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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Power Management Overview (Windows Vista)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq desktop computers using Windows Vista.
This document describes computer power management modes. Computers can support many different options, connections, and configurations which can result in different power management options being available. The power management options available on your computer might be slightly different than those shown in this document.

Windows Vista power buttons

By default, when using the hardware Power button or the Start Menu Power button, Windows Vista saves your current work session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state so you can quickly resume your work.
Figure : Power buttons on the Start menu
Power buttons on the Start menu
The following table describes Start Menu Power buttons and their functions:
Button
Name
Description
Power (sleep) button
Windows keeps your work session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state.
Lock button
Use the Lock button to protect the computer when leaving the computer for a short time. When locked, Windows displays the Welcome screen. Type your password to unlock the computer.
Arrow button
Opens a menu with the following options:
Switch User. Logs off the current user and allows for a quick log in to a Windows account.
Log Off. Logs the current user out of Windows.
Lock. Protects the computer when you leave for a short time.
Restart. Closes Windows, shuts down, and restarts the computer.
Sleep. Keeps your session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state.
Shutdown. Use shut down only when you want to turn off the power to your computer or do not plan to use it for several days.

Windows Vista power plans

A power plan is a collection of settings that manage the amount of power your computer uses. Set power consumption of computer components or the entire system by choosing a power scheme. You can use the power schemes provided with Windows and adjust the individual settings.
Windows provides the following default plans to help you manage your power usage:
Plan
Description
Balanced
Offers full performance when you need it and saves power during periods of inactivity. This is the default power plan in Windows Vista.
Power saver
Saves power by reducing system performance.
High performance
Maximizes system performance and responsiveness.

Selecting a power plan

To select a power plan, complete the following steps:
  1. Click Start , Control Panel, and then click Hardware and Sound.
  2. In the Power Options section, click Change power-saving settings.
    Figure : Power Options
    Power Options
  3. In the Select a power plan window, select the power plan you want to use.
    note:
    Some computers might have custom plans such as Energy Star, that also display in this window.
    Figure : Selecting a power plan
    Changing the power plan settings
  4. Close the Power Options window.

Changing a power plan

You can change specific settings in any of the three default power plans—Balanced, Power saver, or High performance. To change power plan settings, complete the following steps:
  1. Click Start , click Control Panel, and then click Hardware and Sound.
  2. In the Power Options section, click Change power-saving settings.
    Figure : Power Options
    Power Options
  3. On the Select a power plan page, click Change plan settings under the plan that you want to change.
    Figure : Changing the plan settings
    Changing the plan settings
  4. On the Change settings for the plan page, choose the display and sleep settings that you want to use.
  5. To change more power settings, click Change advanced power settings.
    Figure : Changing the display and sleep settings
  6. On the Advanced settings tab, expand the category that you want to customize, expand each setting that you want to change, and then choose the values that you want to use.
    Figure : Changing the Advanced power settings
    Changing the Advanced power settings
  7. When done, click OK, and then click Save changes.

Power-saving states

Windows Vista has several power-saving states, such as Sleep Mode, Hybrid Sleep, Away Mode, and Hibernate.

Sleep Mode

By default, when you use the hardware Power button or the Start Menu Power button, Windows Vista goes into Sleep Mode. This saves the current work session in memory and puts the computer in a low-power state so you can quickly resume your work when you return to the computer.
To resume working within a few seconds, press the hardware Power button on the computer. Use Sleep Mode if you want power-saving features but need the computer to quickly resume normal operation.
You can change the Sleep Mode settings to prevent Windows Vista from going into Sleep Mode, or to change when or how it goes into Sleep Mode.
To change Sleep Mode settings:
  1. Click Start
    , click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.
    On the Select a power plan page, click Change plan settings under the plan that you want to change.
    Figure : Changing the plan settings
    Changing the plan settings
  2. To change the display or idle time before sleep settings, click the down arrow and choose a new setting.
    To change the action that causes the computer to go into Sleep Mode, click Change advanced power settings.
    Figure : Changing the display and sleep settings
  3. On the Advanced settings tab, you can change the action that sends the computer into Sleep Mode. For example, you can set the computer to shut down instead of going into Sleep Mode when the Start menu Power button is pressed. You can also change what happens when the Sleep button on the keyboard is pressed, and what happens when the hardware Power button is pressed.
    To change a setting, expand the category, expand the setting that you want to change, and then choose the value that you want to use.
    Figure : Changing the power plan settings
    Changing the power plan settings
  4. Click OK, and then click Save changes.

Away Mode

Away Mode allows the computer to continue to perform tasks such as recording scheduled TV programs or sharing video and music, but appear turned off. When the computer is in Away Mode, the following occurs:
  • The computer can still perform tasks such as recording scheduled TV programs or stream video and music files to a remote location.
  • The display is turned off.
  • The audio is muted.
  • The computer is operational but in a reduced-power setting.
  • The computer fan runs.
  • The desktop displays almost instantly when you press the Sleep button on your remote control.
To enable Away Mode, complete the following steps:
  1. Click Start , click Control Panel, and then click Hardware and Sound. In the Power Options section, click Change power-saving settings.
    Figure : Power Options
    Power Options
  2. In the Power plan window, find the power plan that is enabled, and click Change plan settings.
    Figure : Changing the power plan settings
    Changing the power plan settings
  3. In the Change settings window, click Change advanced power settings.
    Figure : Changing advanced power settings
    Changing advanced power settings
  4. Click the plus sign next to Multimedia settings to expand the list. Then click the plus sign next to When sharing media. Click Setting, and in the list that displays, click Allow the computer to enter Away Mode.
    Figure : Enabling Away Mode
    Enabling Away Mode
  5. Click Apply, click OK, and then click Save changes.
    Windows Vista automatically goes into Away Mode when sharing media files.

Hibernate Mode

Hibernation is a power-saving state that saves your open documents and programs to your hard disk and then turns off your computer. When you are ready to use the computer again, it quickly comes out of hibernation and restores the open programs and documents that were saved. Of all the power-saving states in Windows Vista, hibernation uses the least amount of power.
To automatically put your computer into Hibernate Mode:
  1. Click Start , click Control Panel, and then click Hardware and Sound, and then click Power Options.
  2. In the Power Options section, click Change power-saving settings.
    Figure : Power Options
    Power Options
  3. On the Change settings for the plan page, click Change advanced power settings.
    Figure : Changing the advanced settings
  4. To change how much time passes before Windows goes into Hibernation, click the plus sign next to Sleep to expand the list. Then click the plus sign next to Hibernate after. Click Setting, and select a time period.
    note:
    If Hibernate is not available, your computer does not support this feature. See HP support document, Hibernation Settings are Missing in Vista.
    Figure : Changing the Hibernate settings
  5. Click OK, and then click Save changes. Your computer hibernates after it has been idle for the specified amount of time.

Hybrid Sleep

Hybrid sleep is a low-power sleep state that helps protect open programs and documents while the computer is in a low power state. In hybrid sleep, Windows saves open documents and programs to memory and to the hard disk.
note:
The Sleep option on the Lock button menu represents both hybrid sleep and standard sleep. When hybrid sleep is turned on, click Sleep to automatically put the computer into hybrid sleep. When hybrid sleep is turned off, clicking Sleep puts the computer into standard sleep.
To enable Hybrid sleep, complete the following steps:
  1. Click Start , click Control Panel, and then click Hardware and Sound.
  2. In the Power Options section, click Change power-saving settings.
    Figure : Power Options
    Power Options
  3. In the Power plan window, find the power plan that is enabled, and click Change plan settings.
    Figure : Changing the power plan settings
    Changing the power plan settings
  4. In the Change settings window, click Change advanced power settings.
    Figure : Changing advanced power settings
    Changing advanced power settings
  5. In the Advanced settings, click the plus to expand Sleep, expand Allow hybrid sleep, click On, click the arrow, and then click Yes.
    Figure : Enabling hybrid sleep
    Enabling hybrid sleep
  6. Click OK, and then click Save changes.

More information

For more information, see the following documents on the Microsoft Web site.

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