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Disconnect idle USB devices

The ability to turn off USB devices after an idle period is not supported under Windows 98/SE, so disconnect them from your laptop when not in use to save power. Friday, March 16, 2001 Disconnect idle USB devices The ability to turn off USB devices after an idle period is not supported under Windows 98/SE, so disconnect USB devices from your laptop when not in use to save power.

USB devices require a certain amount of bus activity in order to maintain communication with a laptop. That activity prevents the CPU from switching to the “C3” (or “clock stopped”) power-down state. Since the CPU can normally spend a lot of time in the C3 state, this can save a great deal of power. Without this state, battery time will be significantly shortened. Unfortunately, the ability to turn off USB devices after an idle period is not supported under Windows 98/SE, so your only real workaround is to disconnect any USB devices from your laptop if you’re not using them–this allows the laptop to use all of its power-saving modes.

Formerly part of Computer Currents, Stephen J. Bigelow’s Computer Advisor column has been resurrected on computeruser.com as a daily tech tip column. Find Stephen at www.dlspubs.com.

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