Saving Battery Power

Were in the day of "Portable Consumer Electronics" and as such, were all aware of how we need to save battery power.
With most devices, short of not using them there is not very much we can about saving battery power.
Laptops on the other hand have a wide array of settings that can greatly effect battery performance.

This list is some of my tried and true "Tips & Techniques" for maximizing the run time from a single charge.

  1. Make sure your hard drive is “Defragged”.
    A “Fragmented” hard drive is going to cause your hard drive to work harder to find the information it is wanting to retrieve.
    Any physical movement in the laptop (CD Drive included, that’s #2) is going to quickly deplete your battery.
    Having a regularly defragged hard drive also has the added benefit of increased performance…
  2. Empty out your CD / DVD Drive.
    Even if you don’t plan on using it, windows will spin up the disc from time to time as part of general windows activities.
    As we learnt in #1, any physical movement is a battery killer.
    If you need information that is on the CD / DVD, try copying the data to your hard drive.
  3. Still on the physical bandwagon, speakers also fall into the realm of battery killer.
    Disable any sound schemes that  may produce pleasant but un-needed bings and beeps
  4. Kill any background processes you do not explicitly need.
    ie. When you install a lot of “Freeware” or “Shareware” you usually get extra software that you did not intend on installing.
    These types of program usually add themselves to the start-up file within windows and as such they run at every boot. The extra “Clock cycles” need to process these programs are wasteful when talking about saving battery power.
    Weed out unnecessary programs running as start-ups by launching the System Configuration Utility from Run – Msconfig – Tab: Startup. Uncheck the programs which you don’t want to launch and reboot the computer once.
  5. Get familiar with power management through the ‘Power Options’ applet in the Control Panel. Both XP and Vista come with advanced power management features which shut off components like the monitor and/or the hard drive after specified intervals. This again depends on the chosen ‘Power Schemes’ (for XP) in the same applet. For instance in XP, ‘Max Battery’ under Power Schemes can be selected for maximum battery optimization.
  6. Hibernate is better than Sleep. Understanding the difference between the to is critical.
    Sleep, suspends all devices except from the RAM, therefore keeping your current state active (ie. Your programs and information are still there)
    Keeping the RAM active like this consumes battery power, albeit a small amount.
    Hibernate, the takes the contents of your RAM and rights its all to the hard drive, then totally powers down
    your laptop.
  7. We all know more RAM is better, but more RAM can also improve battery life.
    Having more RAM means your system will use less Virtual Memory, and as we know, virtual memory is just space on the hard drive, and again the less work we make the hard drive do the better. (do you notice any trends)
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