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APC UPS on Windows Server 2003

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
Experts,

So, I have an APC SMT2200 connected to my Windows 2003 server via USB.
PowerChute Business installed, but cannot find any devices.
Successfully sent a test broadcast with the PowerChute software, so that that worked, at least.
It's recognized in Device Manager as an APC UPS, though.
I made a registry DWORD entry to add the UPS tab in Power Options.
In the UPS tab, I added an APC Smart-UPS on COM1.
Warning near the bottom says, "The UPS service is currently stopped."

Go to UPS services in services.msc, set it to Automatic, then try to Start it.
I get the error message, "Could not start the UPS service on Local Computer. Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified."

So, I'm stuck. I tried COM2, too.
Thanks in advance!
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Question by:Michael L
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39913732
If you're using an APC UPS, disable the Windows native UPS service and let Powerchute do the job instead. The Windows UPS service is for basic UPS devices that don't install their own service.

Normally installing the Powerchute software disables the Windows service anyway, but this appears not to have happened in your case.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39913734
PowerChute must have disabled it because it was disabled when I went to its service, after PowerChute wasn't detecting any devices.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39913743
Go into Device Manager and look to see what COM port has been assigned to the USB port. It's very often something other than COM1 or COM2. Then set that port in Powerchute.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39913760
Communications Port (COM1) and Communications Port (COM2) don't look to be altered. Nothing in USB controllers show COM port assignment. How do I set one of the COM ports to work with APC, if that's what you're suggesting I do.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Khawaja
ID: 39913791
I recommend not using COM or USB for connecting to the UPS.  I suggest you purchase the SNMP/Web card and use that instead as it will communicate over IP.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39913792
My mistake. For some reason I assumed you were using an USB-serial converter, and clearly you aren't...

If you have serial ports on your server and a serial lead for the UPS then use that connection method instead; this has the added advantage of freeing a USB port for pen drives, external backup devices etc.

When you installed Powerchute had you already connected the UPS? If yes, then disconnect the UPS and uninstall Powerchute. Then install Powerchute and reconnect the UPS.

I take it that you've installed the Powerchute Agent software? This enables you to configure and manage the UPS.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39913805
So, I have to use USB to serial? The UPS has no serial port. Just USB and ethernet. When I installed PowerChute, it was already connected through USB, yes. I have Agent software, too.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39913813
@mnkhawaja - We're too poor to make such purchases :\ This UPS was given to us.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39914608
You shouldn't have to use a USB-serial converter, although it might be simplest.
Look carefully at the ethernet ports on the UPS; they may be simply for surge protection.
If I remember correctly, there will be a third port that is physically identical to the other two but is where you connect the USB lead for communication between the device and the server. It will have a different symbol next to it. I'm groping in the dark a little here, as I'm working from uncertain memory, and it's entirely possible that I'm talking complete rubbish. If your USB lead is an A-A or A-B type then ignore the previous paragraph and consider using a converter.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39917615
Well, I definitely only have two ports: A UPS Monitoring Port (RJ-45) and a Standard-B USB Port.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39918905
Well, I've actually looked up your model of UPS, and the information confirms that the RJ-45 port is for a serial connection. Therefore you should have a lead with an RJ-45 plug at one end and a DB9 female serial port connector at the other. However, as the unit was a freebie, you can't complain too much if a few bits and pieces are missing...

The lead looks like this one, found on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-APC-940-0625A-Serial-DB9-RJ45-UPS-Data-Signaling-Cable-FREE-SHIPPING-/251471064771?pt=US_Parallel_Serial_PS_2_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3a8cd7eec3

If you can get yourself one of these then your UPS comms issue might be solved.

Unfortunately I can't offer any intelligent suggestions as to why the USB connection doesn't work for you. You don't say what server hardware you have, but it might be worth looking in the BIOS settings to see if anyone has tinkered with the USB settings there.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39918915
All my USB ports are free and usable. It's a Dell PowerEdge 2950.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39919038
I found this on APC's support forums:

http://forums.apc.com/message/2577

It doesn't deal with your specific model and the article is a few years old (as is your server and its OS), but the last comment in particular might be helpful.

Are you accessing the agent via the console or a browser?
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39924934
I'm trying to access it via the installed console. I'll check that link out. Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39934577
Well, I could find was a RJ-45 to USB connector. My server is still not detecting it :(
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39935607
See if you can get hold of the APC RJ-45-to-serial connector. I've always used them with single servers wherever possible because they've always worked...
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39935615
I've gone through my entire office. I'll check eBay when I get home.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39935619
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39937703
Yes, that looks like it.
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Author Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39945813
Ok, plugged the cable in - UPS shut down. They would not power back up until I plugged them into the second row of Group 1 outlets. Upon loading server OS with cable still connected, UPS shut down again. Wtf?
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Accepted Solution

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Perarduaadastra earned 500 total points
ID: 39946161
Maybe that's why the UPS was free...

It sounds as though the unit has a fault which makes it unsuitable for business use, but the donor thought that for a small or non-profit organisation it was better than nothing.

I'd try APC's support forums to see if anything similar has been reported and if so what fixes there are.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Michael L
ID: 39946182
Thanks for all your help :)
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39947980
You're most welcome, for such help as I was...
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