OT - PC / Battery back-up question

HI Folks
PC question - but, if possible, I'll be DIY-ing the repair..
At one time - the mains supply out here was a bit flaky, so I installed
a 2nd-hand APC 1500 Smart-UPS. Since then, it's had two new sets of
batteries, and has (generally) behaved itself - allowing long enough to
shut down the Windows10 PC (left on 24/7) gracefully in the event of
power cuts (assuming that you happen to be near the PC when the outage
occurs).
The last few weeks, I've noticed that the PC seems to have rebooted
itself while I've been away from it. Just now I watched as the UPS gave
a 'clunk', dropped the power completely and then, after a few seconds,
restarted itself - all the while indicating that the house mains was
stable & present..
These power outages don't seem to upset Win10 at all - so I'm wondering
if it's worth throwing another set of batteries at the UPS (the last set
were installed Jan 2016 and cost 112 euro) - or just unplug the UPS and
feed the PC with raw mains, and live with any consequences...
Back in the day, pulling the power on a Windows box without shutting it
down properly used to be a recipe for disaster - though perhaps modern
disks are more tolerant of this sort of abuse..?
Worth throwing another set of batteries at the thing - do you think?
Comments / suggestions, please?
Thanks, Adrian
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall
I normally reckon on my UPS batteries lasting 3/4 years depending on the temperature where they are installed.
Reply to
Bob Eager
Maybe performing a self-test? I've got rack-mount APC UPSes that make a clunk when they perform a self-test. They don't drop the output power though.
Reply to
Caecilius
I don't have a UPS and windows recovers nicely from any power drops.
I would just add that this does not sound like a battery problem. Speaking out of ignorance, I would really really hope that a properly working UPS connected to the mains would never drop its output power like that, regardless of the state of the batteries.
Reply to
GB
I agree.
I'd just add that, without UPS, all you should lose in the event of power failure should be the data inputted since the last save. If even that could be a problem, increase the autosave frequency!
Nick
Reply to
Nick Odell
I no longer use a UPS but when I could get them s/h from work I did so less for the UPS facility and more for the filtering of surges/spikes.
Reply to
Robin
I do the self test then measure the battery percentage after 5 mins recovery. If it's not 100%, the battery is on its way out.
Reply to
Bob Eager
Sounds like its failing to hold up when it does its automated self test... It would normally have a LED to indicate battery failure at that point.
I would keep the UPS in place... it give you effective surge protection among other things. Sounds like you have had getting on for three years out of the batteries - not particularly impressive, but not uncommon for APC boxes IME.
There are still risks with pulling power on a running system.
Its true that disks that would actually suffer damage on loss of power without first being "parked" have not been around for decades. Also the file systems commonly used now are better than they once were in terms of error detection and recovery. However modern systems will tend to write more frequently, so the chances of an interrupted write are probably larger than in the past.
Reply to
John Rumm
Are you sure its the batteries? If the mains is stable the only fault I can think of would be a very bad battery, ie one with a huge current draw, but most of the fast chargers in these units are protected against such things, so it could be the actual detector and charger assembly has an issue of some kind. Brian
Reply to
Brian Gaff
The other thing to consider of course is that its not the ups but the PC which is having overheating issues and shutting down to protect itself. That also might explain why its not corrupted anything as some of the more recent ones do a controlled dump of memory before going down. Normally though they do not restart, they stay down or it would continually restart. Check all internal connections and plugs etc. Brian
Reply to
Brian Gaff
If you allow it to do a periodical battery test it switches to battery power. And if the batteries are in poor condition loss of power output can result. I agree with whoever suggested this as a cause. It may be best to not allow scheduled battery tests but test the battery periodically with the OS shut down.
Reply to
Roger Hayter
Does a UPS have any influence on energy efficiency? It seems to me if stand-by is now disapproved of (by some) then a UPS may be questionable in terms of energy efficiency as I assume it is trickle charging the batteries all the time. .
Reply to
Scott
Yup some reduction in energy efficiency may be unavoidable, given the units themselves can get a bit warm. Obviously you have to balance that against the costs of unintended interruptions and potential for data loss or denial of service etc.
In an industrial setting (where you may be charged for apparent power as well as real power consumption) you may actually find some cost (if not energy) savings with a UPS, since the better "online" or "line interactive" ones will tend to correct the poor power factors typical of some IT kit.
Reply to
John Rumm
Mar 14 for the last set here. After the previous set almost went into meltdown, what's that funny smell? Ouch the UPS is bloomin' hot!
Only you can answer that.
That's about what I was getting and APC UPS's are well known for cooking their batteries. After the near meltdown I got at mine, reduced the charge voltage(*), fitted a fan and disabled the self test. Result is the UPS sits at about 30 C instead of 40+ and the 4 1/2 year old batteries still hold up under load.
(*) Factory set it's too high for standby charging at room temp let alone at 40+ C. The higher the battery temp, the lower the charge voltage needs to be.
Reply to
Dave Liquorice
Thanks Bob.... This one's sitting in an open cabinet, not anything fancy.... Just debating whether it's worth ?40/year for the UPS facility - and not really confident that replacing the batteries will solve the problem.
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall
Yes - it does look like a self-test - I guess the result then is 'FAIL' Question is - will ?120's worth of new batteries fix it.. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that APC UPS's aren't kind to their batteries - something to do with over-charging them...? - and I think there was a modification to reduce the charging current - but don't really want to dive inside the thing, and, to be honest, I'm wondering if having a UPS is that big an issue...?
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall
Thanks - yes, you'd 'hope' the UPS would give... well... 'uninterruptible' power. I suppose, if it's doing a self-test, then it doesn't know, until the test has failed (due to bad batteries) that the test _will_ fail - but it kind of defeats the purpose of the thing if it does a self-test & kills the output power, even when the "mains in" is perfectly good?
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall
Good point. We're in a fairly rural location - sharing a mains transformer with one other house, on the end of a long cable run - but the other PCs in our house seem to run perfectly happily off the mains - so perhaps I don't really need the UPS at all....
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall
Good idea. My suspicion is that the self-test is what's killing it - maybe I'll shut the pc down gracefully later on and try pressing the self-test button to see what happens....
Reply to
Adrian Brentnall

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