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  1. #1

    oldfella's Avatar
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    Specs:
    24" iMac
    iMac Powered Through UPS
    We had couple of weather-related power failures three days ago and my iMac shut down, not staying on battery power. I have an APC LS 700 UPS - according to APC, my unit can handle my 24" iMac; Apple says "don't know unless we test your iMac and UPS, take to the Apple store", as if the Apple store were next door. I've not been able to find out if the two are compatible; if the the UPS supports the Mac, and vice-versa - each point the finger to the other... nothing new! I tested the UPS by pulling the cord from the wall and plugging a lamp on the UPS - the lamp worked; I then tried to power-up the Mac while holding down the "option" key - it powered up but went down as soon as I lifted my finger from the "option" key. As far as I know there is no "Power Chute" program available for Macs... can any one here shed a light on this issue, do I necessarily need a larger UPS, like an LS900? Thanks.

    Pete

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    How old is your UPS? If it's been around a while...the battery inside of it could be on it's "last legs".

    The UPS may have enough "juice" to operate a lamp...but maybe not enough to run an energy hungry computer.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    oldfella's Avatar
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    24" iMac
    Thanks, Nick - The battery in my UPS is about four years old, APC is aware of its age and suggested no replacement based on my usage history, but you could be right.

    Pete

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfella View Post
    Thanks, Nick - The battery in my UPS is about four years old, APC is aware of its age and suggested no replacement based on my usage history, but you could be right.

    Pete
    Did APC actually physically examine & test your UPS...or was this all a phone conversation?

    Like anything...individual setups & usage vary...and the recommendations from APC may only be based on statistical averages they've calculated.

    It could certainly be something else (not the battery)...but given what you described (UPS works with a lamp but not the computer)...I'm only suggesting that a weak UPS battery could be the problem.

    The only way you will know for sure (short of taking the UPS to be serviced...which would probably cost almost as much as a new UPS)...is to get a new UPS.

    By the way...can I assume that if you plug your iMac directly into the wall socket that it works fine?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    FYI...here's a link to another forum's thread regarding the lifespan of UPS batteries.

    USP battery longevity - Mike Holt's Forum

    Seems that the 3-5 years number is used quite a bit...with some mention of shorter durations for lower quality UPS's.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2009
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    MA
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    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 6S, iPod Nano 7th GeniPad 3
    If the UPS is unable to power the iMac while entirely on battery, that most likely means that the battery is likely on it's way out..the iMac is probably no slouch when it comes to power consumption while running...

    If you're worried about power-spikes affecting the iMac, perhaps a good surge protector is enough..especially if APC doesn't have a way of notifying the iMac to shut itself down as the battery drains..

    Regards

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    If you're worried about power-spikes affecting the iMac, perhaps a good surge protector is enough..especially if APC doesn't have a way of notifying the iMac to shut itself down as the battery drains..
    I know that a lot of UPS's come with a software install disk that enhances the features of the UPS...and probably includes a application or two that provides the user with some sort of UPS feedback.

    Unfortunately (in my experience)...this software is generally for "Windows Only"...so us Macintosh folks lose out on some of the functionality of the UPS.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8

    oldfella's Avatar
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    Specs:
    24" iMac
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Did APC actually physically examine & test your UPS...or was this all a phone conversation?
    ... via phone conversation... it would be too costly to send the UPS to APC.


    By the way...can I assume that if you plug your iMac directly into the wall socket that it works fine?
    Since the power comes directly from the source through the UPS, unless there is a power failure, I would think that your assumption is correct.

    Pete

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfella View Post
    Since the power comes directly from the source through the UPS, unless there is a power failure, I would think that your assumption is correct.
    Kind of a "cryptic" answer. I guess I'm a bit confused by your initial post.

    Are you saying that your UPS will power your iMac when the UPS is plugged in...and the UPS will not power you iMac if it is unplugged (simulating a power outage)?

    If the UPS will not power (or power very long) your computer if you unplug the UPS from the wall...then this is definitely an indication that the battery is dead or nearly dead.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10

    oldfella's Avatar
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    Sorry if I confused you, Nick... I confuse myself sometimes.

    As long as I have electrical power and the UPS is plugged to the source, and my Mac is plugged in to the UPS, I have no problems... meaning the UPS is receiving and delivering full power; the problems comes in when there is a power failure... my Mac is supposed to keep working via the UPS battery source, it does not. Am I now clear as mud

    Pete

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfella View Post
    Sorry if I confused you, Nick... I confuse myself sometimes.

    As long as I have electrical power and the UPS is plugged to the source, and my Mac is plugged in to the UPS, I have no problems... meaning the UPS is receiving and delivering full power; the problems comes in when there is a power failure... my Mac is supposed to keep working via the UPS battery source, it does not. Am I now clear as mud

    Pete
    OK...I get it!

    It definitely sounds to me like your UPS's battery is not strong enough anymore to power your computer during a power outage. If having backup power for your computer is important...then I think that it's time for a new UPS.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12

    JohnCL's Avatar
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    First off a 700 is plenty to run your iMac on battery. I run my 21.5 on battery when the power fails and have never had an issue. You need a new battery at this point and they are pretty cheap. You are probably looking at the 60 - 80 dollar range for a replacement.

    OSX has built in management that becomes active when you plug in the USB cable from the UPS. You are able to control how long it stays on battery before shutting down, etc. You will also have a pop up on the screen if power is lost and restored letting you know of a previous failure.

  13. #13

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCL View Post
    First off a 700 is plenty to run your iMac on battery. I run my 21.5 on battery when the power fails and have never had an issue. You need a new battery at this point and they are pretty cheap. You are probably looking at the 60 - 80 dollar range for a replacement.

    OSX has built in management that becomes active when you plug in the USB cable from the UPS. You are able to control how long it stays on battery before shutting down, etc. You will also have a pop up on the screen if power is lost and restored letting you know of a previous failure.
    JohnCL,

    Some great info there...especially the OS X built-in management. Do you know with what version of the Mac OS did this "built-in APS management" via USB port begin?

    I wanted to mention one thing...not all UPS's have a USB port. I have three UPS's...and only one of them has a USB port. Maybe this is a function of lower cost UPS's...or maybe a USB port isn't as common on older UPS's.

    As far as the replacement batteries...I haven't seen these before at my local electronics stores. Is this something you can only get via the internet...or do you get them at your local electronics stores?

    And hey...$60-$80 bucks to everyone is not always considered "pretty cheap". But relatively "cheap" for the protection you get.

    Thanks,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14

    oldfella's Avatar
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    24" iMac
    Thanks, Nick and John - I am fairly confident that my UPS, as-is, will protect my Mac from power surges - what worries me is lost of data from sudden shutdowns due to power failures. Upgrading to an LS 900 costs about $45 more than buying a new battery - I think I'll take that direction. Thanks for you able assistance, folks. Regards.

    Pete (The Oldfella)

  15. #15

    JohnCL's Avatar
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    Well, I think that Leopard had it, but I can't remember for sure. I am almost positive that it did.

    True on the USB ports. More are leaning that way as DB9 serials are becoming a thing of the past. If you do have an APC unit that has serial you can probably get a USB converter and use it on the iMac. If buying new always keep an eye out for models that offer USB for monitoring.

    The batteries can be purchased at local places like Batteries+ or something of the like. You will never see them at BestBuy or any other retailer like that. The best bet on an APC unit is to go to their website and put in your exact model and they will provide the kit with the new battery and a box and label to ship the old one back for recycling. I have uses the service many times and you are guaranteed to get the right battery. There are many choices, and one 700 can differ from another model of 700 and have a different battery so having your exact part number is critical.

    Nick, you are correct. 60 - 80 is not cheap for all and I apologize for assuming so.

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