Thursday, December 18, 2008

Using hibernation to save power - Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008

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Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008

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Using hibernation to save power

QI work at a local public school. The state just informed us that our budget will be slashed. I’m looking to save money on our electricity usage. I’d like to have our computers hibernate when not in use. But there’s a problem. The teachers have to log in every time they come out of hibernation. This takes too much time. I’d like them to stay logged in and connected to the network. Is there any way to do this?
—Gene in Tuscombia, AL, listening on WLAY 1590 AM

AReducing your school’s electricity bill is a great idea. And using hibernation is a good way to do it. Plus, anyone can use this to save power at home.

Hibernating a computer saves its current state to the hard drive. And then the computer is shut down. When the computer is booted, it returns to the saved state. Programs are still running. All the windows are in the same place.

How-to ThursdayHibernation is nearly identical to sleep (or standby in XP). If you’re curious, read about the difference in this tip. Vista also includes a hybrid version of sleep.

You might want to use the hybrid sleep setting. So, I’ll tell you how to access it below. But, since you’re particularly interested in hibernation, let’s start there.

Hibernation is a convenient way to save power without restarting from scratch. But you can run into problems with incorrect settings.

You want teachers to go in and out of hibernation without hassle. That means they shouldn’t have to log in each time. This is possible. You just have to know what settings to change.

Setting up your computer to hibernate is simple on any system. The best option is to tie hibernation to the power button. The users push the power button when they’re done. Then, the computer will hibernate. When the users want to restart, they again push the power button. The computer comes alive, with all windows in place. That’s easy enough for anyone.

Correct settings

So, let's get started. In Windows Vista, click Start>>Control Panel. Click Classic View on the left side of the window. Double-click Power Options. Locate your selected plan under "Preferred plans." Under the selected plan, click "Change plan settings." Click "Change advanced power settings."

Click the "+" sign next to "Power buttons and lid." Click the "+" sign next to "Power button action." Click Setting and choose Hibernate.

Next, click the "+" sign next to "Additional settings." Click the "+" sign next to "Require a password on wakeup." Click Setting and choose No. Click Apply>>OK. Now, the computer will stay logged in when starting from hibernation.

In Windows XP, click Start>>Control Panel. Double-click Power Options. Select the Advanced tab. Select Hibernate from the drop-down menu labeled "When I press the power button on my computer." Uncheck the box labeled "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby." Click Apply>>OK.

Macs show only sleep as an option. But it is really a hybrid. It saves to RAM and also the hard drive. That way, if the computer loses power, your files are safe on the hard drive. Click the Apple logo at the top of the screen. Select System Preferences. Click Energy Saver. Select the Options tab. Check the "Allow power button to sleep the computer" box.

Vista, too

Click the back arrow at the top of the window. Select Security. Click the General tab. Uncheck the box labeled "Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver." Close the window. The changes are saved automatically.

Vista also has a sleep-hibernate combination, called hybrid sleep. The computer’s state is stored to the computer’s RAM and hard drive. This gives you the best of both worlds. Once turned on, hybrid sleep will take over automatically. Hit the button to put it to sleep. When you're ready, hit the button again and everything is there.

To turn hybrid sleep on, click Start>>Control Panel. Then click Classic View on the left side. Double-click Power Options. Locate your selected plan under "Preferred plans." Under the selected plan, click "Change plan settings." Click "Change advanced power settings." Click the "+" next to Sleep. Then, click the "+" next to "Allow hybrid Sleep." Click OK.

More energy-saving tips:

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