Windows 7 Power Problem Solutions : Sleep Mode & Energy Report

There are already numerous number of Windows 7 tips on this blog. The hibernate feature is a very important feature that is missing by default in Windows 7. There is a similar feature, which is most useful to laptop users, i.e the Sleep mode. Using the two tips that will presented in this post, you can save the power consumed by your PC and also troubleshoot any sleep errors.

For most of the time recently, whether it’s Vista or XP, it has been really irritating to try putting your PC to sleep. Whatever may be the reason, whether it’s for security or to save power, putting your computer to sleep can be a really tedious task, if you cant’ understand what is preventing your PC from putting your PC to sleep.

Windows 7 comes up with two sweet functions, which can help you troubleshoot your sleep problems.

Determine Which Sleep Mode your PC Supports
Many Windows users are still unaware that there are different kinds of sleep modes. Unfortunately, all PC’s do not support all the sleep modes. What sleep modes your computer or laptop supports, really depends on hardware, software and the version of Windows you are using.

To see which sleep modes your computer supports, open an elevated command prompt in Windows 7. This can be simply done in Windows 7, by clicking “Start” button and type “cmd” in the search box. Do not press “Enter”. Right click “cmd” under Programs and “Run as Administrator”. This will open a command window, with the path being C:\Windows\system32. This ensures, that you have opened an elevated command prompt.

At the command prompt, type the following and press the Enter key.

powercfg –a

There is gap between the first word and –a. Windows 7 will display a similar screen like the below snapshot.

 Windows 7 Power Problem Solutions : Sleep Mode & Energy Report
As you can see, my computer only supports S1 and S3 sleep modes. Here is a list of possible supported sleep modes.

S1. Only the hard drives and monitor power down.
S2. The CPU is powered down but the computer’s memory remains fully powered to retain all software states upon waking up.
S3. Similar to S2 but only a minimal amount of power is supplied to the computer’s memory. This mode takes Windows 7 longer to wake up from.
S4. This is Hibernation mode. Windows 7 saves the current state of your PC to the hard drive and completely powers down. Upon waking up, Windows 7 restores the computer’s memory and software to the same state as the moment before Hibernation mode was activated.

How to Produce an Energy Report

There is another little function in Windows 7, which will generate an Energy Report for Windows 7. In the elevated command prompt you’ve already opened type the following.

powercfg /energy

There is a gap between the first word and /.  You will see a similar screen, just as the snapshot as below in Windows 7.

 Windows 7 Power Problem Solutions : Sleep Mode & Energy Report

As you can see, there are some errors, warnings and information in my energy report. When the energy report is generated, it’ll also display the location of the energy report which is in HTML.  You can open the report and see the log for errors and warnings and make suitable corrections. For eg. when I changed my power settings, using “Power Options”  in Control Panel, from “High Performance” to “Balanced”, my errors decreased from 9 to 6.

I’ll admit sincerely, that just by looking at the Windows 7 Energy report, one cannot correct the issues, but at least it’ll be a handy useful tool to the naive user. Another way of getting solutions to the issues, is to submit the errors in forums.
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