JSI Tip 8313. ENERGY STAR's free EZ GPO tool allows a network administrator to centrally control power management settings using GPOs.

The EZ GPO SOFTWARE page contains:

Network administrators at organizations using the latest Microsoft servers (Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 servers) and operating systems (Windows 2000 or XP) often use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to manage their organization's desktops. However, as currently designed, GPOs cannot alter a computer's power management settings.

ENERGY STAR's free EZ GPO tool allows a network administrator to centrally control power management settings using GPOs. In addition to setting monitor power management, EZ GPO can also activate "system standby," which places the PC box to sleep.*

General Information
EZ GPO is a free tool for network administrators who manage Windows client workstations using GPOs under Active Directory. EZ GPO:

  • Provides centralized control of user power management settings to network administrators
  • Sets appropriate power management settings for both the computer monitor and PC box.
  • Uses the existing functionality on Windows 2000 and XP.
  • Requires no special hardware or network processes.

How it Works

  • Installs a single binary application executed from the startup group in the "Start Menu" under "All Users."
  • Reads the desired power management settings that are set using GPOs in integer and string value format.
  • Changes power management settings using Microsoft's core Application Programming Interface.
  • Intelligently selects only capable computers when activating "system standby." (Computers generally capable of using system standby reliably run Windows 2000 or higher with Pentium 4 chip sets capable of S3 standby mode.)

How to Install:

  • Install the ADM GPO template located at GPO/EZ_GPO.adm.
  • Enable the "Base Options" policy by choosing the defaults.
  • Enable and configure the "Options" policy if needed.
  • Enable the "Simple" policy and configure the values (in minutes).
  • Install the binary GPO/bin/EZ_GPO_Tool.exe on the client work stations (an installer is provided and can be used in most situations).
  • Configure to run from the "All Users" startup group in "C:\Documents and Settings."
  • Log out and then back in with a user who is set up to have the group policy.
* System standby places an inactive PC box into low-power sleep mode of 2-4 watts. Active PC boxes can use around 55 watts. The energy savings from activating "system standby" are equal to or greater than the savings from activating monitor power management. Please contact ENERGY STAR before activating "system standby" across your organization. Certain custom database applications and software/patch updating configurations may not be compatible with "system standby."

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