A. Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) include the Powercfg utility, which lets you set the power configuration options from the command line (which, in turn, you could call from a script). The Microsoft article "How to use Powercfg.exe in Windows Server 2003" offers indepth information about the utility, but its basic usage is as follows:

To view the current power settings, use the /query switch, as the following example and output show:

powercfg /query

Field Description Value
----------------- -----
Name Always On
Numerical ID 3
Turn off monitor (AC) After 20 mins
Turn off monitor (DC) After 15 mins
Turn off hard disks (AC) Never
Turn off hard disks (DC) After 30 mins
System standby (AC) Never
System standby (DC) Never
System hibernates (AC) Never
System hibernates (DC) Never
Processor Throttle (AC) Not Supported
Processor Throttle (DC) Not Supported

You can also query the settings for a specific scheme (place the scheme in quotes if it contains spaces), as this sample command and output show:

powercfg /query "Home/Office Desk"

Field Description Value
----------------- -----
Name Home/Office Desk
Numerical ID 0
Turn off monitor (AC) After 20 mins
Turn off monitor (DC) After 5 mins
Turn off hard disks (AC) Never
Turn off hard disks (DC) After 10 mins
System standby (AC) Never
System standby (DC) After 5 mins
System hibernates (AC) Never
System hibernates (DC) After 20 mins
Processor Throttle (AC) Not Supported
Processor Throttle (DC) Not Supported

You can modify individual settings or change the entire scheme by using the /setactive switch, as this example shows:

powercfg /setactive "Always On"