Vista has the Power: Part One of Two

Vista has the Power: Part 1 of 2


Last week I wrote about the policy settings that you use to control the Event Logging service. As promised, this week we move to the wonderful world of policy controlled Power Management.


Windows Vista provides a tremendous amount of power management support through Group Policy. Power management is comprised of 34 policy settings grouped in 6 different categories (as of beta 2). The categories I will write about this week include Button, Hard Disk, and Notification, and core Power Management settings.


These categories and their policy settings are located under Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesSystemPower Management. These policy settings are Windows Vista policy settings and apply only to computers running Windows Vista. Also, these policy settings can co-exist in policies applicable to clients earlier than Windows Vista. Operating systems other than Windows Vista will ignore the settings.


The power management Group Policy settings target computers therefore; the majority of the settings are under the Computer Configuration in the Group Policy Object Editor. The main category, Power Management, contains two settings, one settings allows you to deploy one of the standard power management configurations and the others allows you to specific a GUID of a customer power management configuration.


Under Power Management is the Button Category. This category has eight policy settings. These settings are further divided with four settings when the computer is plugged-in and the other four for when the computer is on battery. The four settings allow you to define the actions performed when the user presses the power or sleep button or, when the user closes the lid of the computer. The last setting controls the power button located on the Start menu. Enabling any of these policy settings gives you a choice of Hibernate, Shut down, Sleep, or Take No Action.


The next category is Hard Disk. This category has two policy settings. As with the other power management categories, it divides these policy settings for when the computer is plugged-in and when the computer is on battery. You use this policy setting to shut down the user hard drive after a specified amount of inactivity. Enabling this policy setting allows you to provide the number of seconds before Windows will reduce the power to the hard drive.


The last category for the blog entry is Notification. These five policy settings allow you to configure the notification levels and actions for Low Battery and Critical Battery events and disable Low Battery user notification. Low Battery and Critical Battery level policy settings allow you to set the level where Windows will trigger Low Battery or Critical Battery actions. You determine each level by entering a percentage of remaining battery power. Your choice of settings for Low Battery and Critical Battery actions include: Hibernate, Shut down, Sleep, and Take No Action.


Think twice about power management. Sure its only a small amount of money. But add that amount up over time and across multiple computers and you could save a substantial sum of money.


NEXT WEEK: Vista has the Power: Part 2 of 2


Mike Stephens, Technical Writer, Group Policy


Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am starting to migrate my network to Vista and would like clarification on something not compeltely covered in your article about Power Management.

    For Windows XP I have been using Powercfg to create, configure and set a scheme active, and this has been working very well.

    With Vista, I can set the GUID of a custom power plan active and then configure all of the related options via Group Policy, but my questions are:

    1. How do I create that custom power plan in the first place? If a custom plan has not been created then I cannot select it via guid. In adddition, I cannot use "powercfg /CREATE" as I used to with XP.

    2. If I use the Export/Import functionality of powercfg, can I be guaranteed that the guid of the imported power plan will be the same on every machine?

    It seems Group Policy is missing the vital option to create a custom power plan with a specified name.

    Any advice would be very helpful here.

    Many thanks, Steve.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is a tonne of information available on Vista power management, from whitepapers to videos to blog

  3. Anonymous says:

    "A Persistência da Memória", Salvador Dalí, 1931 Você já deve ter lido sobre o trabalho de pesquisadores

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