Creating Custom Power Plan and Making it Active in Windows 7 with Group Policy

Kristofer NurmiaSenior System Engineer
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A quick guide on how to use Group Policy to create a custom power plan and set it active on Windows 7.
So you need to disable the Power Options set in the Default Domain Policy on some monitoring computers. Followed the standard steps of creating a new OU for the computers and moving the computer objects to the new OU.

I did some Google research on applying the Power Options using Group Policy and came upon a walk-through that explained how to create a custom Power Plan, deploy it on a machine, get GUID of the Power Plan from the destination machine and use the GUID to specify a custom active Power Plan.

I ran the process on one machine and so far so good. Added another machine, but the Group Policy didn't work properly. Instead you get an error message 'Your power plan information isn't available' when checking Power Options in Control Panel.

After extensive Google research, you come upon a question in Experts Exchange that verified your findings: Power Plan GUID aren't actually Globally Unique, but machine specific. Using Group Policy and Power Plan GUID to specify which Power Plan to make active doesn't actually work.

After consulting Google for a couple of more hours, it seems that the only option is to be create the Power Plan with Group Policy and make it manually active on each target machine. Not wanting to manually manage the machines and wanting to prevent users from changing the Power Plan, I decided to look a bit more around into Group Policy and the other choices under Power Options.

A couple of test runs later, I found out that I could use older Windows XP Power Scheme settings to control the Windows 7 Power Plan created using the walk through.

So to make the already created custom Power Plan active, you need to add a new Windows XP Power Scheme. Select Computer Configuration -> Preferences -> Control Panel Settings -> right-click Power Options and click 'Power Scheme (Windows XP).

New-Power-Scheme.pngMake sure the name matched the name of the Power Plan created previously (I used 'Kiosk Power Plan') and that 'Make this the active Power Scheme' is selected (it should be by default).

Run-cmd-as-Administrator.pngStart an elevated command prompt (Start -> write 'cmd', right-click on cmd and click 'Run as administrator'. Accept the warning by clicking 'Yes'.

gpupdate-force.pngRun 'gpupdate /force' and accept logging off by clicking 'Y'.

Kiosk-Power-Plan-active.pngLog back into the kiosk machine and verify the correct Power Plan is active.

 
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Kristofer NurmiaSenior System Engineer
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