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third-party UPS software: do we really need to install it?


kravan

New Member
Posts
4
#1
Windows 8.1 (and upcoming Win10) correctly identifies my APC BackUPS. My question is: do we really need to install a UPS communications software (such as Powerchute) to enable auto-shut down features during a power-out? Does Windows have this feature built-in?
 

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crawfish

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#2
Good question. PowerChute is able to wake a sleeping computer to hibernate it. That's the main thing. It also has additional features for configuring various things, viewing power usage, etc. I use it and recommend it.
 

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kravan

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#3
Unfortunately its been long since the software is updated, and in Win8 I always get an "internal communication error".
 

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crawfish

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#4
Powerchute Personal 3.0.2 works fine for me in Win8.1 x64, though I have always used Autoruns to disable the "Display" task located at c:\program files (x86)\apc\powerchute personal edition\datacollectionlauncher.exe. I also disable the "APC Data Service" using the Services applet. These things are not necessary for the functionality I mentioned earlier. Google for more on this.
 

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broe23

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#5
I do not use Powerchute, because my NAS takes care of the monitoring. Only time that I do need to use it, is if I am wanting to go downstairs and pull the info off of my UPS, so that I can look at what happened during events.
 

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fireberd

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#7
You don't "need" the UPS software, but many UPS software provide extra features. e.g. the Cyberpower Power Panel provides status of my UPS and how many minutes of run time. The basic Windows does not show this.
 

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#8
do we really need to install a UPS communications software (such as Powerchute) to enable auto-shut down features during a power-out? Does Windows have this feature built-in?
Yes, to enable the auto-shut down feature, you need the software installed. And no, Windows does not support auto-shutdown - not on PCs anyway. :(

But you don't need the software to take advantage of the UPS most important features and that is AVR - automatic voltage regulation, the feature that shows that common surge and spike protectors are little more than fancy and expensive extension cords.

And since, by far, most real power outages only last a few seconds, at most, auto-shutdown capability may not be that important where you live.

If you are getting a communication error, that is typically a USB problem, not a problem with the UPS or UPS software.

I really like PowerChute (and I know similar programs by other makers provide similar features) for the information it provides (even though the LCD panel on my UPS provides much the same). But I also like how I can initiate a self-test from the software too.
 

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  • OS
    W10 Pro
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    PC/Desktop

kravan

New Member
Posts
4
#9
It be cool if Windows could identify a UPS as an external battery source and treat it with basic features (albeit limited). Maybe a pop-up warning message or something. Where I live, outages and spikes do occur, at random but not often. In regards to Powerchute, I wish APC would update its software.

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions. Much appreciate it.
 

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620
#10
In regards to Powerchute, I wish APC would update its software.
Why? What's wrong with it? I find it works perfectly and is very informative. But to that, it has had several updates since PowerChute "Personal Edition" first came and while the last update was in 2012, APC did verify it works as expected with W8.1 64-bit and 32-bit. So why update something that works as expected?

As far as Windows identifying the UPS as an external battery source, it actually does. My APC UPS is listed under Batteries in Device Manager on this PC. As for controlling the UPS as PowerChute does, since there is no industry standard for communicating with UPS (as there is for Ethernet and wireless networking, USB, PATA or SATA interfaces) Windows must rely on the UPS maker's 3rd party app to communicate with their UPS.

That is not Microsoft's or Windows' fault. The UPS industry must agree on a communications standard amongst themselves and in conjunction with the developers of the many operating systems in use today, including the many variants of Linux/UNIX, Windows, MacOS, RTOS (real-time operating systems), and more.

These UPS are not just used on Windows PCs. In fact, I also have a UPS on my home theater audio equipment and big screen TV. And one on my garage door opener!
 

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