View Full Version : Improving battery life in Win 7?

10-05-2015, 01:02 PM
I have just picked up a 2nd hand laptop with a fresh copy of windows 7 and am trying to improve the battery life / performance.
Eventual plan is to buy new battery and an SSD, but first I am trying to see what I can do with the software side of things.

Things I have done so far:
Running windows classic theme and turned off all animations/visual effects
Disabled unused devices (bluetooth / GSM modem / fingerprint reader) and associated services
Removed any unnecessary software, not running an antivirus package
Disabled any obviously unnecessary startup processes/services
Disabled search indexing

From time to time various things will still use a chunk of hard disk or CPU (windows update for example, but I'm sure there are other things).

Is there any way to pinpoint which services / processes are using CPU / network / disk resources? Maybe some monitoring/profiling software which will graph this over time per process / service?

What services / processes are necessary and what can I do away with? (I am just using the laptop for internet / office type stuff)
How much resources does Windows Defender use, should I disable it? (I'm not too concerned with viruses / spyware)

Is there any way to tell windows update to get out of the way / pause when the system is running on battery?

The CPU is a first gen Core i5 520M - I don't think undervolting is possible with this, but are power states etc optimiseable over their default settings?

What else can I do?


10-05-2015, 01:59 PM
You are overlooking the biggest drain and that is the screen. Hard to do much about this unless you turn down the brightness heaps.

Look here http://lifehacker.com/5566020/how-to-maximize-the-battery-life-of-your-windows-laptop

10-05-2015, 04:12 PM
I have checked power consumption of the screen by comparing wattage (using vendor's battery info app) with screen on high and low brightness and the change is from ~10 to ~8 watts. Only about 20% improvement. I usually use the screen at about 1/3 brightness anyway.

After waking the laptop from sleep just before, according to Resource Monitor a service (inside a svchost.exe host process) was reading 5-40mb / sec for 2 minutes from my disk. I want to be able to find what service is doing this!

I have learned how to use Resource Monitor to view CPU usage for individual services inside a single svchost.exe service host process. I can't find how to do this for disk usage - does anyone know how to do this?

10-05-2015, 04:49 PM
Use process explorer from sysinternals to see those hidden processes.
I think you're wasting your time though.
You're only going to slow the computer down or turn off stuff that is actually needed. And it's not going to make a lot of difference anyway.

10-05-2015, 08:02 PM
disable indexing, was chewing 5% of my battery. minimum brightness is a must AS IS TURNING THE SCREEN off after 3min. i can get 15 hours out of my netbook if im listening to music and occasionally googling something in an rdp session.

11-05-2015, 12:12 AM
My advice would be to finally jump on the ssd train. The corsair ssd hard drive I got (http://www.shoppingexpress.com.au/laptop-accessories) a few months ago has increased my old HP's battery by 30-40% percent, which isn't much considering I can't go without it for longer than an hour or so, but it just shows how much the regular hard drives tend to drain.

12-05-2015, 01:06 PM
Get a new battery, or even better, a 3rd party one with higher capacity (if available)