Automatically changing the Windows power plan

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.05.2013 at 13:50

I use a Toshiba Dynadock u3.0 to connect my Windows 8 laptop to dual displays, printer, mouse & keyboard, webcam, etc and sometimes when I resume my computer from a Standby state, the displays do not work and I have to restart the computer.

One workaround is to unplug the Dynadock before you resume the computer from standby and re-plug it in once the computer has resumed.

An even better workaround is to create a custom power plan that does not cause the computer to go to standby when connected to AC power. However, if your computer is managed by an organization they might enforce a “preferred” power plan through group policy, which causes your custom power plan to be overridden, leaving you with the same problem.

Today we explore how we can create a custom power plan and create a simple scheduled task that will ensure your custom power plan remains enforced regardless of your organization’s enforced power plan. Bear in mind, that depending upon what privileges your administrator has provided you on your desktop, this method may or may not be effective.

1. Create a custom power plan that does not put your computer on standby. Set this as your current power plan. I’m calling my power plan Dynadock.

microsoftnow

2. Open the Command Prompt and type powercfg /list. Note the GUID of your Dynadock power scheme (highlighted below). You will need this in the next step.

3. Open Task Scheduler (you can search for it on the Start menu/screen. Look under Settings in Windows 8)

4. Click Create Task on the right pane.

5. Choose the options on each tab as follows

image

On the Triggers tab, click Newimage

image

On the Actions tab, click New

Action: Start a program

Program/script: C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe

Add arguments: /setactive <GUID>
(where GUID is the text you copied earlier in step 2)

image

Click OK

image

Review the other tabs and make changes if needed, the default settings should be ok.

Supply your username and password when prompted and you are all set!

What you have just done is creating a scheduled task that runs every hour to change your power scheme back to your own custom power plan, even if the system reverts back to the “preferred” plan.

Update (27-May-2013): If you use your Windows Domain account for the scheduled task, the job will stop running once your change your password. A simple way to fix this is to open Task Scheduler whenever you change your password and update the new password, or simply use a local account with admin privileges which will not be required to change password by group policies.

Cisco Inflicts DoS upon itself, Google follows suit

by Shijaz Abdulla on 11.08.2007 at 03:02

» This is the Power of the Network. Now?!?
In a bizarre incident, Cisco inflicted a Denial-Of-Service (DoS) upon itself earlier this week, which resulted in the company’s entire website, Cisco.com, to go down for several hours!

Apparently a “human error” during a preventive maintenance caused an electrical overload in that caused Cisco.com and other applications to go down. Due to severe impact of the overload, redundant mechanisms were also impacted, as per the Cisco blog.

A lesson for the rest of us: Even though redundant systems were in place, the entire site did go down!

Redundancy = Fault tolerance? Think again.

» Google shoots itself in the foot
In another turn of events, Google identified one of its own blogs as spam by mistake and deleted it! And here’s the best part — somebody named Srikanth then registered the freed blog URL for himself and put his own comments there!

Wow, that must be one heck of a spam filtering technology they’ve developed! – if it can’t tell the difference between one of its own blogs and ordinary spam.

Friendly fire?

How to save energy worth $5bn/year worldwide

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.07.2007 at 15:07

The most recent iteration of Microsoft’ flagship desktop operating system, Windows Vista, has certain enhancements that let you save $50 to $70 per year on energy costs to power a single computer.

It is believed that Windows is the operating system of choice on 100 million desks worldwide. Computers are not always in use all the time that they are powered on. Typically office PCs are kept on all the time – after office hours and over weekends. Estimates suggest that the world spends $5 to $7 billion a year powering ‘inactive’ computers! From an environmental perspective, this also means 45 million tons of CO2 emitted per year. Interesting to note: your choice of operating system affects your contribution to global warming!!

With the enhanced power management features of Windows Vista, these cost savings on energy can be realized. So I guess Vista’s ‘greener’ than Windows XP.

Critics say that if Microsoft had found out how to minimize these costs on the Windows XP operating system when it was released five years ago, the world would have saved $25 billion worth of energy. Re-thinking it liberally, new technology is supposed to do that: make things better and make lives easier.

A few decades ago, we may not have had car engines that are as fuel efficient as they are today. So do we blame the Hudson Motor Car company or Mercedes-Benz for not having developed energy-efficient engine models back then?