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Saving energy with your PC

pc keyboard.jpgHow many of us are aware of the inbuilt power saving features on our PCs? And how many of us use them? EcoStreet forum member Solomon does, and he can tell us how to do it too.

Your PC has several built in power modes, each of which will turn off the PC/monitor/hard drives etc at various times. You can set up a power scheme (or several) of your own, or customise existing ones to suit your own needs. All Windows operating systems since Windows 95 have these power schemes, that you can use to save energy and money. This article is aimed at Windows XP users, but other versions of Windows should be very similar.

To begin setting them up, first decide how you use your PC. There’s little point setting up a power scheme that will annoy you because it turns your monitor off constantly, but there’s also little point setting up a scheme that waits for 4 hours before turning it off. Remember that these schemes are not set in stone, and they are so easy to edit, so that it pays to experiment a bit.

You will find the Power Schemes in the Control Panel. This is accessible from the Start Menu, or Windows Explorer. In there, look for the icon titled “Power Options”. Please note that this can sometimes be found under “Performance and Maintenance”.

When this is open, you will see a Window with 4 tabs – “Power Schemes”, “Advanced”, “Hibernate” and “UPS”.

Power schemes is selected automatically.

You will see a drop-down box with the option “Home/Office Desk”. Several other options are available, including “Minimal Power Management”, “Presentation”, “Max Battery”, etc. Each option is a suggested power scheme for each type of usage – a laptop user would select “Max Battery”, for example. If you select a different scheme, you’ll see the settings change. If you wish, you can select one of these schemes that suits you, click apply, then OK, and your PC will use the new settings.

However, most of the default Windows settings are rather tame, so you can set the timings yourself.

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