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Intermediate

Don’t waste! Save energy in Windows with SmartPower

While Windows 7 comes with a lot of great built-in features to save energy, there is always space for one more. This time SmartPower, which is a small program that you install in Windows and it creates a service to hibernate and resume your computer in combination of customizable rules, saving energy and money. So, how does it works?

Good news first, SmartPower can be installed in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 with .Net Framework 3.5, it will also work in Windows server editions. You will find that SmartPower is more useful on Windows Home Server, on computers dedicated for downloads, and HTPCs (media center).

The main purpose of SmartPower is to either hibernate, suspend or shutdown your computer to save energy, but having custom created rules that will prevent SmartPower to send Windows into the energy-saving mode; which it will do if there are not rules that apply.

Now, lets see what kind of rules you can configure:

Note that all the rules are to prevent the computer to go either hibernate, suspend or shutdown, depending of what you want.

The installation is pretty easy just download SmartPower and the usual next, next, and next. Now when you run SmartPower Configuration for the first time, you will be asked to start the SmartPower service, answer Yes to continue. Make sure that you choose how the program is going to save you energy (hibernation, suspend, or shutdown) in the option Target power state:,the Grace time option is the time that the program will wait before putting the computer in the energy-saving mode.

SmartPower - Start Service

  • Schedules: In this rule you can configure the period of time in which the computer stays on, any other time is eligible to put the computer in hibernation, suspension, or shutdown state.

SmartPower - Schedules

  • Devices: In this rule you can specify to check for devices in the network, if any of the devices that you have specified are online, the computer will stay on.

SmartPower - Devices

  • Network: In this rule, you can set your computer to stay on, only if the throughput is above a threshold that you have specified in kilobytes per sec. If the network traffic falls below, SmartPower will put the computer into the target power state that you have configured.

SmartPower - Network

  • CPU: This is really similar to the Network setting, here you can set to keep the computer turned on only if the CPU is above a specified percentage.

SmartPower - CPU

  • Processes: In this rule you can specify to keep the computer turned on only if a certain process or processes are running — if you are a beginner, a process is an instance of a computer program that is being executed, as you can see in the image below, the computer will stay on if Google Chrome and/or the Windows sidebar are running –.

SmartPower - Processes

And don’t worry about the Advanced.

What is really great about SmartPower is the flexibility that the rules can give you. Here is an example, you can configure a computer that you use to serve files to your home network to be scheduled to stay on between 7 am. through 7 pm., pass that time the computer will stay turned on only if yours and someone else’s computer is online, because you configured the options Devices, or if the network throughput is above 15 Kilobits/sec, because you configured the Network option. Only when non of these rules applies the computer will go into hibernation, suspend, or shutdown state.

Tip: One common problem that can occur is that you don’t have the option to Hibernate or Suspend in the Target power states, this is either because the feature is not supported in your computer hardware or it is disabled, most modern computers should support the feature, so it will be more than likely that is disable. Here is a link on How to disable and re-enable hibernation and fix the problem.

You can download and find more information about SmartPower at http://ignatu.co.uk/SmartPower.aspx

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  • Rainer

    I’ve a Windows Home Server WHS (based on Win 2003 Server) which is a file server for 3 PCs in a home network.
    The WHS should sleep/standby all day, except if one of the PCs is booted and ready to work.
    Shutting down all PCs should set the WHS back to sleep mode.
    How to do?

    • mhweb

      Thank you for your comment! Now, You could try setting the NIC (Network Interface Card) in WHS to allow wake up the system, then just set WHS to go to sleep after 10mins of no activity. Or you could use SmartPower to do this.
      Thanks,