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Chapter 13. Using Windows on a Notebook ... > Managing Power on a Portable PC

Managing Power on a Portable PC

Recent and new-model portable and desktop PCs feature power management capabilities that let you specify schemes for conserving power (and battery life) by shutting down devices (such as hard disks, CD-ROMs, parallel and serial ports, and so on) after a specified time of inactivity. Windows Me takes advantage of these hardware designs and offers a software control for power management schemes under the Power Management object of the Control Panel.

ACPI Support

To use the Windows Me power management features, your PC must support power management through its BIOS. Read your PC's documentation to find out whether the machine supports power management and to determine how to enable the capability in the BIOS.

If you can get a BIOS upgrade that supports the more advanced ACPI power management standard (see the following), install that upgrade before you install Windows Me, so that the extra features of ACPI will be recognized and supported by Windows Me.

Before you install a BIOS upgrade to your system, follow these steps for safety:

  • Back up your important information.

  • If your BIOS update program lets you make a backup copy of your current BIOS image, make a backup first before replacing it with a newer version.

  • Make sure you download the correct BIOS update for your system. Be especially careful if you are trying to find a BIOS update for a "white box" generic system assembled from miscellaneous parts. You must contact the motherboard maker for updates in such cases.

  • A flash BIOS update takes as long as three minutes to complete. If you lose power during the update, or install an incorrect BIOS update, your system will not operate.

You'll find much more about BIOS updates, including troubleshooting, in Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 12th Edition, from Que.

If you need to locate a BIOS update for a motherboard in a generic computer or have other BIOS update questions, see Wim's BIOS Page online at http://www.ping.be/bios.



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