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Extending the Life of Your Laptop Battery
Author: Chris Herzog
Manufacturer: N/A
Source: Tech Tips
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Extending the Life of Your Laptop Battery
April 30, 2007

You are Getting Sleepy:

Hibernate and Standby are two main energy conserving features provided by Windows XP. The standby state turns off devices such as your monitor and the hard drive and the entire computer switches to a low-power state. It is easy to return where you had left off as standby leaves applications and files open on your laptop. You should only use it for short term purposes such as a short term break you may need. Keep in mind that nothing is written to the hard drive and everything is still only being stored in memory. This means that data has not been stored permanently and can be lost. Hibernate mode is another feature that can be used if you want to leave the computer overnight or even over the weekend and come back to where you left off. It writes an image of your entire laptop's current "state" to a special file on your hard drive. It takes a little longer to hibernate than it does to stand by as data are written to the hard drive before the system shuts off, but you can leave your computer in hibernate mode for days without any adverse effects.

Low battery warnings are provided when the charge drops to a certain level and the battery needs to be recharged. You can adjust these settings using power management features according to your needs. You should set it to allow ample time to switch to external power and save your work. 10-15% charge remaining is considered a safe setting to trigger such a warning so you can not only switch to external power but also save your work. Windows XP also allows for your laptop to automatically enter hibernation mode when your battery level reaches this pre-set threshold, thereby saving all of your open work (and maybe your job or your sanity in the process).

Power v. Performance:

To access the power management features on your laptop, simply double-click the battery icon in the lower-right corner of your screen (on the Task Bar), or go to Start > Control Panel > Power Options. Proper power management of these devices is an extremely useful feature, and will help you to strike the ideal performance v. battery life balance.

Even though battery performance declines over time, it is possible to prolong per-charge and overall battery life by taking simple steps.

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