Power outages can be a major threat to your computer’s health. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can protect your tech devices from damage caused by power failures and ensure that your computer keeps running smoothly.
With the summer season approaching, it’s important to understand what causes electrical failures and how to safeguard your devices from the fatal reboot disease. Whether you’re working in a business office or a home office, this knowledge is vital.
To minimize damage from electrical power fluctuations, it’s recommended to plug your computer and modem into power surge protective strips. Surge protectors are effective in protecting against glitches caused by normal energy fluctuations. However, in the event of a direct lightning strike, the surge protector can be damaged, causing the electronic gadgets plugged into it to burn out. In such a situation, it’s best to unplug the surge protector from the wall socket during a storm.
Another essential piece of protective equipment is an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS. A UPS is a battery-containing device that supplies backup power to desktop PCs during electrical grid outages and brownouts. One of the most important services a UPS provides is the continuation of electrical power for about 15 minutes, giving you enough time to safely save your data and power down your equipment. The UPS will automatically kick in when it senses an interruption of electricity from the main service line to your home or office.
The latest UPS models can reset to an off position automatically as their rechargeable batteries run out of energy. When the normal power supply returns, your computer can restart without its power supply being blocked if it is configured appropriately. Many computers have BIOS settings that allow you to adjust power settings so that the computer can sense when the normal electrical supply returns. UPS devices are available at office supply retailers, box stores, and online shopping centers.
The software that comes with a UPS safeguards your computer when it is unattended, making it useful for those who use remote access services and file-syncing cloud storage services. To get your PC to restart automatically after a power outage, you’ll need to make some changes to the PC’s BIOS settings and install the UPS-included software.
Power outages can be a significant threat to your computer’s health, but with the right protective equipment and settings, you can safeguard your digital gear from damage and ensure that your computer keeps running smoothly.
When it comes to restarting your computer after a power outage, the process will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. The BIOS restart setting is independent of the operating system you use, whether it’s Microsoft Windows or Linux. Essentially, the BIOS is responsible for initiating the hardware and startup process that leads to your computer’s desktop.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting your computer’s BIOS to start automatically after a power outage:
Power on your computer and press one of the following keys to enter the BIOS setup utility: “DEL,” “F1,” “F2,” or “F10.” The key you need to press will depend on the manufacturer of your computer. Look for a message in small print at the bottom of your screen when your computer first turns on to determine which key to use.
Once you’re inside the BIOS menu, look for the “Restore on AC/Power Loss” or “AC Power Recovery” or “After Power Loss” setting under either the “Advanced,” “ACPI,” or “Power Management Setup” menus. Note that the location of this setting may differ depending on your computer’s manufacturer.
Set the “Restore on AC/Power Loss” setting to “Power On.”
Save and exit from BIOS settings. The menu on your screen will provide you with the function key combination to do this.
If you’re using a Linux-powered computer as a server, it’s crucial to get it up and running as soon as possible after a power outage, especially if the server is located in a less accessible area of your building. To ensure an unattended restart after a power interruption, you’ll need to set up four additional settings:
BIOS: Make sure the BIOS is set up to boot when power resumes.
Boot loader: Configure the boot loader to not wait for a user to select an OS to boot into. Instead, it should boot into the default OS right away.
Login: Set up the boot procedure to log in to a particular user automatically after booting up, without waiting for a person to log in.
Application restart: Set up the boot procedure to automatically start up the necessary application programs without requiring human intervention.
To make it easier for your computer to restart after a power outage, some computers have a BIOS setting that you can activate. Here’s how you can check if your computer has this feature and enable it:
Access the BIOS settings menu, which is a process that is hardware-dependent and works similarly on all computers, regardless of the operating system you use. To do this, restart your computer and watch for the first flash screen to appear.
Look for the Setup function key description, which can be Setup F2 or F12, or something similar. Press the appropriate function key during startup and tap it repeatedly until the BIOS settings menu appears.
Within the BIOS settings menu, look for the Power Settings option and turn on the AC Power Recovery or similar setting. Look for a power-based setting that confirms that your computer will restart when power becomes available. Note that some older computers may not have this feature. If your computer does have it, save the configuration by pressing the designated function key displayed on the screen. This will reboot your computer.
If you are using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to provide a short-interval battery supply when the power outage occurs, there are additional steps you need to take to make the hardware connections. However, for now, let’s focus on how to restart your computer when the power grid is back online.
Get Windows 10 to Start Again
If your Windows system encounters a power outage, it may fail to restart or boot correctly, displaying a stalled loading screen or a blue screen with an error message. One of the common reasons for booting issues with Windows is power surges that can corrupt system files. However, you can use the following suggestions to address this problem.
One solution is to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. To do so, press the power button on your computer and then press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. Select Update & Security > Recovery, and under Advanced startup, click Restart now. Once your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Choose an option to finish the process when your PC restarts.
Alternatively, you can use the built-in System Configuration Utility to restart Windows 10 after a power outage. Open the Run box from the Win+X Menu and type msconfig before pressing Enter. Under the Boot tab, check the Safe boot and Minimal options and click Apply/OK before exiting. Your computer will automatically enter Safe Mode when it restarts and will continue to boot into Safe Mode until you change the setting back to normal boot. Therefore, before shutting down Windows 10, open msconfig again and uncheck the Safe Boot check box, click Apply/OK, and then click the Restart button.
Having a connected UPS can offer several benefits, including the ability to restart your computer once the power supply resumes. When looking for a UPS to purchase, consider factors such as the initial cost, the cost and frequency of replacement batteries, the ability to manage and monitor the UPS from Linux, and the watts and volt-amps provided.
Over time, the batteries in a UPS can degrade and lose their total power capacity. You may need to replace the batteries every three to five years. If you only need to run your machine for a short time, such as five minutes, you can choose a UPS with a larger capacity to avoid replacing the batteries for a longer period, although the batteries for larger UPSs may be more expensive.
If you use the Linux operating system, ensure that the UPS you choose has software that supports Linux. Otherwise, you will need to manually turn off your computer before the UPS batteries run out.
Here are the steps to connect your UPS to your computer and peripherals, such as a printer and modem:
- Plug your PC and monitor directly into available controlled AC outlets on the UPS, rather than a power strip.
- Connect the included USB cable between the UPS and PC for communication. Avoid using a powered USB hub between the UPS and PC, as this can cause communication failure during an outage.
- Plug the UPS into the wall power supply and allow it to fully charge, which can take four or more hours.
- If available, install and configure the UPS software based on the directions that come with it. Navigate to the Energy Management tab or a similar setting within the Configuration setting, and check the Enable Energy Management check box. Choose the Default settings in PowerChute and look for any Turn On Again settings in any other power management software and check them as appropriate.