How do I disable all power saving features of notebooks when plugged into the mains in Server 2003 managed domain?
Posted on 2006-04-29
I work in schools in the UK. Commonly, notebook PCs running Windows XP Pro are used to drive interactive whiteboards for whole class teaching. They are always used on their power supplies and plugged into the mains in this situation. Notebooks are used for this purpose partly because of the lack of space at the front of classrooms to accommodate anything larger, and partly so that teachers can take the notebook out of the classroom to prepare whiteboard content at home using the dedicated whiteboard software.
I need a "magic bullet" solution (if there is one!) that will disable ALL power saving features preferably on any up to date (usually Centrino spec) notebook model; but here's the tricky bit - GLOBALLY - for all users regardless of their security permissions.
As far as I understand it power settings in control panel are on a user by user basis and also cannot be changed by a user that is a member of domain users; you need to be a member of domain admins (or at least have admin privileges) to change the power settings. All children/student users do not have any admin permissions and therefore literally hundreds of changes would have to be made across a school site to eliminate the nuisance of notebooks (and sometimes projectors as well but that's a separate matter!) falling asleep during the school day.
Please note that I am getting reports from teaching staff saying that just moving the mouse to wake up the notebook is not enough because the notebook may come back to life but the USB driven connection to the interactive whiteboard does not, and therefore a reboot is necessary by which time their carefully prepared lesson has fallen apart as the class loses it's patience waiting for teacher to get the technology to co-operate!
I will be raising this matter with the relevant manufacturer of the interactive whiteboards but I really would like to get control of the power settings in a sensible way. I find it surprising that Microsoft/notebook manufacturers implement auto screen shut-off, system standby, hibernate, hard disk shut down measures so stringently when a notebook is plugged in to the mains, as well as when on battery only. I can understand all this for people on the move who are dependent on battery power conservation but not when the notebook is plugged in.
It is interesting to note that back in the days of Win9? power saving measures such as auto screen shut-off, system standby and hard disk shut down were applied on traditional desktop PCs but that these days, on desktops, WinXP usually has only screen shut off implemented after 20 minutes. It seems that Microsoft has a strange lack of direction hereabouts in what is after all an important matter bearing in mind global climate considerations...
Thanks for reading all this and in anticipation of that magic bullet (please please please!!!)