Weekly quickTIP

Who Moved Shutdown?

Some of us get teary-eyed for the good old days of XP and its Power button.

Back at the most recent TechMentor conference, I got into a great conversation about the changes to the operating system that comes with Vista. One attendee remarked that his biggest pain was reeducating users about how to change power states in Vista.

You see, the default action for clicking what we used to think of as the Power button -- now, instead it sets the computer into Sleep mode. Sneaky, eh? One would assume that the power button we've all come to know and love would still invoke a power off. But I guess Vista's a visionary operating system with new and visionary controls. Or, something like that.

If you liked the old way of powering off your system, you can change its behavior back to the old tried and true:

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on "System and Maintenance" and then "Power Options".
  3. Select a Power Management Plan and then click on "Change Plan Settings".
  4. Click on "Change advanced power settings".
  5. In the Power Options dialog that appears, expand "Power Buttons and Lid", and then expand "Start menu power button".
  6. Click on "Setting" and then choose the function you want the button to perform - "Sleep", "Hibernate", or "Shut down". Then, click OK to complete the process.

Or, if you really yearn for that old-fashioned feeling, you can call up an old style shut down dialog box by clicking on the taskbar or the desktop and hitting Alt+F4. This keystroke combination brings up the familiar drop-down dialog box asking “What do you want the computer to do?”

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What do I want it to do? Sleep? Hibernate? Heck, I'm holding out for the Hypersleep option like in the movie Alien. Now that'd be cool.

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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