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Depending on how your keyboard is configured, that key is set to do one of two things:
Puts your computer to sleep. (A low power state where almost everything is shut off, including the monitor). You can resume from sleep by hitting any key on the keyboard, hitting the power button on your computer, or clicking the mouse.
Puts your computer into hibernation. (An even lower power state where everything is actually shut off, but a copy of everything open is saved to the hard drive to be opened during start up. It basically allows you to turn off the computer, but be able to turn it back on with program exactly how you left it). You can resume from hibernation only by hitting the power button on your computer.
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You are correct. The moon is sleep mode. Closing and opening the lid will often take it out of sleep mode. You might have to "unlock" the keyboard as well by entering a password (just hit return if you haven't entered a password.)
Under power options, you can select what the computer does in sleep mode.
If you are using Vista ... control panel.... system and maintenance.... Power Options. On the left there is an option for "Choose what the power buttons do" You can disable the sleep button there. C'mon Compaq... get a brain!! Who's dumb idea was it to put the sleep button there?
To disable the sleep button on the acer keyboard Do the following (Vista home)
Go to control panel (classic view) double click Power options.
left hand margin select Choose what the power buttons do.
This opens a systems settings page
You will see an option :
When I press the sleep button: (Don't worry that the picture of the button is different than the keyboard's Zz)
Select Do Nothing from the dropdown box.
Click the Save changes button at the bottom of the screen.
usually, to get a PC out of sleep mode, you either press the ESC key, press the power button a bit quickly, or press the sleep key agian. It really depends on the system. Try any of those to see if it helps.