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How could I automate the nightly shutdown and power off of my computer at the mains. That is aiming to use zero electricity during the night.


  • Can configure time you want shutdown each night
  • At the end of the shutdown want all electricity to the (a) PC, (b) monitor, (c) external hard disk drives, and (d) printer to be cut
  • Want the shutdown to be "safe" in terms of not having the potential to corrupt a disk in the PC or an external HDD

Any product ideas/advice?

For example, I think I can automate the PC shutdown with a little software app, or a windows script, but then how to effect the total shutdown. Perhaps need an intelligent power board that shut down all power after it somehow can detect the PC itself has dropped from normal power consumption to some minimum level (which aligns with the PC being off but plugged in a the mains), which then stops power to all other devices.

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You're probably looking for a programmable power strip (Googled it, here's one, for example). You need one that can handle a delayed command.

That way, you can shut down the computer (using a PowerShell script, for example), with the last action of the script ordering the power strip to shut down in n minutes (n being the amount of time you think it'd take your computer to shut down + a buffer for unexpected hangs).

Other than that, there are plenty of simple (not to say cheaper) timers that can shut down electricity after n hours - you'll just have to be sure your computer shuts down before they trigger (here's one from Belkin).

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products mentioned.

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You can use the Windows Task Scheduler to execute the shutdown command. Then use a plug in timer like this to shut the rest of the devices down. Its cheaper than more elegant solutions, but works.

FYI, the same can be done in *nix/OS X

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