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Windows 7/Vista Power Settings Not Working May 17th, 2010 by Ryan

 

Recently I began having trouble with my machine going to sleep and while awake spinning down hard drives.  Waiting for drives to spin back up when changing tabs in Firefox and trying to remote desktop and vnc into an asleep machine got old very quickly. What was maddening was that the power profiles under the control panel were configured to not do either of these.

Browsing some forums, at least one other person started having this issue after install an update for .NET 2.0, and although this might do it I am pretty sure this can happen for other reasons as well.

What is happening is that the registry entry that tells the system what power profile to use is not being updated when you save the settings in the control panel.  Here is how to fix it.

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1. First you need to have a power plan that is setup like you want in the control panel.

The quick way to do this is to open the start menu and type Power Options in the search bar and click on the result labeled Power Options under the Control Panel heading.

From here you can either click on “Change plan settings” next to one of the default profiles, or you can create your own by clicking “Create a Power Plan” in the left sidebar.

Choose the settings you would like and click save changes.

You can now exit the Power Options window.

2. The second part is to set the profile you just configured as the active one the system uses.  Since the normal method of just selecting it in the Power Options screen is broken we have to do it another way. You can do it by command line or if you are more adventurous by the registry.

The command line option is the safer one for most users who are not familiar with editing the registry.

Also here is a link to a Microsoft support listing detailing this fix as well:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935799

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2.1 Command Line Method

Open the start menu and int he search box type CMD and click the CMD or cmd.exe result listed under the Programs header. This will give you the black window with white text and a blinking cursor.

Type Powercfg /List and hit enter which should give a list of all the power profiles you have on your computer and more importantly their unique GUID identifiers.

To make our profile active we just type Powercfg -setactive GUID where GUID is replaced with the long string of numbers and letters corresponding to the power profile you want to use, and again hit enter.

Close the cmd window.

Your power profile should not be set active and all your problems should be solved!

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2.2 Registry Method

Open the start menu and int he search box type cmd and click the CMD or cmd.exe result listed under the Programs header. This will give you the black window with white text and a blinking cursor.

Type Powercfg /List and hit enter which should give a list of all the power profiles you have on your computer and more importantly their unique GUID identifiers. Keep this window open.

Open the registry by typing regedit in the start menu’s search bar and selecting the regedit.exe result under the Programs header.

In the registry navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ControlPanel\NameSpace\{025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D}

Right click on the PreferredPlan item in the right window pane and select Modify…

Replace the text in the Value data field with sting of numbers and letter that make up the GUID of the power profile you want to use.  This is located in the window we opened previously.

Hit OK.

Close both windows.

Your new profile should now be the active one used by the system and your problem should be solved.

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This is the method I used to fix the problem on my Windows 7 setup, but these instructions should work just as well if you are having the problem with Vista.

Also, here is a link I’ve found to a Microsoft Support page that details this same fix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935799

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