UPS for your computer??? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Does anyone plan to buy an Uninterruptable Power Source (UPS) for their computer? I need such a thing for my small office. If power goes out(or browns out) periodically, it could wreck my system of production of documents(read: income). Does anyone have any advice on brands,prices,sources,etc??

-- jeanne (, August 24, 1999


Only one I would consider is APC ( Amazing items, we have lot's of them here in our building. Rarely go down for any reason. For the money, they're the best on the market. On an alternative engineering note, some of them take 110-120v, convert it to 12v, then convert it back to 110-120v. At least I think I remember that they do that. Would be reasonable to consider it a light duty inverter should you dis-assemble it, and attach a 12v battery/solar to the internal battery. Just an idea. (no UPS's were hurt during the typing of this thought)

-- Jim Miller (, August 24, 1999.

I looked at the APCs. They work on for about seven to fifteen minutes or something after a power blip so you can save your work. I simply decided I didn't care that I can afford to lose some data. I do have a surge protector, however, to protect the computer per se.

-- Mara Wayne (, August 24, 1999.

I have APC UPS's on all of my computers! While they only stay on for 15 min or so, it gives me time to fire up the generator and keep working. We have had a lot of power outages due to construction in the area and this has kept me in business.

Note: Some older APC units the SmartUPS650 for example would not operate directly from my genset. I had to put a big SOLAVOLT saturable core transformer in the circuit to get it to work properly. The moral, test test test everything!

-- helium (, August 25, 1999.

I have also heard that UPS function as power conditioners, smoothing out any problems in the current, and thus are good to use betwee the less expensive modified sine wave inverters and your computer.

-- robert waldrop (, August 27, 1999.


I have 2 UPS's , an APC and a Blackout Buster. Since loss of your computer stored information translates to loss of income, I'd suggest that they are cheap insurance. The heck with Y2K, if loss of data is loss of $$$, then you shouldn't be without one. Furthermore, I presume that you regularly (translate: compulsively or religiously) backup your revenue producing data/files and anything else you'd like to keep.

From personal experience - 2 weeks ago I finally accepted a 'critical' microshit update to windows 98. The next day when I went to signon - bllllahhhh. No sweat, I was smart I had my Zip disk backup! Except I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to get those to restore without Windows up and running and without internet I couldn't even check out an IOmega site for directions. Further more the vendor's help desk was recommending I rebuild the system from scratch - including a hard drive reformat. I'm glad I'm from the complusive school of backup - I had also copied my data files to regular diskettes. So I rebuilt from scatch, (twice actually still haven't re-installed the TV tuner - that's what trashed my 1st rebuild). Anyway to make a long story short, the only way I was able to recover my data was from the diskettes.

Even with Windows 98 up and running, the zip drive proved worthless - I never checked to see if the backup actually created recoverable data nor did I verify that the index to the data was actually made it to the zip disk. The moral of the story is to be sure your backed up data in in fact backed up and is recoverable.

Back to UPS. The APC unit is in the basement and actually is on our water softener. The battery for the softener memory went dead and Sears informed me that the battery couldn't be replaced - I'd need a whole controller and for a mere sum of $189 plus labor they would be glad to repair it. I said yeah right, and picked up APC for half amount of the Sears part at CompUSA.

The Blackout Buster is on my PC. The PC has never been on when the power went out but I tested it by pulling the plug. Worked long enough for me to save and nicely shut things down which is my object - save the data and save the electronics.

Pros and Cons. The APC unit will let me replace the battery when the battery needs replacing. The Blackout Buster needs to be sent in - as I recall they will hit me up $50 for that service. The Blackout Buster (when I got it anyway) was on sale for more than $50 less than a comparable APC unit. So I figured that by the time I need a new battery, backup technology may have changed sufficiently that I might replace the unit. (Beside I like like its style.)

Unless you are getting you own power system complete with a Trace sine inverter insuring you continuous power from a bank deep cycle backup batteries,a UPS for you computer is cheap insurance.

Good Luck jh

-- john hebert (, August 27, 1999.

My APC Powercell UPS has saved my backside more times than I'd care to count, by granting me a few minutes to save and shut down, or by simply allowing the pooter to ride out the power hiccups. Given that I'm in the Southeast, which has BAD thunderstorm-induced power weirdness (Florida, for example, has the highest lightning damage rates for telecommunications equipment of any region on Earth!), a UPS was a requirement, not an option. If power gets funky (but stays up) you'll need some form of line conditioning to protect your equipment. Brownouts are often worse than surges.

The ever online...

-- OddOne (, August 28, 1999.

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