How to configure Dell T710 with APC BackUPS XS1300 to boot after power failure

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How to configure Dell T710 with APC BackUPS XS1300 to boot after power failure

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They're doing some serious remodeling in our building which means we've lost power twice in the last week...usually after hours.  The UPS does a fine job in starting a graceful shutdown, but I want the server to boot up after the utility power is returned.

How do I configure this?  Couldn't find anything in the BIOS...or iDRAC6...or Win2008.  

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  • Within the BIOS, there is a setting specific to power recovery.  In BIOS, go to System Security then AC Power Recovery.  By default, it is set to last.  In the case of a graceful shutdown, you can try to set to on.

    If set to Last, the system returns to the last power state.
    If set to On, the system turns on the system after power is restored.
    If set to Off, the system remains off after power is restored.

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  • Thanks for your quick reply.  We made the change you suggested, and set the restart delay to 60s.  While this gets us closer it doesn't solve the problem.  Here's what we're observing:

    1. Win2008 R2 server is up and running.  Power profile is set to balanced.  UPS is detected and accurately shows the charge %/minutes remaining.
    2. We unplug the UPS.  Windows detects this...and when the battery gets low, it performs a graceful shutdown.
    3. We plug the UPS back in.  The system does NOT boot.

    Our hypothesis is that the BIOS never "sees" a power loss because Windows shuts down gracefully and the UPS battery is never depleted.

    To test this hypothesis:

    1. We turned the UPS off.  All the lights on the server went out (network activity, et al).
    2. Turned the UPS on.
    3. The system started after the 60s delay.

    It seems that the BIOS needs to see a complete power loss...which will never happen with a graceful shutdown.

    What we really need is a BIOS setting that powers up the machine whenever a) it is off, and b) it has utility power.  Is such a thing available and/or possible?

  • If you set the bios to "last", the last state as far as the bios is concerned is "off" as Windows did a graceful shutdown.

    Have you tried setting the bios power setting to "on". This should force the server to power on any time it gets power (e.g. after a graceful shutdown and losing power completely and then power being restored).

     

    There is one gotcha though; if power is restored before the battery was completely dead, the server may remain in an off state as the power never was completely lost.

    Member since 2003

  • Thanks for your suggestion.  We are using the "on" setting, but we are trying to get around the "gotcha" you've described.  The server does a graceful shutdown...which removes almost all load from the UPS...so the UPS battery never depletes and the server is never restarted.

    Any ideas on how we can get around this "gotcha"?

  • Bump...still looking for an answer to this.

  • Switched PDU maybe? It would at least give you the ability to remotely cut power to the server after a clean shutdown.

  • Thanks Mike, but I'd like to solve the problem without buying new hardware. 

  • Judging from the lack of responses, I'd say there probably isn't a way to do this w/o buying extra hardware.

    Member since 2003

  • Agreed.  I'm not losing sleep over it.

  • Just out of curiosity, what does APC say about this? Isnt there a way for the UPS to send a "wakeup" call to the server?

  • Didn't get an official answer from them but I'd be surprised if it did.  The BackUPS line is not really designed for servers, so the software they provide doesn't support Win2008 R2.  I am relying on the built in support that Win2008 provides.

    I was hoping that Windows would inform the BIOS and/or the UPS that the shutdown was "forced" by a low battery condition....and that it would power back on when line power was restored.  Seems like such a simple, obvious thing, but I guess not.

  • Don't know if this would help you or not, but...

    We have a half dozen smart UPS form APC powering our servers.

    If power goes off here, we have the UPS hold for a minute or two, and then graceful shutdown starts. (We'd like to leave the system up longer, but it turns out that the loss of the air conditioning is the powerful limiting factor). Thus, the servers are down when the UPS still have a fair charge - they could hold the server up for 10 - 30 minutes. So we also program (via Power Chute software) the UPS units themselves to power down after the servers are down (and restart on power restore). I think this might appear to your PC as a power outage, even after a graceful shutdown, and thus trigger the needed boot at power restore.

  • Hi There

    Not sure if you have already tried this or not

    From elevated command prompt

    omconfig chassis biossetup attribute=acpwrrecovery setting=on

    you could also try

    omconfig chassis biossetup attribute=acpwrrecovery setting=last

    See how you go. Note with some Dell Bios versions, you have to use omconfig mainsystem instead

  • Have you ever found a solution? I'm trying to accomplish the exact same thing without any success.

    Thanks

    Yann

  • The only solution is clear: one must make sure the UPS will shutdown after the server is down.

    If the UPS is not shutdown, the server will not be able to tell if the power it is receiving from the UPS is from the battery (which will take long to be depleted) or if it is coming from the wall because power has been restored.

    Hence, let's keep in mind that one must be able to find a way to poweroff the UPS after (and not while) the server shutdown.

    There are ways to send a killpower signal to the UPS when the computer is turning off. On linux, the apcupsd daemon has provision for just that. Do not know how to handle that on Windows.