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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Laptop Short Battery Life/Hidden Processes?

    Hi,

    My fairly new (6 months) HP iCore5 laptop is running down after perhaps 90min. It also seems to run down when it is 'sleeping'. I have had -several- tense conversations with HP where they insist the battery is fine and want me to send back the entire unit. Before I do that, I wonder if maybe there is some 'process' going on which is running down the battery prematurely.

    I know about ProcessMonitor, but I confess I find it -very- confusing. I don't know how to use it to monitor for power consumption.

    Now here's the other thing... I've noticed the little network 'alive' light on the side of the laptop glows even when the thing is asleep. Also: when I look @ the WAP (a re-purposed Linksys WT54G) I use to connect to my home 10BaseT wired network, the active light glows..again when the laptiop is asleep. Is this just paranoia on my part or does it mean real activity that should not be going on?

    QUESTIONS:
    1. How do I monitor which processes are active...even when the machine is asleep?
    2. How do I tell which processes are using the most power?
    3. Is there an easy way to tell the latop to stop transmitting and receiving network packets WITHOUT having to log off and re-connect to wi-fi every time?

    TIA,

    ---JC

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger midnight's Avatar
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    I went through something similar with my HP laptop earlier this year, but mine did not relate to the battery usage, since I usually use the machine plugged in, but rather a hidden process running was eating up my bandwidth. We did a lot of trouble shooting here in the lounge and it was finally suggested that something was "phoning home". I tried a number of programs to monitor processes and like you find Process Monitor confusing. In the end I tried Net Limiter3 and found it easier to understand. I did locate the culprit (don't remember now what it was) and turned it off. No more problem. A search under my user name would bring up the discussions and I believe I ID'd the problem there.
    It was a time consuming project!

    Barbara

  3. #3
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    Power consumption will result mainly from CPU use and disk access. Resource monitor should be enough to have a look at these two aspects.
    I don't know of any specific program to determine energy consumption by a specific program or process.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Check you BIOS to ensure that you have the S3 state enabled, this state will afford the best power conservation and efficiency when you put the laptop to sleep.
    Go through you power management applet and configure it for what should be a laptop's power saving settings.

    Some operating system running processes should be killed in laptops, like indexing and search, as the best example.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-11-08 at 21:35.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the replies. Here's where I'm at...

    NB: I opened my laptop @ 4pm and the power meter showed 55%. I closed the lid. At 6:45pm I opened the lid and it's at 37%. I don't get it.

    NB: I installed Net Limiter 3. It looks interesting.

    NB: I checked the BIOS settings... unfortunately, like a LOT of stuff on this laptop, HP attempts to hide (or perhaps 'dumb down') a lot of things in order to save people from themselves. And the things one can adjust is -very- limited. There is no 'S3' option... as I know would be in some other BIOS setups I've seen,


    OK... now how do I proceed to troubleshoot? Do I start Perfmon and/or NetLimiter and 'watch' for various things? Is there a logging facility that doesn't require hours of research? What should I be looking for?

    TIA.

    ---JC

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    NB: I opened my laptop @ 4pm and the power meter showed 55%. I closed the lid. At 6:45pm I opened the lid and it's at 37%. I don't get it.
    That sounds to me like the laptop is not entering sleep state.

    Try running task manager and/or perfmon for a couple of minutes to establish some activity on their graphs, then put the laptop to sleep as you currently do for a few minutes. Wake it back up and there should be a plateau of 0% cpu usage in there whilst it was sleeping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntower View Post
    NB: I opened my laptop @ 4pm and the power meter showed 55%. I closed the lid. At 6:45pm I opened the lid and it's at 37%. I don't get it.
    The sleep state will mean some energy consumption too. Almost 3 hours and 8% doesn't seem that much, even if I have never noticed how much does my laptop uses in a similar situation. If the laptop was not in a sleep state, I am almost sure it would have used more than 8%.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I agree, that does not seem a great amount consumed in 3 hours. Any state other than powered down will consume power. that is a given. Whenever my laptop is at home I have it plugged in to keep my battery charged. When on battery, my battery does discharge rather quickly because I like a brighter screen and do have indexing enabled. I know this is true so I plan accordingly. If I will be in a situation where I can not plug the laptop in, then I carrry the charge cord with me.

    JC, if this seems to be a problem for you, you might consider a higher power battery. Most manufacturer's offer a higher power option for additional cost. 3rd party sellers also have higher power batteries available.
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  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I already know, that this answer will cause a few eyebrows to raise, but I just gotta say it anyway. OK?

    I run all my 14 computers, including four portables, in just two modes......ON and OFF. That should be simple for anyone to understand. If it ain't OFF, cold and dark, then it's still ON to some extent. ON, means it's drawing Some Power. There's absolutely NO way around that. So if you don't want your portable computer running its batteries down, turn it OFF, when it's not being used.
    And, as much or as often as possible, plug the portable into its AC-DC power supply.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
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