Balancing Power Conservation and Performance with POWER.EXE (96603)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.0
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.2
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.21
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.22

This article was previously published under Q96603


The Power program (POWER.EXE) monitors keyboard polling and the Application Idle interrupt to determine if a system is idle; it monitors use of the hard disk, video functions, and MS-DOS functions to determine if a system is busy.

POWER.EXE may incorrectly determine that your machine is idle if you are using communication programs, computation-intensive programs, or other programs that infrequently access the hard disk. When POWER.EXE detects that the system is idle, it halts or slows down the CPU, which adversely affects application performance if your machine is not truly idle.


With the ADV[:MIN|REG|MAX] command line switch, you can indicate whether your higher priority is power savings or application performance. Specifically, the ADV parameter controls the keyboard polling detection. If application performance is suffering because of false idle detections, you can use the ADV:MIN option to trigger fewer false idle detections. However, this option provides minimal power savings when your machine is idle. The ADV:MAX option provides maximum power savings but increases the chances of false idle detections. The default setting is ADV:REG, which balances power conservation with performance.

Type "power" (without the quotation marks and without any parameters) at the MS-DOS command prompt to determine the current settings.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/24/1999
Keywords: KB96603