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PowerControl Screen Saver      Version 1.02 freeware!

Attention!

PowerControl Screen Saver 1.02 isn't capable to control monitor power in Windows XP SP2. But PowerControl Screen Saver 1.01 is still functional in this version of operating system. Most bugs of version 1.01, which were fixed in version 1.02, appear only in Windows 9X, this version works reliably in Windows XP. To download PowerControl Screen Saver 1.01 scroll down this window to download section. It is necessary to uninstall PowerControl Screen Saver 1.02 before installing PowerControl Screen Saver 1.01.

Probably I will not develop future versions of PowerControl Screen Saver because today's generation of monitors (both CRT and LCD) doesn't support Standby mode. Current video drivers both from ATI and NVidia also are not compatible with PowerControl.



When I have installed for the first time on one of computers new Microsoft's operation system Windows 98, I was disappointed. Has appeared, that this novelty, unlike Windows 95, does not allow to turn the computer monitor to Standby mode when the user has engaged in other businesses for a while (subsequently has appeared, that all newer Windows versions suffer by the same lack).

This function was actively used at office of company, in which I work, and it was necessary to search for a way to perform OS upgrade, not worsening its characteristics. Certainly, it was possible simply to take advantage of an opportunity of complete turning the monitor off provided by the new OS, having slightly increased timeout, and firstly it was happen to take exactly the same decision, but long "wake up" period of monitors and the reasonable anxiety for the CRT "health" has induced me to undertake a creating of this small program.

So the PowerControl Screen Saver has appeared. Being installed as active Windows Screen Saver, it works invisible to the user, and during the work starts any other Screen Saver, chosen by the user. At the same time it undertakes a task of the monitor power management, turning it to the energy saving modes at the necessary moments.

It is well-known, that Windows 2000 allows monitor power management only if the computer is ACPI-compliant or if it is notebook. PowerControl helps in this case too. It is capable to control monitor power in Windows 2000 only if video driver supports this function and BIOS is APM- or ACPI-compliant.

This Screen Saver allows to solve one more problem. Working in networks some computers quite often for a long time remain in a state, when no user have logged on. Having shown the logon prompt for a while, the system launches Screen Saver, but it is rather difficult to specify which one to take and how long to wait. The PowerControl Screen Saver allows, by opening the Advanced Settings window, to set these parameters, and additionally the system parameters of monitor power management for the Logon Screen (the last only in Windows 95).

Many noticed, that sometimes in Windows 95/98/Me "extra buttons" appear on the TaskBar. The caption of these buttons is "Screen Saver" or it is blank. Some Screen Savers leave such buttons after their termination. If you are using PowerControl Screen Saver of version 1.01 or later, this problem for you does not exist any more.

The program works in Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP. It can also work in Windows NT 4.0, but in this case monitor power management is not provided. For the work the program requires preliminary installation of Visual Basic 5.0 Runtime libraries. If you work in Windows 98/Me/2000/XP or in Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4 or later, these libraries are already installed. They can be also already installed with any other program. To check up presence of these libraries on your computer it is simple enough: without them the setup program Setup.exe will not start. The Visual Basic 5.0 Runtime libraries are not included in the PowerControl Screen Saver distributive set, but it is possible to download them from the following Internet address:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/vb50pro/utility/1/win98/EN-US/Msvbvm50.exe

The PowerControl Screen Saver is distributed freely. You may free-of-charge install it on any number of computers. Here you can download it.

How monitor power management works

Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS) standard defines methods and modes of monitor power management. Video card controls monitor power by combining presence of vertical and horizontal synchronization signals. The following power modes are defined:
  • PowerOn - The monitor and graphics adapter are both fully powered on and operational.
  • Standby - The monitor is running at a reduced power level that requires a short recovery time to PowerOn. The graphics adapter is powered on. All 32-bit Windows versions support this mode in its core, but only Windows 95 has means to configure and use it by user. This mode is labeled as "Low Power" in PowerControl User interface.
  • Suspend - The monitor is running at a substantially reduced power level that requires a possibly longer recovery time. The graphics adapter is off. Most monitors treat this mode the same as Standby. Windows doesn't support this mode.
  • PowerOff - The monitor and graphics adapter are both off, consuming minimal power. All 32-bit Windows versions support this mode in their core, and its using is configurable by user with one exception: in Windows 2000 the computer must be ACPI-compliant or mobile.
Not all monitors support power management. Very old monitors doesn't support power management at all and in very uncommon case such monitor may be damaged when it receives unsupported video signal. Nearly all LCD monitors and some new CRT monitors doesn't support Standby mode, they treat it as PowerOff mode. Please check monitor manual before using PowerControl.

On some monitors it's impossible to distinguish Standby and PowerOff modes using indicators on the front panel. Because cathodes of CRT tube in Standby mode remain heated, you may use following rule to distinguish these modes: usually the picture on CRT monitor appears in normal brightness during 1-2 seconds from Standby mode, and during 5-10 seconds from PowerOff mode.

Troubleshooting

Problem: Computer doesn't distinguish Standby and PowerOff modes in Windows 95, it turns monitor into mode defined in BIOS.
Solution: Turn on "APM 1.0 Compatibility" option in Control Panel -> Power -> Troubleshooting.

Problem: Computer doesn't turn monitor into Standby mode.
Solution: Not all video drivers support Standby mode. Try changing video drivers. For some video cards it may be hardware problem. Also, in some very old computers this problem may occur when BIOS doesn't support power management. Try BIOS updating.

Problem: Computer turns monitor into Standby mode instead PowerOff mode. It occurs with and without PowerControl.
Solution: It is video driver problem. Try changing it.

Problem: The monitor periodically turns on from Standby or PowerOff mode, and after several seconds turns back into corresponding mode.
Solution: It is a ghost effect from some programs running in background. In particular, this problem may be caused by the program which uses MAPI for periodic incoming mail checking (Microsoft Outlook 97/98/2000/2002, as well as some third-party products). Make sure that only PowerControl controls monitor power, and system monitor power management timers are off.

Problem: Screen Saver doesn't start.
Solution: It is a ghost effect from some programs running in background. In particular, this problem may be caused by the program which uses MAPI for periodic incoming mail checking (Microsoft Outlook 97/98/2000/2002, as well as some third-party products). Make mail checking interval greater than Screen Saver timeout.

Problem: Screen Saver starts and immediately exits. This behavior occurs only with some Screen Savers.
Solution: Probably, you have enabled "SnapTo" option in mouse driver settings. Because of this option when some incorrectly written Screen Savers start, the mouse pointer moves to the center of the screen, which causes Screen Saver termination. Try disabling "SnapTo" option or change Screen Saver.

Problem: PowerControl doesn't switch monitor modes when used with certain Screen Savers.
Solution: Most DirectX Screen Savers and some other doesn't allow monitor power management. If Screen Saver has option to not using DirectX or to not changing display resolution, try it, otherwise change Screen Saver.

Problem: Some Screen Savers are displayed incorrectly in Preview window.
Solution: It is chosen Screen Saver problem which can't display itself in window of non-standard size.

Problem: PowerControl doesn't save settings in Windows XP.
Solution: You must have administrative privileges to change PowerControl settings in Windows XP. The same problem may occur in Windows NT/2000 if it is set to enhanced security.

Problem: Advanced settings disabled in Windows 95/98/Me.
Solution: User Profiles disabled on this computer. In this case you don't need Advanced settings, all current settings apply to the Logon Screen too.

Problem: PowerControl doesn't save Advanced settings in Windows 95/98/Me.
Solution: The computer doesn't have registry key "HKEY_USERS\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop" It rarely occurs if User Profiles were enabled immediately after OS installation, mostly using System Policies. Try creating this key using Registry Editor. Be careful using this tool.

Problem: PowerControl doesn't control monitor power in Windows XP SP2.
Solution: Uninstall PowerControl 1.02, download PowerControl 1.01, install and use this version. PowerControl Screen Saver 1.02 is incompatible with Windows XP SP2.

Versions history:

10/26/99. Version 1.00.

11/29/99. Version 1.01. Added "extra button" removal from the TaskBar, fixed bug in uninstall procedure, which caused appearance on some computers of full-screen DOS window, added Russian version of interface.

08/17/00. Version 1.02. Fixed bug, which sometimes prevented turning on of the monitor, rewritten install and uninstall procedures, fixed some minor bugs.

If you have noticed any errors in this program or have proposals in its improvement, please inform author about them.

View Screen Shot (Windows 2000)
Download version 1.02 dated 08/17/00
pcss102e.zip (80 kB, English interface)
pcss102r.zip (81 kB, Russian interface)
Download version 1.01 dated 11/29/99
pcss101e.zip (65 kB, English interface)
pcss101r.zip (65 kB, Russian interface)

This page has been updated last time on 18-Sep-2004
2004 Sergey Merzlikin
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