Power Modes

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How to Use the Real-Time Clock and Backup Batteries in Your Laptop

Most laptops have, in addition to the main battery, two other much smaller batteries buried deep within the box: the real-time clock battery and the backup battery. [more…]

Power-Button Symbols on a Laptop

Laptops use a variety of power-button symbols, some common and some obscure. Blessed is the laptop owner whose laptop's power button has a symbol on it. And wise is he who recognizes the symbol as that [more…]

How to Log out of Your Windows Account

When several people have accounts on the same computer, you can log out to keep the computer on, toasty, and ready for someone else to log on and use it. Logging out of your Windows account is pretty simple [more…]

How to Turn On Your PC

You need to plug in your PC and devices before you can turn them on (obvious, right?). When all your computer components are plugged in and ready to go, turn on the computer: [more…]

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

An uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, is the best thing to have for hooking up your computer system to the wall socket. Basically, an uninterruptible power supply is a power strip combined with a battery [more…]

How to Conserve Your Laptop’s Battery Power During Travel

Thanks to smart battery technology, your laptop can be programmed to warn you when its battery is low. The idea is to act fast on those warnings when they appear — and to take them seriously! Dally at [more…]

Use a Power Strip for Your PC

Power strips allow you to plug in more devices than you have available sockets in the wall. Plug everything into a power strip and then plug that single power strip into the wall, as illustrated the following [more…]

Turn Windows Vista Off

You have more than one way to turn your computer off. In fact, the proper term isn’t even “turn the computer off.” No, you shut down the computer. As it turns out, turning the computer off is merely one [more…]

Types of Laptop Batteries

All laptops use batteries, but not all batteries are the same. It pays to know about the differences between lithium-ion, NiCad, and NiMH batteries, even before you buy a laptop. [more…]

Restart Windows Vista

You need to reset, or restart, Windows in two instances: whenever Windows tells you to restart after you install something new or make some change, or whenever Windows fails to cooperate. A restart clears [more…]

How to Use Your Laptop’s Windows Mobility Center

If you use Windows Vista, you can control many features on your laptop from one window: the Windows Mobility Center. The Windows Mobility Center presents laptop users with a slate of common places to visit [more…]

Set the Power Button Function in Windows

In order to avoid the problems and resulting troubleshooting associated with doing a hard PC shutdown, today’s computers have programmable power buttons. The computer comes with a factory setting to execute [more…]

Set the Windows Vista Software Power Button Function

Windows Vista features a software Power button on its Start menu. It can be programmed to sleep, hibernate, or shut down when clicked. Assigning one of those functions to that button is possible, following [more…]

Activate Hibernation on Windows PCs

Can’t find the Hibernation feature on your PC? Well, here’s how to troubleshoot that. The Hibernation feature must be activated in Windows before you can use it and, obviously, before it shows up on any [more…]

Activate Hybrid Sleep on Windows PCs

Somewhere between Sleep mode and hibernation is the hybrid sleep feature for your Windows 7 or Vista PC. (Hybrid sleep is not available in Windows XP). It’s like hibernation in that information stored [more…]

Recover from a PC Coma

Occasionally, a PC may go to sleep and not wake up. It gets stuck. Troubleshooting this issue is pretty simple. The problem isn’t as common as it once was, but the solution is the same. First, turn off [more…]

Troubleshoot PC Restart Problems

Two ugly restart issues may plague you and summon your troubleshooting skills. The first is the random restart, which is unexpected. The second is the automatic restart, or re-restart, which is unwanted [more…]

Troubleshoot PC Power Management Issues

The same innovations that increase your PC’s energy efficiency can be a source of troubleshooting issues. When hardware engineers set out to enhance the way computers manage power, various solutions culminated [more…]

How to Maintain a Laptop Battery

Your laptop’s battery won’t last forever no matter how you maintain it. But it may last just a little longer than otherwise if you follow a few basic maintenance practices. There’s very little you need [more…]

How to Troubleshoot the Laptop that Just Won’t Start

A laptop has several phases of “just won’t start.” The problem is compounded because a laptop has two power sources: When AC isn’t available, electricity is drawn from the laptop’s battery. So you know [more…]

How to Troubleshoot the Laptop that Won’t Wake Up

A wake-up problem arises when you put the laptop to sleep (in Stand By mode) or hibernate it. When you attempt to rouse the laptop, nothing happens. The cause may be power management issues or monitor [more…]

How to Change What Closing the Laptop Lid Does

Because you can close the lid on a laptop, you can quickly pick it up and get on the road. Closing the lid, however, can cause a number of things to happen. It depends on the settings. To find out what [more…]

How to Test Power Management Hardware on a Laptop

You can test your laptop’s power management hardware. However, bear in mind that if you find a power management issue, you have to turn over the laptop to the manufacturer [more…]

How to Update Power Management Drivers on a Laptop

Most often, power management issues are resolved by obtaining the latest version of your laptop’s ACPI power management software, or device driver. Ensuring that you have the latest version is something [more…]

How to Swap Batteries on a Laptop

Laptops don’t share a common battery size and shape. So, although you cannot swap batteries with another laptop user (unless they have exactly the same kind of battery), you can buy your laptop a second [more…]


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