Thursday, March 20, 2003

I managed to very nearly render my computer useless tonight. I was tinkering with the UPS Battery Backup software from APC, to connect my new UPS to my computer via USB. I had it installed and working, but the system wouldn't shut down anymore, it just got to the cyan screen and stuck there. I tried to uninstall it, but it failed - claiming that it could not re-enable the native windows UPS software because it couldn't detect the UPS. (Native windows software doesn't support USB connection to UPS, only serial.) SO in my infinite wisdom I tried setting the windows part to COM2, telling it that was were the UPS was. I then hacked the registry and manually deleted the files, then uninstalled the hardware portions from the Hardware Manager. All I have to do is reboot and reinstall the UPS software now, right?

Reboot, watch it come up, watch a few pop-up errors come and go, and then watch the system shut itself down.

Oh dear.

Try again. Same drill.

Safe mode! Wouldn't boot, hung before loading the windows portion. Oh dear again.

Normal boot, get back to the power settings as fast as I could. Uncheck the part under ALERTS where it shuts the system down when the battery gets critically low. Hit apply. Too slow. It shuts down. *sigh* Try again, get it done in time! WOO! With the alerts disabled, reboot. Watch in disbelief as it shuts itself down again. Yes, it re-enables those pesky alerts on each boot. Why? Ask Mr. Gates. This time I disabled the alerts and disabled the UPS service. Then I went back into the registry and yanked out the three references to apc.exe hooking to com2. Reboot.

Ahh! Much better. But now, of course, I have crippled my UPS. But its late, I'll fight that dragon later. Right now it boots, it stays up, and the modem works. Ah yes, when your UPS software is using com2, where your modem is supposed to be, it apparently gets told (by the modem) that the battery is dead. Once I told it not to use com2 anymore, my modem started working and the UPS stopped shutting me down.

And to think I did all this just because it wasn't shutting down correctly.