Bigfix Pilot: Testing Power Management

Good morning, everyone.

We are ready to test the power management features of the Bigfix system on ITS workstations. Here is what we are planning to do:

  1. Create a two new policies that will configure power management settings on participating desktop computers.
  2. The first policy will be for ‘daytime’, will apply from 7:30 AM till 5:30 PM and will be configured more towards performance and less towards power savings. Planned settings are for the computer to power off the monitor after 15 minutes of inactivity and to never put the computer to sleep. This is equivalent to the default Windows 7 power profile of “High Performance”.
  3. The second policy will be for ‘off-hours’ and is focused on increasing power savings. Planned settings are for the computer to power off the monitor after 5 minutes of inactivity and to put the computer to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  4. Once the profiles are configured, they will be silently pushed out to all of the machines in the test group (about 20 as of now). No user intervention is required and there should be no noticeable impact, other than having the new settings take affect. The push should take place sometime today.

For clarification, when a Windows 7 computer goes to sleep, it will act as if it is powered off but is, in fact, just pretending. The screen will power down, the PC fan will shut down, and the power light may flash. Files open as the time of sleeping will be either kept in memory (which is still powered on) or saved to disk (this depends on how the machines “hybrid” power setting is configured). Touching the keyboard or pressing the power button restores the system, like recovering from a screensaver. It just takes a bit longer. At least, this is what I’ve experienced on my machine; YMMV. 🙂

If these power settings affect you positively or negatively, I’d like to know about it. Please e-mail me or leave a comment on this blog post. We can exclude machines if needed.

Finally, we still only have 20 or so machines participating in the pilot. We’d like to double that number to get better results. If you’ve not yet installed the Bigfix client on your desktop or notebook PC or Mac, please do so. The instructions from Todd’s previous e-mail are included below for your convenience. You’re help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Installation Instructions:

1.     You can find the necessary files here: \\uis11\stayout$\BigFix

2.     Run the installer for your OS, and follow the prompts.  No settings need to be changed from their default.

3.     If you are on a Mac, copy the build.conf file into /Library/Application Support/BigFix/BES Agent/__BESData/ directory.

5 thoughts on “Bigfix Pilot: Testing Power Management

  1. Andrew Fitzpatrick

    Can the first policy be extended until midnight? I have all of my tools on my desktop, and occasionally have to remote into my machine after hours to fix something.


  2. Kevin

    Windows 7 is able to wake up from sleep or hibernate using remote desktop. The separate off-hours policy shouldn’t be necessary.

    I have tested and it works on my Windows machine.

    1. Curtis Spears Post author

      I was able to confirm Kevin’s findings (Thank you, Kevin). In my testing, I found that the wake up response took several seconds after trying to connect the first time. I would make a connection attempt using Remote Desktop, it would fail, then about 10 seconds later the PC would begin powering up. So people may need to try to reconnect once a minute two or three times before they’ll be connected. With a little explanation and education, I think most people will be fine with this behavior.

  3. Curtis Spears Post author

    I noticed tonight that the off-hours setting for power off monitor/sleep had been incorrectly set to 1/5 minutes of inactivity, respectively. This may have caused the monitor to power off sooner than desired or the machine to enter sleep mode more quickly than planned for anyone still using their computer at this time. The error was corrected by 6:00 PM and once the sleeping machines are awakened, they should adopt the new settings.

    If this caused any frustration for anyone, my sincerest apologies.

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