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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:58 am 
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I did a search on this website to see if anyone had already covered the subject of uninterrupted power supplies but only found a reference by Larry Spiegel from a while back. Apparently, UPS is not supported by HP Mediasmart servers and, if used, can cause a large range of false errors. It is recommended that you use the UPS in passive mode (do not hook up the USB connection). There is an article on this in WeGotServed.com.

I do, personally, have and use a UPS on my server as I need it to cover my rear end when power goes down around here. If the server is doing anything (even balancing) and goes down due to a power outage the backup data becomes corrupt. (I found this out the very first week of my new server back in November; a very unpleasant experience). So, I got a UPS and hooked it up. I didn't try to set up the software because I was just being lazy. Now, I found that being lazy does pay off on occasion!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:06 am 
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OK, I screwed up.. how unusual.. the correct website that discussed this is http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:27 am 
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We had a rather nasty thunderstorm a few weeks back and lost all power to the house for 6 hours. Fortunately, I had a UPS in the office so I put the weather radio on it.

I haven't seen any data corruption on the MSS so I may be fortunate. I only use it for storing large video files streaming to the 360/Tivo and personal file shares (i.e. MyDocuments).

After the storm, I investigated getting a UPS for the MSS but then I realized that there is no good way to turn it off safely without remoting into it. That means the network would need to be up as well. So one more device on UPS. So now I am considering upgrading my network to wireless N and putting the MSS in the office on the UPS.

The PC is on the UPS and has USB connection. I can write a script to shut down the MSS if the power is triggered but need the network connection... What a mess this power outage caused.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:42 am 
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Hi Necro! It's an honor to hear from you.

The corruption is kind of the luck of the draw. If the power goes out and the server isn't moving data in any way, then no problems are to be expected. However, if you have the same kind of luck that I do, and the server is balancing or backing up, it will cause the corruption and you have to start from scratch on backups. I'm not sure why MS hasn't addressed this issue as it would seem prudent to have a UPS for the server to protect it against corruptions like this. WHS is a new OS so I think this will be looked at in the future but for right now HP recommends that you only hook up the UPS and not try to use the included UPS software.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:19 pm 
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OK, let me see...

In case of short power outages, a passive UPS will do the trick.

But for longer power loss, the system may be in "balancing storage..." or "backing-up" states when battery is finally drained - therefore bringing a possiblity of corruption as you mention, when power brutally shuts.

On the other hand, if the USB cable is plugged, you can change the power configuration so the "intelligent" shutdown occurs at 10% of the battery.

Now, in the case of the APC UPS, no driver installation is necessary, since the actual WHS driver works. This driver already present in the MSS is, I hope, Windows 2003 WHQL certified!!!!

So I'll keep the UPS USB cable plugged in my MSS, unless there is something I don't get right...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:14 pm 
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this is from the HP web site


This document applies to HP MediaSmart Server EX470 and EX475.
The Media Smart Server does not support active Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Using the USB cable to allow the UPS to communicate with the MediaSmart Server, can cause a wide range of false errors. Using the UPS in a passive mode (USB cable not attached) does npt appear to cause any false error reporting.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/docu ... us&lang=en

From what it says any UPS could cause problems, but if it's working then enjoy. But you are correct, if the power is out long enough the UPS will only postpone the time of disaster. I would hope that it would give me time to shut down the server manually, if I thought the power was going to be out for more than a few minutes. It seems lie every time a swallow farts around where I live the power is interrupted so I need the UPS to get past that, all it does is decrease my exposure to corruption.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:19 pm 
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A little more reading on my part - "Windows Home Server is based on Windows Server 2003 technologies. HP has found that some Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) that require a software driver that is not Windows 2003 WHQL certified can cause some issues with the Windows Home Server Operating System. These software drivers may cause a variety of problems with Windows Home Server such as continual re-booting. HP recommends that users with Uninterruptible Power Systems use them in a passive mode with the USB cable not connected." <= from the wegotserved website.

It looks like some UPS do, and some don't, cause problems just be careful.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:27 pm 
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VieuxJules wrote:
This driver already present in the MSS is, I hope, Windows 2003 WHQL certified!!!!

Have you thought about a test? Make sure the server is not balancing, etc. and unplug the UPS with the USB cable attached. If the battery gets less than 10% (say 5%) and the server doesn't shut down properly, you know that there is an issue and/or the driver doesn't work. Have you tried this? I'd love to know as I was thinking about buying a UPS and was unaware of potential incompatibilities. Let us know!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:49 pm 
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I have been using an APC UPS for some time, WITH THE APC SOFTWARE, and all appears to be fully operational. I do not get any random shutdowns or errors (although some who only plug in the same units without installing the APC software do). I have yet to experience any problems and it has (once) shut down properly and without error -- and it was balancing at the time.

I have not stress tested this so your mileage may vary!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:26 pm 
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Quote:
Have you thought about a test? Make sure the server is not balancing, etc. and unplug the UPS with the USB cable attached. If the battery gets less than 10% (say 5%) and the server doesn't shut down properly, you know that there is an issue and/or the driver doesn't work. Have you tried this? I'd love to know as I was thinking about buying a UPS and was unaware of potential incompatibilities. Let us know!


I was taking it for granted! But should never do that. :? Your experiment suggestion is fair enough. I'll try it this weekend, and report after.

Contrary to JohnBick, I don't use the APC software, only the already installed driver. Hope you can wait :D

For me it is important that the battery system works during long power outages and shuts the server automatically if necessary, because my work brings me overseas many times a year. So I cannot be aware of power failures and therefore cannot manually (or remotely) shut the server down.

By the way how do you use the [Quote] command so it can read "hestaman wrote:"


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:32 pm 
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VieuxJules wrote:
Quote:
By the way how do you use the command so it can read "hestaman wrote:"

Highlight the portion you want to quote and press the "Quote" button just above the text entry area...!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Thanks guys on the quote tip. I seldom quote things like that but I wanted to make sure I didn't mess it up. At any rate this is a good dialog on the UPS and the HP, so, I thank you all on it. I think I'll just stay lazy and not hook up the UPS software until I'm forced to do it. :D I must say I'm in favor of the UPS for the HP for many of the same reasons you have. I can only hope MS does address this issue along with a multitude of other important things. This is kind of low priority for them I'm sure.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Finally decided to make the test tonite.

First the installation:

APC 650 volts
connected to battery backup: MSS; Router; Cable-modem
the usb cable was inserted in the back of MSS, no software installed, no driver to activate, it was automatically done. Just change battery setup a little.

During experiment, three computers where browsing Internet through the router, MSS didn't balance storage troughout the experiment (only one disk). It took 50 minutes after unplugging the APC before battery went down to 10%. At that point the MSS just shut off...

Here are the battery gauge progression in reverse order (I apologize for not being able to post images correctly...) another help needed.

First, the last gauge window just before the MSS shuts down

Second, the 50% alert message (It says "You should change your battery immediately or connect your system to an electrical outlet in order to avoid loosing your work." and OK is for... "OK" :D Unfortunately, this message only appears if the console is "on" and if it is not covered by other windows (I tried it).

Last is the original battery setup (alert message at 50% and shut down ("Arrêter") at 10%

Now when will I have the courage to blindly change the BIOS so the server restarts when electricity resumes?


Attachments:
critical indicator.jpg
critical indicator.jpg [ 34.35 KiB | Viewed 6050 times ]
50 percent message.jpg
50 percent message.jpg [ 77.63 KiB | Viewed 6052 times ]
Alerte 10 percent.jpg
Alerte 10 percent.jpg [ 50.41 KiB | Viewed 6050 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:36 pm 
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VieuxJules wrote:
Here are the battery gauge progression in reverse order


Sorry, to create confusion, but the images finally appeared in the right order:
configuration
50% alert message
10% gauge - shut down

PS: Finally understood that the name quoted had to be between quote marks, thanks John


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:37 am 
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I just have a UPS that will get me several hours of backup.(APC1500 plus the extended runtime battery) Which should hopefully cover 99% of all my power outages so I won't have to worry about the MSS shutting down.

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