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How to change the default power scheme to prevent XP Pro machines from going into standby mode or prevent the standby mode completely (turn off in a device driver?) ?

I have found answers to similar questions, APIs, utilities to change user power profile but not exactly what I want. I need it to stay on, no Wake on LAN... just never go into standby.

This machine is unattended and sits in a server room and has been set (somehow, sometime ago) to go into standby mode after 1 hour by default when no profile is selected, so when the user logs off - 1 hour and I have to get into server room in person.

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You can use the POWERCFG.EXE program to configure power management. Power management settings prior to logon are a little dicey. I'd assign an AD startup script with the following in it to the computer:

for /f "usebackq tokens=2*" %i IN (`powercfg /query ^| find "Name"`) DO powercfg /change "%i" /standby-timeout-ac 0

That will determine the currently-selected power configuration profile name, and then assign the standby timeout when on AC power to 0 (which means "never").

If you can't run it as an AD Startup Script, you could try running it as SYSTEM by opening a command-prompt and doing an:

AT (time now + one minute) /interactive cmd

That will cause a SYSTEM command prompt to open in one minute (or less). If it doesn't open you probably didn't get it done in time. You can do an "AT" to see the queued scheduled jobs and see if it's set to "tomorrow" (meaning that you didn't make it in time).

I never remember if setting a power setting after logon, and then rebooting, causes that power setting to "stick" for the .DEFAULT user or not. It's a mess in Windows XP-- I know that. It gets better in Vista and beyond w/ group policy-based management of power settings.

If you want to get into a group-policy-based power management regime for your Windows XP machines in general, have a look at the US EPA's EZ_GPO power management tool:

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+1 for wow-factor. Even though I listed a simple answer, which I think may suffice, your answer here has given me a great idea for an AD script for work. Thanks. I may continue to follow you around collecting your scraps. – cop1152 Jun 26 '09 at 0:06
We're doing power management stuff w/ startup scripts at several Customer sites (albeit not exactly like that above-- we make our own profile and set the settings the way we want them). To say that I am a control-freak with respect to getting computer configurations in a perfect state using automation tools is like saying that an ocean is a small body of water. – Evan Anderson Jun 26 '09 at 0:20
I am a relentless perfectionist as well...and I am never satisfied. It is both the reason for my success and the reason that I can never relax. Here it is 4 hours after work and I am working from home. Thanks again for some great advice! – cop1152 Jun 26 '09 at 0:36

control panel>power options (or you can right click on desktop>select properties>screensaver>power)

You can adjust all power settings from here. I also disable hibernate while I am in the area.

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Your answer shows that you clearly did not read the original question. The O.P. is asking how to adjust power settings for when nobody is logged on — i.e. system–wide settings. In XP, the power settings are per-user. Evan Anderson’s answer is the correct one (notice how he runs the utility as the SYSTEM user?). – Jeremy Visser Oct 24 '11 at 9:15
EA is ALWAYS correct..thanks for posting a totally useless comment to a question long ago was it? – cop1152 Oct 24 '11 at 13:59

I prevent my users from accessing Power Configurations at all. I set up a computer with the power profile I want. Then through regedit go to Hkey_Users\"user"\Control Pannel\PowerCfg\Power Policies\0 and copy the key and paste it to the user that is wrong. Just make sure under PowerCFG the currentPowerPolicy is set to 0 as well. Then you can automate this in group policy or through remote registry if you only need to fix a few. It isn't pretty but it works.

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