APC Powerchute vs. Windows Power Management

1 08 2010

I was recently trialling APC Powerchute on a small SBS 2008 server, attempting to maintain some automated shutdown while also gleaning some stats on how frequently the UPS was intervening. I’ve used the software before, but this time it refused to play ball; I saw the stats, but it never shut the server down on power failure. Not good; I’d rather know the data was safe than be told how many times it wasn’t safe.

So, I reverted to the fallback option. An APC UPS (the USB connected ones, not sure about serial) can run under Windows’ power management, being configured and monitored in exactly the same way a battery in a laptop would. Thus, they truly are plug-and-play; some less reputable brands require their own monitoring software and aren’t nearly as effective in my experience.

Alas, uninstalling the software never restored Windows Power Management. I waited… rebooted… checked control panel… nothing. No mention of a battery in the power options and the power meter icon was disabled in the task tray. I’d lost all shutdown functionality from the UPS. Yet again, a routine job involving a computer turned in to a match of man vs. machine.

The fix was surprisingly simple, didn’t involve edits to the registry (which I fear when it comes to drivers and hardware and critical things like power) — but unintuitive:

  1. Open Device Manager, expand Batteries, locate the UPS and uninstall it. Be sure to uninstall the driver too when asked
  2. Wait a few minutes for that to complete, then on the Action menu, hit Scan for hardware changes
  3. Sure enough, the UPS was detected again, the drivers installed fresh and my power icon in the task tray immediately restored

It would appear APC Powerchute doesn’t fully tidy up after itself.




9 responses

19 12 2010

THX Tigermatt 🙂 You save my PC from another system reinstall 😀
btw. if after “Scan for hardware changes” the power meter icon won’t appear in system tray, then uninstall UPS again and reboot PC 🙂

22 03 2011

Thank you so much for this post – I’ve been trying for a long time to get the Power Icon to show up after uninstalling APC’s PowerChute (which is terrible) and had no luck even with Group Policy changes and Registry Edits. I did as you explained plus I had to go to the Human Interface Devices (in Device Manager) and delete the APC device) and then rebooted. Wow! It worked!! Thanks again.

22 03 2011

Excellent Carole! I struggled with this for a while too so I’m glad it was of assistance to you!

19 07 2011
richard dows

Thanks! Good to know, I’ll be using this when we get the new APC UPS in.

5 09 2011
Richard Bering (@richardbering)

I didn’t know that APC backups were natively supported by Windows until just the other day. Had the same problem as you trying to uninstall PowerChute. What an easy fix. Thank for posting this.

19 09 2011

Thanks! I like the native Windows power management better: more granularity and no PowerChute bloat (extra services, constantly writing power stats every few seconds to SSD…)

2 10 2011

Thanks great it works

31 08 2012

Thanks for this helpful tip – saved me a lot of hassle. APC makes absolute garbage for UPS management software. In fact, I’m insulting garbage by calling it garbage. At any rate, APC’s software does NOT tidy up after itself, so it was nice to find a quick fix. Thanks again!

3 11 2012
Rick Neeft

Thank You!!

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