UPS backup software

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Has anyone had any experience with UPS backup software?

I just replaced my old UPS with a new one, an APC BACK-UPS ES 500. It came
with some backup software (PowerChute Personal Edition Version 1.5) and a
cable that would enable me to connect the UPS to my PC via a USB port in the

The User's Guide says "The supplied cable and software provide automatic
file saving and shutdown of the operating system in the event of a sustained
power outage. Connect the cable to the Data Port of the Back-UPS ES. Connect
the other end of the cable to the USB port of your computer. The software
will automatically find the USB Port of your computer."

I'm running Windows XP Professional (SP2).

Can anyone tell me about any experiences they've had with PowerChute, good
or bad? Just what does PowerChute actually do? I don't understand how the
UPS can take a backup of my operating system unless it has a hard drive in
it somewhere, which seems unlikely :-) But assuming that is has some kind of
non-volatile storage in it, I'm also not clear on what parts of my machine
get backed up; is it just a small part of the OS, the whole OS, or the whole
OS _plus_ all of my programs, files, and settings? I'd also like to know if
I can recover the whole PC from this backup alone or does the backup taken
by PowerChute only supplement proper backups taken with Acronis or Ghost or
equivalent programs.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out if it is worth my while to install

Re: UPS backup software

Have a nice read here Rhino
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Re: UPS backup software

Thank you!


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Re: UPS backup software

You've misunderstood the purpose, the UPS is NOT claiming to backup your OS
or file system, what it's saying is that when a power failure occurs, the
UPS will conduct an "orderly" shutdown, which will close files, stop
processes, etc.  IOW, when a power failure occurs, the UPS is not just gonna
just let the battery run down to ZERO charge and have the PC die outright,
and thus, possibly, lose files.

Yes, the explanation provided by the UPS documentation can be misleading.
There's no actual OS backup here, nothing of the kind.

Truth be told, it's not that great at shutdown either, not in terms of files
anyway.  For example, if you're editing a file, say w/ notepad, haven't
saved recent changes, leave the PC, and a power failure occurs, eventually
Powerchute will shutdown the PC, BUT, it will NOT save your unsaved changes
w/ Notepad (at least not time I used it, which was a long time ago).  It
doesn't know how to *save* individual files from specific apps.  It simply
stops that application, if necessary, killing the process (i.e., FORCED
shutdown).  Outside that caveat, it does do an orderly shutdown.  It's only
in that sense that it saves your files (imo, an overstatement).

Frankly, I find it not much better than XP's built-in UPS support.  But if
you want a few more frills, I suppose Powerchute can provide them.  But
there's no magic here, in the end, it's not much different than the built-in
XP support or other UPS software.


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Re: UPS backup software

See remarks interspersed below....

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Okay, that makes a LOT more sense than the User's Guide claim that "the
supplied cable and software provide automatic file saving and shutdown....".

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In the event of a power outage, I would want to do a manual shutdown in an
orderly fashion, saving any open files first. However, if I didn't do that
fast enough, it's good to know that PowerChute would do at least a
reasonable approximation of a shutdown for me. If I lost a few unsaved
updates on the odd open file, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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Thanks for the info, Jim. Much appreciated!

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