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Public Domain/Operating System Solutions for Activating Sleep Settings

The following solutions can help you activate sleep settings on computers and monitors. It is critically important, however, to ensure that sleeping computers can still receive administrative software updates (such as Windows security patches and antivirus definitions) prior to activating sleep settings.

  1. Microsoft Group Policy provides a way to centrally manage Windows Vista and Windows 7 power management features.
  2. Microsoft Group Policy Preferences provide a way to centrally activate monitor and computer power management features on Windows 7, Vista and XP machines, but require either 1) Windows Server 2008 or 2) a Windows 2003 environment being managed via either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista.
  3. EZ GPO allows a network administrator to centrally control computer power management settings on Windows 2000 and XP PCs using Group Policy Objects.
  4. If you replicate hard drives from a template image when you upgrade operating systems and/or roll out new hardware, enabling sleep settings in the template image will ensure that all computers receive these settings.
  5. Powercfg.exe can be used in a logon script to configure power management settings in Windows 7, Vista, and XP. This method requires enhancing registry rights, which can be configured through Group Policy.
  6. Windows Task Scheduler can be used to put PCs into standby or hibernate mode.
  7. EZ Wizard is a simple software tool that automatically activates sleep settings on individual PCs running Windows 2000 or XP. Because it can be launched from a website, EZ Wizard is an ideal solution for diverse computing environments like colleges and universities.
  8. Microsoft promotes a power management tool, Edison Exit ENERGY STAR, developed by Verdiem. It allows individual users to power manage their Windows 7, Vista, and XP PCs, and estimate their savings.

If you use Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Microsoft Assessment Configuration Pack for ENERGY STAR Power Management Exit ENERGY STAR allows you to centrally review sleep settings on Windows XP and Vista PCs. Prior to implementation, this tool can provide you with a baseline for energy savings estimates. Following implementation, it can provide confirmation that sleep settings have been changed.

Table: Public Domain/Operating System Methods for Activating Power Management Settings on Networked PCs


Method for Activating Settings on Networked PCs
Operating System Installed on PCs
2000 XP Vista 7
Microsoft Group Policies checkmark¹ checkmark¹
Microsoft Group Policy Preferences checkmark¹ checkmark¹ checkmark¹
EZ GPO checkmark checkmark
Replicating settings from a template image checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
Using Powercfg.exe in a logon script checkmark² checkmark checkmark
Windows Task Scheduler³ checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark

¹Requires either Windows Server 2008 or a Windows 2003 environment being managed via either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista
²Requires Windows XP Service Pack 2
³Windows Task Scheduler doesn't activate power management settings per se, but can be used to place PCs into standby or hibernate mode at specified times.