Ideal Power Management settings for a laptop with XP

Posted on 2004-03-30
Last Modified: 2013-12-03

I want to maintain ideal power settings on my laptop with Windows XP. It is a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading technology. It has 512MB Ram and a 80GB hard disk.

What is the general opinion among experts on letting a machine go into 'Hibernate' mode? Is it advisable? And what is the difference between 'Hibernate' and 'Standby'?

What is the benefit of turning off hard disks other than conserving battery power? Is it advisable to turn off hard disks (while connected to an electrical outlet) if the machine is idle for say more than an hour?

I know these are basic questions but I would rather have opinions from experts.


Question by:sonuj2
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Luc Franken
Luc Franken earned 25 total points
ID: 10717215
Hi sonuj2,

> I want to maintain ideal power settings on my laptop with Windows XP. It is
> a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading technology.
What do you do with your computer?

>And what is the difference between 'Hibernate' and 'Standby'?
Standby just turns of unneccesery hardware, hibernate writes all the memmory to the harddisk and shuts almost down, it will just be "on" enough to be able to recover without a full restart.

>>What is the benefit of turning off hard disks other than conserving battery power?

>>Is it advisable to turn off hard disks (while connected to an electrical outlet)
Not neccesery, most drives work better when keeping them running.



Accepted Solution

raybccul earned 25 total points
ID: 10717472
If you're going to be plugged in, I recommend setting the laptop power settings just like you would a desktop PC, never turn off anything. It doesn't save enough power to count for much and, some say, the constant spinning up and down of components can be worse that leaving them running. Also be aware that, with some network cards and most modems, if the system goes into standby, they will disconnect. What a drag if you're all plugged in and in the middle of a multi-meg download when your laptop goes standby and boom, you have to start over.

For optimum battery life I would leave the default settings for power management when on battery. Any tweaks you make are not likely to make much difference. The one thing I usually change is to disable hibernation. Although things have gotten better, there are still cases where there is some problem going into hibernation and the system will not come back up and may not boot afterward. I only recommend enabling hibernation if you are planning to do a lot of critical work on battery and it would be worse to lose active work in the case of low battery than the possible risks associated with hibernation.

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