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The administrators of our workgroup would like the change the Windows XP power settings (specifically, screen blanking) for our PCs. We have admin access to all machines and the ability to launch a job running as the System account via SMS. As members of a much larger domain, modifying a GPO would involve lots of forms and negotiations, so preferred to be avoided.

powercfg.exe can be used to change the power settings, but that only seems to affect the current user. An existing GPO prevents non-admin accounts from directly using powercfg.exe themselves.

I suppose writing a script that modified each profile in the registry would work if run as System via SMS, but I was hoping for something a little simpler.

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We've been using the Terra Novum EZ_GPO power management configuration tool. It's BSD-style licensed open source (written for the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program), and it comes in an MSI package with a Group Policy administrative template suitable for rolling out to Windows XP clients using Active Directory Group Policy.

I know that you suggest that Group Policy isn't preferred, but this tool is really pretty slick. If you can't use Group Policy to deploy it, you could install the MSI on the computers to be managed using your SMS "launch a job" functionality, and put the registry settings that the ADM template would set statically into each computer's registry. Getting per-user settings would be difficult in that model, but you could just set a blanket "sane" per-machine setting that way and be done with it.

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Sorry to mention a GPO also, but group policy preferences do exactly what you want.

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