Do I Need an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)? I’m beginning to think that I really do…
For a lot of years, I kept UPS’s supplying power to all of my family’s computers. I was concerned over power outages and their impacts on the data structure on my hard drives.
I wasn’t concerned with power outages causing damage to the computers themselves, or even to the physical hard drives. I was concerned over the possibility of data corruption, especially if the computer was writing to the drive’s data structure table at the time the power went
In those days, I ran Norton Utilities on my computers and let them automatically defragment during the night on one nights a week. For my home theater PC, not only did I let it defragment twice a week during the night, I also wanted to give it a chance to keep running through a short power outage.
Then, I stopped running Norton’s products. I tried some other defragmentation tools, both faster and slower ones, and eventually pretty much stopped defragmenting.
Also, I had gotten frustrated with buying UPS’s with replaceable batteries, but then never being able to find replacement batteries for them. Sure, I could order a new battery from the manufacturer, but that replacement was as much as the discounted price on a new model. Buying new UPS’s also got old.
One problem with the UPS is that some use a gel-based battery, rather than the older, heavier style lead-and-acid type. Probably safer for individuals and for the environment, the gel-based batteries had replacement lives of about three years. Yet, even the lead-acid batteries have a problem with full-discharge uses, which will reduce the life of the UPS.
So, what’s happened that I’m thinking about changing my mind? My power company has developed a bad case of outages over the last 24 hours.
In a recent 24 hour period, the power was out 12-15 times, depending on how you count the on-again-off-immediately startup attempts. There was a little of this during the week, but Saturday it transformed into a recurring problem.
Needless to say, I was not pleased. I was glad, though, to have my notebook as a backup — and started this article on it while the power was out!