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Chapter 6. Setting Up Important System S... > Installing and Configuring a UPS

Installing and Configuring a UPS

Electricity is that unseen resource that we pretty much take for granted. It's an invisible, yet critical part of every computer. Not only is it essential in some form for the computer to work, the quality of the power that is being used can affect how a system performs. And, of course, in the case of sudden disruption of a power source, serious damage to both hardware and software can ensue. Most users just rely on power that comes through the wall outlet, but a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can be a lifesaver when the power goes off, giving you the time to back up files and close programs in a manner that will protect against such data loss and system corruption.

Windows XP, like Windows NT and Windows 2000, has built-in support for Uninterruptible Power Supplies. They are relatively cheap and provide a good measure of protection from power outages, but all Uninterruptible Power Supplies are not created equal. The most basic UPS should give you a few minutes of time that it will support system operation after a power failure. As the price of the UPS goes up, the amount of time you have available increases. The number of devices you have connected to the UPS and how much power they draw also plays a large role in this timeframe.


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