Save Notebook Power by disabling unneeded devices

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 22, 2007
Updated • Apr 27, 2014

Most notebooks tend to run out of power quickly and most of the time in an inappropriate moment. What most users do not know is that every component in the notebook is using power even if you are not using it at the moment. This leads to the conclusion that disabling unneeded components would save power and thus prolong the work time.

We can disable and enable devices using a Microsoft tool called Devcon, a command line alternative to the device manager. I will show you how to use devcon to disable and enable devices using two simple batch files and the command line. Please download devcon from Microsoft and unpack it afterwards.

Open the command line in Windows by pressing Windows R, typing cmd and pressing enter. Now navigate to the directory that devcon has been unpacked into. You change directories using the command cd and hard drives by typing their drive letter . To change the directory to drive f you would use type f: for instance.

Now that we are in the directory where devcon.exe is located use the following command to create a list of all devices of the computer:

devcon find * > c:\devices.txt

This will save the device list as a text document in your c:\ hard drive. Please note that is is important to not disable system components that are needed. It is safe to disable components like WLAN, modem, sound cards, cd and dvd drives, secondary hard drives and the like if you do not need them right now. Never disable motherboard components, cpu, ram, display, video card and primary hard drives.

The devices document has a unique identifier on the left side and a description of the device on the right side. We need to use the unqiue identifier to disable and enable devices. We will use the entry for my 3,5" floppy drive as an example. The unique identifier of the floppy drive is FDC\GENERIC_FLOPPY_DRIVE\5&6EDBAB&0&0

devcon disable FDC\GENERIC_FLOPPY_DRIVE\5&6EDBAB&0&0

Those are the two commands that we work with. It is possible to use wildcards if the remaining name clearly identifies the device, I would suggest to always use the full name.

Create a file called stop-devices.bat and add all devcon disable commands to it. Each command will be written in its own row.
Now create a file called start-devices.bat and add all devcon enable commands in it in the same way. Make sure both are placed in the same directory that devcon.exe is placed in.

A double-click on one of the bat files will disable or enable all devices mentioned in there. You could use the command line as well to disable or enable a device to see how it works. Just use the full command to do this.

Article Name
Save power on mobile PCs by disabling devices
You can disable devices on your laptop that you do not use to save power when you are using it in a mobile environment.

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  1. jarid said on January 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Well if anyone is Truly interested in Saving Energy you will like this site. It says you can save upwards of 25% on your electric bill. At your home or business. Their Lighting manager for businesses even guarantee 20% or refund. If your company can save some money then they may lay off less people. I hope, I’m an optimist.

  2. Martin said on November 22, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks David, great observation ;)

  3. David Laing said on November 22, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Slight correction – command line to get the devices into a file should read:
    devcon find * > c:\devices.txt

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