer to go into standby or shut down even if a program is not responding.

  7. Click the When the alarm occurs, run this program check box, and then click Configure program , if you want to have a special program run when the alarm goes off.

  8. Click OK , and then click OK again.

The Power Meter tab shows the current source of power and displays the percentage of power level remaining for all of the batteries in your computer.

To check the power level of the batteries

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Power Meter tab.

  2. Click the Show details for each battery check box to display the power level for each battery.

  3. Click a battery icon for more information about each battery.

  4. Click OK .

You can configure display of the Power Options icon on the taskbar from the Advanced tab. When you enable this feature, you can right-click the Power Options icon in the status area of the taskbar to display the Power Meter and get the status, and other details, of each battery, or click the icon to change power schemes while you work.

To show the Power Options icon in the taskbar

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Advanced tab.

  2. Check the Always show icon on the taskbar check box.

  3. Click OK .

You can choose to be prompted for a password when the computer goes off standby using the Advanced tab.

To be prompted for a password when the computer goes off standby

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Advanced tab.

  2. Click the Prompt for password when computer goes off standby check box The password you use is the same as the screen saver password.

  3. Click OK .

If your computer supports these options, you can use the Advanced tab to make your computer go into standby or power off mode by pressing the power button, closing the lid, or pressing the sleep button.

To use the Power Management power buttons

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Advanced tab.

  2. In the When I close the lid of my portable computer list, select either Standby or Power Off or None .

  3. In the When I press the power button on my computer list, select either Standby, Hibernate or Power Off .

  4. In the When I press the sleep button on my computer list, select either Standby or Power Off .

  5. Click OK .

To use the Hibernate feature

  1. On the Power Options Properties page, click the Hibernate tab, select the Enable hibernate support check box, click Apply , and then click the Advanced tab.

  2. In the When I press the power button on my computer list, select Hibernate .
    – Or –
    In the When I close the lid of my computer list, select Hibernate .
    – Or –
    In the When I press the sleep button on my computer list, select Hibernate .

  3. Click OK , and then either press the power button, close the lid of the computer, or press the sleep button, depending on which feature you selected.

For more information about power management for laptop computers, see Mobile Computing in this book.

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