Do power settings really make a difference? In a word, yes. You can not only achieve greater battery life on a portable computer with the appropriate settings, but you can save considerable amounts of energy on desktop computers. The green effect of reducing power consumption can be significant, whether you interpret "green" to mean saving dollars or saving the environment. Microsoft has published a white paper that describes the changes in Windows 7 power management and helps you to assess the energy savings, financial savings, and environmental savings of proper power management; download it from w7io.com/0405. You can calculate your own savings using the Energy Star Computer Power Management Savings Calculator, a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet you can download at w7io.com/0406.
Windows 7 includes a command-line tool called Powercfg that can analyze your system for common energy efficiency and battery life problems. The tool is used primarily by hardware manufacturers and device driver developers, but it can provide useful information for end users . To use it, close all applications, and then open a Command Prompt window (in the Start menu search box, type cmd and press Enter) . At the command prompt, type powercfg -energy. After the program finishes running and the command prompt returns, type energy-report.html, and a diagnostic report opens in your web browser.
The report can also tell you what is preventing a computer from sleeping (or waking) as it should . This problem can be caused by a driver, application, or service that doesn't respond properly to sleep notifications . Drivers and applications that have been certified for Windows 7 have been tested not to block sleep .
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