Windows 7 shutdown during power failure.


P

Peter Jason

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?

Peter
 
Ad

Advertisements

K

Ken Blake

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?

Buy an inexpensive UPS, preferably one made by APC. I have one for
each of my computers here, and I think everyone else should also.
 
B

Big Steel

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?
I use a Belkin myself. When the battery is no good anymore, then you can
ship the whole unit to Belkin, and Belkin will give you a new
replacement unit. You have to pay the shipping.

http://belkinups.com/
 
P

Paul

Peter said:
Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?

Peter
UPS (uninterruptable power supply) with serial or USB interface.

Example of one. This one has a serial port (RS232), so the computer
needs an RS232 as well. Look for a 9 pin (DB9) on the back of the PC,
or use a USB to serial cable with the appropriate connector
on the end. This UPS has "AVR" or automatic voltage regulation,
which means the UPS has active components running at all times
to maintain correct voltage. (My home UPS doesn't do that,
and the UPS isn't normally doing anything and is perfectly
quiet. This UPS with AVR, "hums" a little bit. That's a
transformer. AVR is only really desirable, if you have significant
issues with brownout, which I don't have a problem with here.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102006

The UPS provides battery based power, while the AC is off.
The UPS can be operated without the "warning" feature if desired,
so you don't absolutely have to connect the serial cable.

The serial or USB interface, sends a "warning" to the computer,
that the UPS battery is about to go flat. This gives the computer
time to do an orderly shutdown, and avoid damage to file systems.
My UPS has the serial interface, and the UPS is connected to my
WinXP computer. WinXP has a dialog box for the purpose of
accepting this "warning". Haven't looked for this on Win7
(as my Windows 7 is on a laptop, with no UPS).
______
AC (fails) |____________________
_
UPS_sends_warning ______________| |_________
"My battery about
to go flat" <--------> OS shutdown time (or else)
__________________________
UPS_battery_flat |___________

On WinXP, the OS supports "out of the box", only certain UPS.
Other UPS may need their own driver. (My APC branded UPS,
worked without additional software. Purely an accident,
I didn't plan it that way.)

In Windows 7, this article implies they're rolled UPS support
into the general Power schemes. As if a desktop+UPS equals
a laptop, in a way. So if this article is to be believed,
it's not a discrete control panel like in WinXP.

http://searchsystemschannel.techtarget.com/feature/Installing-configuring-and-testing-a-UPS-for-Windows-7

Paul
 
T

Todd

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?

Peter
Hi Peter,

For once I get to help someone.

You need what is called an "uninterruptable power supply".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninterruptable_power_supply


I am fond of and sell the APC BR700G (I only sell locally).
It comes with software and a USB cable to connect to your
computer that will shut you down gracefully when the
battery starts to fade.

http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BR700G&total_watts=200

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101381&Tpk=BR700G

HTH,
-T
 
C

charlie

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without
any warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket,
in conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown
when the power fails?

Peter
Of course there is!
APC and others make UPS units that have included software, provide power
for short times, and generally have a USB or other interface that, with
the included software, can initiate an orderly shutdown.

Since short term power outages/interruptions are common at my location,
I usually use 1000VA to 1500VA units. These provide enough power to
normally sustain operation of more than one P/C, plus things like
routers and cable modems. If a P/C is a "gaming P/C", with multiple
video cards, it may need it's own UPS.
 
P

Paul

charlie said:
Of course there is!
APC and others make UPS units that have included software, provide power
for short times, and generally have a USB or other interface that, with
the included software, can initiate an orderly shutdown.

Since short term power outages/interruptions are common at my location,
I usually use 1000VA to 1500VA units. These provide enough power to
normally sustain operation of more than one P/C, plus things like
routers and cable modems. If a P/C is a "gaming P/C", with multiple
video cards, it may need it's own UPS.
When it comes to alerting multiple PCs, the average UPS doesn't support
that. My UPS has only one interface on it, for controlling a single PC.

If you don't want or need the warning feature, you can certainly
run multiple PCs from one UPS. That works fine. It's just the warning
feature, that tends to be 1:1. You could connect two PCs, warn one
of the PCs, and have the other PC get "shut off dirty". Which would
be another way to do it.

The protocol probably isn't standardized, so no two brands will
necessarily be doing it exactly the same way. In this example, the
protocol is complicated enough, you can't fix it with a "Y cable"
of some sort.

http://www.mscs.dal.ca/~selinger/ups/belkin-universal-ups.html

Some server UPSes, have an optional module which supports
talking to more than one server. But the cost of such an option,
when compared to the desktop space, you could buy an entire UPS
for that price (like the <$300 one I quoted in my other post).
So it probably doesn't make sense to do it that way - buy
a monster UPS with the multiple PC warning option on it.

I suppose you could have one PC "pretend" to be a UPS, and
use the UPS protocol to talk to other PCs. Or perhaps there
is some commercial software, which messages over Ethernet
for controlling a cluster of computers. But I've never
searched for software like that.

Paul
 
C

charlie

When it comes to alerting multiple PCs, the average UPS doesn't support
that. My UPS has only one interface on it, for controlling a single PC.

If you don't want or need the warning feature, you can certainly
run multiple PCs from one UPS. That works fine. It's just the warning
feature, that tends to be 1:1. You could connect two PCs, warn one
of the PCs, and have the other PC get "shut off dirty". Which would
be another way to do it.

The protocol probably isn't standardized, so no two brands will
necessarily be doing it exactly the same way. In this example, the
protocol is complicated enough, you can't fix it with a "Y cable"
of some sort.

http://www.mscs.dal.ca/~selinger/ups/belkin-universal-ups.html

Some server UPSes, have an optional module which supports
talking to more than one server. But the cost of such an option,
when compared to the desktop space, you could buy an entire UPS
for that price (like the <$300 one I quoted in my other post).
So it probably doesn't make sense to do it that way - buy
a monster UPS with the multiple PC warning option on it.

I suppose you could have one PC "pretend" to be a UPS, and
use the UPS protocol to talk to other PCs. Or perhaps there
is some commercial software, which messages over Ethernet
for controlling a cluster of computers. But I've never
searched for software like that.

Paul
There WAS server based software that could actually start the P/C's
shutdown sequence over an Ethernet connection. Since I retired, I
haven't bothered to keep up with such things. Getting the UPS to turn
itself off was built-in some models. It was based upon a percent of
charge left in the UPS batteries. Supposedly it was to keep the
batteries from being too deeply discharged.

Some of the "Gaming" P/Cs have as large as 1000 or 1200 Watt power supplies.
The one I'm using has a 900W 80%Eff P/S with two AMD/ATI HD video cards,
and can draw up to about 750W peak while playing newer games.
The usual power draw in office apps is no where near the P/S capability,
Some of the really fancy graphics in newer games can use multiple video
cards, (two to four)and each video card can draw somewhere around 300W,
when at max resolution and clock rates.

I quit buying replacement UPS batteries. Seems that many of the newer
UPS models use batteries that have sensors and/or taps built-in.
(Similar to laptop battery circuitry inside the battery case)
Naturally, it costs almost as much to buy new batteries as it does to
replace the whole UPS.

LIFe UPS batteries for high reliability use can cost six or seven times
the cost of the usual lead acid UPS battery. (~$700, and that's a recent
price quote)
 
V

VanguardLH

charlie said:
There WAS server based software that could actually start the P/C's
shutdown sequence over an Ethernet connection. Since I retired, I
haven't bothered to keep up with such things.
If your UPS software lets you run a command before it shuts down the
local host on which that software is running, you could have it run the
shutdown.exe program.

Run "shutdown.exe /?" in a command shell to see the parameters for it,
one of which is to specify the "computername" (or hostname) of the host
to which you want to issue the shutdown command. If there is more than
1 remote host to which you want to submit the shutdown command, create a
script file, like a .bat file, that contains multiple shutdown commands,
one for each remote host, and specify that .bat file in the UPS config
for a command that it executes before it shuts down the local host.
Getting the UPS to turn
itself off was built-in some models. It was based upon a percent of
charge left in the UPS batteries. Supposedly it was to keep the
batteries from being too deeply discharged.
Guess I haven't used a UPS that doesn't shut itself down when it no
longer has a sufficient charge to carry the output load. If it cannot
supply the output load, why stay powered up?

Also, you might want to look at configuring the UPS so it does *NOT*
restore output power when its input power is restored. Often after a
power outage and when the power comes back up, it may bounce a couple
times. That is, power comes up, drops in a short time, and may repeat
this a couple times before the power source actually becomes stable.
You don't want your hosts starting to power up and boot into an OS and
load startup apps but then lose its power (because the UPS has had no
power so it isn't charged so it cannot supply any power to the loads
between these bounces). Your host would power-bounce along with the
bouncing of restored source power to the UPS. That's a consideration
only when the loads will power up when power is restored to them. With
computers and Windows, and assuming you are using the newer ATX-style
PSU (not the AT-style with a hardwired Power switch), the computer won't
power up just because power was restored to it. However, that doesn't
apply to your powered speakers, printers, monitor, or whatever else you
attach to the UPS. Not all consumer-grade UPS'es have a config setting
to not supply output power when input power is restored.
Some of the "Gaming" P/Cs have as large as 1000 or 1200 Watt power supplies.
The one I'm using has a 900W 80%Eff P/S with two AMD/ATI HD video cards,
and can draw up to about 750W peak while playing newer games.
The usual power draw in office apps is no where near the P/S capability,
Some of the really fancy graphics in newer games can use multiple video
cards, (two to four)and each video card can draw somewhere around 300W,
when at max resolution and clock rates.
How do you know what is the power draw by all devices attached to the
UPS? Does the UPS software tell you the current load on it? Many do.
The max power ratings for your computer components doesn't tell you what
they are actually drawing.
I quit buying replacement UPS batteries. Seems that many of the newer
UPS models use batteries that have sensors and/or taps built-in.
(Similar to laptop battery circuitry inside the battery case)
Naturally, it costs almost as much to buy new batteries as it does to
replace the whole UPS.
Not what I've found at all. For an $80 UPS, the battery replacement at
BatteriesPlus.com (who is NOT a cheap battery source) is $32. That's a
hell of a lot cheaper then buying a whole new UPS. I had a 2.5kVA UPS
(very pricey when first purchase, like ~$1800) with a huge and heavy
isolation transformer and generating true sinusoidal output (so it could
be used with non-computer gear that doesn't have switched power
supplies) and the 2 motorcycle-sized batteries cost a total of $65.
That is a lot cheaper than buying another 2.5kVA sinusoidal isolated UPS
even at today's cheaper prices where they run $500 an up.
LIFe UPS batteries for high reliability use can cost six or seven times
the cost of the usual lead acid UPS battery. (~$700, and that's a recent
price quote)
I always use the same-type battery when replacing it. Why? Because the
charger circuit inside the UPS was designed for THAT type of battery,
not some other chemical composition and different charging behavior. If
the UPS had a sealed lead-acid battery then that's the type I get for a
replacement. I wouldn't be putting a lithium battery in as a
replacement for a lead-acid one since the charging curve, rate, top-off,
and trickle charge for them are different. You'd burn up a lithium
battery using a charger meant to be used with lead-acid batteries plus
the UPS designed for lead-acid batteries would let them drop down to
zero volts but lithiums should never be dropped that low. Trickle
charging of lead-acid batteries should not be used with lithiums. Even
the phases in the charging cycle is different. Li-FE batteries are very
sensitive to over-discharge which will happen if the charger in the UPS
was designed for a lead-acid battery. Lithium iron sulfate, Lithium-
iron, or Li/Fe batteries are a replacement for alkaline zinc-manganese
batteries, not lead-acid batteries.

You do pay through the nose to have a Li/Fe (more likely Li/Fe/PO4)
battery that has 2000 charging cycles before it reduces to 80% of its
capacity along with a 10-year storage life. However, if your source
power is dropping 200 times a year and for long enough to fully
discharge the UPS battery, you need to consider using an alternate power
source, like your own generator or contact your power company on why you
are losing power every other day.
 
S

Satanic Mechanic ©

I use a Belkin myself. When the battery is no good anymore, then you can
ship the whole unit to Belkin, and Belkin will give you a new
replacement unit. You have to pay the shipping.

http://belkinups.com/
this is exactly wtf i am talking about. he couldnt google UPS or even
take a walk in his local computer store and get advice there.
btw a UPS will not initiate a normal shutdown as you sit there with
a brewski and wait for the power to come on. A UPS will give you a
few minutes of power so YOU can shut you pc down. technically your
answer is incorrect
 
B

Big Steel

On 2/6/2012 8:23 AM, Satanic Mechanic © wrote:

<snipped>
<yawn>

You really are a clown. And technically you are some kind of a deranged
loon. You are doing nothing but babbling here, which I could care less
about your babble, and you are in lunatic heat with a wild hair up your
John Brown behind parts for the sake of having a wild hair up your John
Brown behind parts.
 
B

Big Steel

On 2/6/2012 8:23 AM, Satanic Mechanic © wrote:

<snipped>

<I am putting it where the OP can see it.>

Oh and one other thing you loon, one gets a UPS system to prevent
brownouts, blackouts, electrical spikes from other household appliances
on the line and to provide good clean continuous power to devices to
prevent damage to devices. It's a smart move to get one, and the OP
should get one if possible.
 
Z

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Satanic said:
btw a UPS will not initiate a normal shutdown as you sit there with
a brewski and wait for the power to come on.
Sure it can. See http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=129
for APC's option, and I'm sure other UPS manufacturers provide
something similar.
A UPS will give you a few minutes of power so YOU can
shut you pc down. technically your answer is incorrect
Actually, no - your's is incorrect, not Big Steel's.

--
Zaphod

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: A cocktail based on Janx Spirit.
The effect of one is like having your brain smashed out
by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
 
B

Big Steel

Sure it can. See http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=129
for APC's option, and I'm sure other UPS manufacturers provide
something similar.
As a matter of fact, the Belkin UPS system I use will start talking to
you about you had so many minutes to close things down before it issued
the command to shut the main computer down itself before it lost power
on the battery backup.

It was like I was on the Starship Enterprise as it went into its
countdown. It can also send emails about its status too with software to
give you a complete status in real-time as to what was happening with
the UPS and the power it was providing.
Actually, no - your's is incorrect, not Big Steel's.
Man, I ran my firewall appliance, wifi AP, printers, print server,
computers, floor stand lamps and anything else through that UPS in the
so called computer room/guest bedroom. :)
 
R

ray

Just today we have suffered two utility power failures, all without any
warning!

Is there some device to put between the computer and the wall socket, in
conjunction with Windows7, to initiate a normal computer shutdown when
the power fails?

Peter
An inexpensive UPS (Uninterrubtable Power Supply) will see you through
short (several minutes) power outages. It will also filter the power so
your equipment won't be damaged by power spikes. Many also have the
ability (with proper software) to initiate a shutdown.

How long were your outages?
 
S

Seth

this is exactly wtf i am talking about. he couldnt google UPS or even
take a walk in his local computer store and get advice there.
btw a UPS will not initiate a normal shutdown as you sit there with
a brewski and wait for the power to come on. A UPS will give you a
few minutes of power so YOU can shut you pc down. technically your
answer is incorrect
I don't know what UPS devices you are buying but mine will, when configured
properly, initiate a shutdown on my behalf. It signals the software on the
PC via the serial or USB control cable.
 
K

Ken Blake

If you don't want or need the warning feature, you can certainly
run multiple PCs from one UPS. That works fine.
You *can*, but unless you have a very powerful, expensive USP, it's
not a good idea at all. With several computers connected to one UPS,
that UPS doesn't have enough power to keep the computers running for
more than a couple of minutes if the power goes off. You want to have
enough time to notice what happened, get to the computers and power
each one off in orderly fashion, and you may not have enough time.

I have three desktops here, kept powered on all the time. Each of them
has its own inexpensive APC UPS.
 
P

Paul

Ken said:
You *can*, but unless you have a very powerful, expensive USP, it's
not a good idea at all. With several computers connected to one UPS,
that UPS doesn't have enough power to keep the computers running for
more than a couple of minutes if the power goes off. You want to have
enough time to notice what happened, get to the computers and power
each one off in orderly fashion, and you may not have enough time.

I have three desktops here, kept powered on all the time. Each of them
has its own inexpensive APC UPS.
Maximum power handling capability (like 1500VA), and runtime (minutes to hours),
are separate factors. If you want additional runtime, you can buy it.

Some UPS come with optional expansion bays, which hold extra batteries.

You can do it, anyway you want (work out both VA and Watt loading and
pick your unit). But if you want an orderly shutdown when the equipment
is unattended, that detail isn't always worked out for you. On the expensive
server-room UPS, you can get a module with multiple ports on it, to tell all
the servers to shut down when required. Other than that, you have to work
out a solution for more than one computer, yourself.

Paul
 
K

Ken Blake

Maximum power handling capability (like 1500VA), and runtime (minutes to hours),
are separate factors. If you want additional runtime, you can buy it.

Yes, as I said, if you do what you suggest, you need an expensive UPS.
I prefer to have three inexpensive ones.
 
Ad

Advertisements

R

R. C. White

Hi, Ken.

While I don't disagree with you, there is an important point that is being
overlooked in this discussion: switching time.

To me, a major reason for having a UPS is that word, "uninterruptible". My
worry is not only for a power failure lasting for minutes or hours, but for
a power spike or sag that lasts only milliseconds - just long enough to
cause a glitch that gets converted into lost or corrupted data on my hard
disk. :>(

Before I started using a UPS, in the 1980's, that sort of thing happened to
my computer many times. Spikes were often caused by lightning strikes. And
my office building's unreliable power supply and wiring sometimes produced
sags and brownouts. Any of these could cause a "random reboot". Other
times there would be only a momentary "blip" that seemed to recover by
itself - but there might be damage that would appear later. The most likely
place for a disk read/write head to be at any given moment is over a
directory or other part of the disk management infrastructure. A lightning
strike can send a spike that scrambles magnetic bits at the spot where the
head happens to be at that moment. The damage might be minimal - or
catastrophic. (Back in those days of "humongous" 20 MB HDDs, I spent
hours - days! - with utilities like Norton's DiskEdit rebuilding directories
and FATs a bit/byte at a time after lightning strikes.)

My first UPS cost nearly $1,000, but it was truly uninterruptible: the
computer cord was powered directly from the UPS battery, which was
continually kept recharged by the UPS cord plugged into the wall socket.
Spikes and sags didn't get through the battery to the computer, which got
consistent clean power all the time. Switching time was zero, because there
was no switch - unless power was off so long that the battery was exhausted.

Friends who understand electricity much better than I do have tried to
explain why this was not a workable long-range setup - something about a
sine wave versus a square wave - but I still don't see why it is not a great
idea.

So now all we can get is a (sometimes mislabeled) BPS (Backup Power Supply).
Careful reading of the label tells us that it will switch to battery power
within a very few milliseconds. And that something like AVR (Automatic
Voltage Regulation) will smooth out spikes and sags. The computer runs off
power from the wall plug - routed through the BPS for the AVR and sensing
for alarms - until there is a power failure. Then the unit switches ALMOST
instantly (those few milliseconds) to battery power and keeps running. But
I can't stop worrying about those milliseconds. :^{

But the price of a BPS these days is so low that having one is a no-brainer!
;<)

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Ken Blake" wrote in message

If you don't want or need the warning feature, you can certainly
run multiple PCs from one UPS. That works fine.
You *can*, but unless you have a very powerful, expensive USP, it's
not a good idea at all. With several computers connected to one UPS,
that UPS doesn't have enough power to keep the computers running for
more than a couple of minutes if the power goes off. You want to have
enough time to notice what happened, get to the computers and power
each one off in orderly fashion, and you may not have enough time.

I have three desktops here, kept powered on all the time. Each of them
has its own inexpensive APC UPS.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top