GPO Preferences allow to create Power Plans for users including the action what to do on closing a notebooks lid. Lately I struggled to create two power plans – one with the lid action „sleep“ and one with the lid action „do nothing“ along with some other useful settings.

The GPO got applied correctly, but the lid actions were not set. Instead the lid actions were locked to „do nothing“ (even as Enterprise Admin). GPO Preference debug logging resulted in an error applying the preference:

[pid=0x22c,tid=0x84c] setPlanProperty [ hr = 0x800704ec "This program has been blocked by a group policy.

The exact message text might be different, as I translated the message from german.

Disabling all GPOs including the inherited ones didn’t help at all.
Playing around with powercfg.exe (resetting, changing SDDLs) didn’t help either.

The culprit was a registry key located under HKLM\Software\Policies, which had been introduced during our Windows 7 image build process some time ago. As soon as I deleted the key all GPO preferences got applied successfully and the lid actions are working.

The registry key is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Power\PowerSettings\5CA83367-6E45-459F-A27B-476B1D01C936

The above GUID is „LIDACTION“. It should be sufficient to delete just the settings „DCSettingIndex“ and „ACSettingIndex“.

There’s an excellent document called „PMPolicy_Windows.docx“ from Microsoft on the web describing all power management features.

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