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To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.
3. Click the APM tab.
4. Check to select the Enable Advanced Power Management Support check box, and then click OK.
When Windows XP won’t powerdown automatically, the APM/NT Legacy Power Node may not be enabled. To enable this, right-click on the My Computer icon, click Properties | Hardware | Device Manager | View. Check the box labeled “Show Hidden Devices.” If it’s available on your computer, there will be a red X on the APM/NT Legacy Node. Try enabling it and see if this resolves the powerdown problem.
Or, to check the other side of the APM/ACPI coin, open the Power Options applet in Control Panel. If there is an APM tab, make sure the “Enable Advanced Power Management Support” box is checked.
This should resolve the powerdown issue in most cases. However, other factors can sometimes interfere with correct powerdown functioning. In that case, consider the following tips:
Microsoft power setttings info
Put the computer on standby when it is idle. While on standby, your entire computer switches to a low-power state where devices, such as the monitor and hard disks, turn off and your computer uses less power. When you want to use the computer again, it comes out of standby quickly, and your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. Standby is particularly useful for conserving battery power in portable computers.