Operating systems

Set up S3 sleep state in Vista for significant power savings

Editing your plan

Click Change Plan Settings and then follow these steps:

  1. Click Change Advanced Power Settings.
  2. To change Require A Password On Wakeup, click Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable.
  3. Set the Turn Off Hard Disk After option to a value less than or equal to the time for the PC to sleep, for maximum power savings. Note: having the hard drives turn off while you are still using the computer can cause significant slowdown as they spin back up. It is recommended to set this equal to the time needed to go to sleep.
  4. Set Sleep After equal to the time you set on the basic power plan settings screen.
  5. Make sure that Allow Hybrid Sleep is set to On. This allows a combination of S3 (low power) and S4 (Hibernate) to be used. That way, if the computer loses power, no work is lost. This is, of course, at the expense of a small bit of hard drive space. In my opinion, there is no reason not to use this setting.
  6. Set Turn off Display After to the same value entered on the basic power plan settings screen.
  7. Click OK on the Advanced Power Settings screen.
  8. Click the Save Changes button on the Basic Power Plan Settings screen.
  9. To minimize the CPU's power draw under light load, edit the Minimum Processor State setting under Processor Power Management. To scale it back even under heavy load, change the setting for Maximum Power State.


Testing the new settings
To test the new settings, simply leave the computer alone for the specified amount of time. You will hear the computer get extremely quiet; this is because all of the fans and hard drives have been stopped. If you still hear fans or drives, go back and check your settings, particularly your BIOS settings.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

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