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Windows Thread, Power Scheme Frustration in Technical; Hi All, Hope you're enjoying the half-term whatever you're doing. Well I'm at work, and one of my tasks is ...
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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Power Scheme Frustration

    Hi All,

    Hope you're enjoying the half-term whatever you're doing.

    Well I'm at work, and one of my tasks is to figure out why random student machines are adopting the portable laptop power scheme which causes them to go into hibernation (which is a total PITA as I'm sure you know).
    So far I have tried changing the scheme via powercfg logon scripts AND using Server 2008's power scheme setting tool under GPO>Preferences>Control Panel Settings>Power Options>New Power Options (Windows XP), and still the affected machines won't change their stubborn ways.
    I have also installed the CSE pack on the machines so this shouldn't be the cause - it should be pulling down these power settings from Server 2008 R2 GPO shouldn't it? I'd really prefer to roll out power settings via GPO if I can, as powercfg login scripts seem a real pain to roll out.

    The only other thing I can think of is once upon a time we installed EZ-GPO, and although back in the day it never worked, it seems to have worked itself on random machines in our student machines OU. I have tried deleting all traces of the blasted software (reg keys etc) but the scheme still remains, and I can't change every one manually.

    Any thoughts? Very frustrated (and apologies for SaG - I'm very high on caffeine.)

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    We went through this pain barrier a few years ago. We spent ages trying to get EZ-GPO to work but the results were pretty inconsistent and it doesn't support Vista or later. In the end we've settled on Data Synergy's PowerMAN. This lets us push power policies out to each machine and each user. The bits I liked most were that we could setup a different policy for when nobody is logged on and have some cool reports to show it was working. This made a huge difference to our power management project which we worked out paid for itself in about 3 months. There is a page on their website comparing with EZ-GPO and Windows alone:
    PowerMAN PC Power Management Software Technical

    We found the PowerMAN technical support great and have recently bought their WakeMyPC product for remote access.

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply. I just can't understand why despite specifying a scheme in the student group policy it is not overriding the existing power scheme on the affected machines.

    I was really hoping someone could offer a solution which doesn't involve the install of another third party application.

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Wow, so no-one else has had any issues with XP power schemes under server 2008 R2?

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    I suspect that rather than this being no-one has experienced problems, most people have tried, realised that the power settings and GPP do not work well at all and gave up before they found a solution.

    EZ-GPO was a good idea, but as you say had many many problems and on some machines would simply not apply policies.

    Unfortunately for all versions of Windows the power policies are stored in the registry in a crappy way so the only really reliable solutions are to either:

    1. configure all your power settings exactly as you want them in the base OS image and Default User profile then deploy them.
    2. Use 3rd party solution which may offer more than just configuration of power policies.

    Sorry I cannot be more help.

    Dave

  6. Thanks to DavidIrwin from:

    basicchannel (22nd February 2013)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Are you setting the Group Policy Preferences under User or Computer Configuration? I have used GPP to turn off standby (hibernation is turned off with GP) on XP and 7, by changing the Computer Configuration settings.

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    The problem in Windows XP and earlier is that power policies are stored in both the HKLM and HKCU registry branches. This was designed to allow the policy to roam with the user. Unfortunately this doesn't work very well in practice as the two components interact with each other resulting in very hit or miss outcome. Most commercial power management software includes features to clean-up this mess and Microsoft obviously thought better of it because they completely redesigned things to be workstation-only policies in Windows Vista and later.

    GPPs can work but they are only preferences. They overwrite the logged on users settings at logon. Unless you hide/ban the Control Panel tools users can subsequently change these settings and inconsistencies emerge the next time the user roams to another workstation. In addition GPPs only let you apply the settings that are present in the Control Panel such as sleep and hibernate. You can't configure different policies for different times or combinations of sleep, shut down, logout and wake-up.

    All of the leading power management products are based upon an agent technology. This means that a process is running in the background to monitor system state and apply policies according the to the rules you intend. This means much more flexible policies can be applied to really work with the intended user behaviour rather than against it. The second differentiator between the leading commercial solutions and Windows alone is most solutions include some kind of anti-insomnia (sometimes called enforcement) feature. This prevents rouge applications from playing havoc with your policy and ensures things run as expected.

    The purpose of power management is to limit waste (and save cost). Commercial solutions like PowerMAN have to justify themselves against doing nothing or imperfect no-cost approaches. They do this by offering more policy features and usually some kind of reporting. In most cases the cost can be justified by doing the job much better and being able to measure (and prove) that the job was indeed a success.

    In environments with hundreds or even thousands of workstations the cost savings can be huge.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    Wow, so no-one else has had any issues with XP power schemes under server 2008 R2?
    I'm similarly frustrated with Windows 7 and server 2008 R2 - and resisted commenting as I didn't have anything to offer other than things I've tried that didn't work...

  10. Thanks to jmak from:

    basicchannel (22nd February 2013)

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidIrwin View Post

    1. configure all your power settings exactly as you want them in the base OS image and Default User profile then deploy them.
    This is what makes it extra frustrating. The fact that A: it's completely random, and B: some of the machines affected were produced from an image that had the correct power scheme and have subsequently changed.

    Has anyone tried remedying this with a batch or VB script instead? I tried with a powercfg login script but have had no luck. Perhaps someone has tried something else before I start looking towards power management software?

    Sorry if I've been pestering, and I appreciate everyone's help, even if it's just someone saying they've experienced the same thing. It doesn't matter if you think you have no answer. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in this,

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    The problem is the split policy between machine and user. Every time a new user logs on the problem can be recreated and a roaming user with a "broken" user policy portion can spread an issue to other workstations. A few years ago I encountered a large institution with power management reporting. Over a period of time the policy "broke" on more and more workstations. The issue was traced back to a broken roaming user profile that "broke" every machine it logged onto and every other user that subsequent logged onto those workstation. The effect was basically viral with the symptoms growing rapidly over a few day period. This problem only effects Windows 2000/XP/2003. It cannot happen in later OS.

    A login script that consistently sets the policy for each user as they login will work BUT you will need to relax (e.g. secedit) the security on the machine portion of the power management policy so that both machine and user keys are updated in synchronisation. If you follow this approach users will be able to change the policy but it will revert on next logon. A less convoluted approach would be to use a tool like PowerMAN to do it for you.

    Jim

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Has anyone got any good links for troubleshooting why logon scripts aren't applying in a particular OU? It's related to this issue where I've tried to apply a powercfg.bat logon script which weren't being applied with no errors in the event logs. After running a GPReport and RSOP report a computer within the affected OU is applying the correct startup scripts but not the correct assigned logon ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by basicchannel View Post
    Wow, so no-one else has had any issues with XP power schemes under server 2008 R2?
    Not had the issue here, but all my machines are running Windows 7 or they do not connect to the domain if they are XP.

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    basicchannel's Avatar
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    Totally given up on gpo power management for XP. Using a powercfg script instead. Thanks for the tips and roll on Windows 7 rollout.

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    We have been using PowerMAN to sort this out for years and it works lovely at a reasonable price also the management team like the statistics and graphs showing how much we are saving. Check out the info and case studies on there site:
    PowerMAN PC Power Management Software

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