Configuring a UPS on Windows Home Server

I purchased a APC BE750BB Back-UPS 750VA UPS awhile ago and had plugged my Windows Home Server into it but never configured the shutdown or power management. The APC Powerchute software is not needed to do this. (Although I may install it sometime in the future to see what the differences are.) So this should work for most any UPS that has a USB connection to the server.

The BE750BB has 10 power outlets, five that have battery backup and five that are just surge protected. Each bank of 5 has one outlet at the end that’s offset enough to handle a power brick. My goal is to provide an orderly shutdown in the event of a power failure, not to keep the server running as long as possible. I have the Windows Home Server plus it’s router in the battery backup outlets. I’ll also use the battery backup outlets for any external drives I add. The cable modem, a wireless access point and a printer are plugged into the surge protected outlets.

  1. So to configure the UPS first connect it to a USB port on the Windows Home Server using the cable that came with the UPS and make sure the WHS is plugged into a UPS outlet with battery backup.
  2. Connect to the WHS using remote desktop.
  3. Verify that the WHS sees the UPS by going to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager button. You should have a “Batteries” item in the tree and the UPS should be listed there (although it may have a cryptic name – if your unsure, remove the UPS cable and see if it goes away.)
  4. Back to Control Panel and select “Power Options” then the alarm tab. Since I don’t care about anything but a safe shutdown I turn off the low battery alarm. I then set the critical battery alarm to occur when the battery level reaches 50% so there’s plenty of juice to shut things down. I also turn off notifications. Notification will just pop up a message on the non-existent console. well, non-existent unless I have a remote desktop connection at the time of the power failure. I change the action to shutdown and there’s no program for me to run.

    The pictures below show my configuration (double-click for full size).
    Obsolete images have been removed

To test it I unplug the UPS from the wall outlet, listen to the annoying alarm for about 10 minutes and watch as the WHS shuts down.

4 thoughts on “Configuring a UPS on Windows Home Server”

  1. FWIW: I saw where you should not test your UPS by unplugging from the wall because you lose your ground connection which is not good with computing systems (creates a ground loop with other devices plugged into other outlets). They suggest always tripping the breaker.

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