UPS and OSX?
April 4, 2005 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I have an external firewire drive with like totally important stuff. I've heard that sudden power loss to such a drive could mean catastrophic data loss and global warming and dead children. I therefore have my drive hooked into an older model APC UPS box (maybe this kind). I run OSX on a PowerBook. What are my options w/r/t/ the UPS notifying the PowerBook of power loss and the PowerBook shutting down the drive automatically?
posted by xmutex to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
If you install APC's PowerChute software on your PowerBook, it can shut your computer down in the event of a power failure, which would also unmount the firewire drive and park its heads.

I haven't used APC's software in several years, though, since it went through kind of a buggy phase. I've heard the latest version works fine in Panther, though.
posted by bcwinters at 10:12 AM on April 4, 2005

Part of the reason that power loss can result in data loss in removable drives is write caching. I don't know where to look in OSX but if you turn that off then power loss won't be as big a problem.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:40 PM on April 4, 2005

I would think if you formatted the drived with a Journalled file system, it wouldn't be as much of an issue. You could also buy a second drive and set up RAID1 mirroring.
posted by hyperizer at 3:49 PM on April 4, 2005

I have an older APC UPS for my external drives as well, but haven't kept the software installed --- last I heard it was kinda' buggy and, plus, the management features require keeping a USB cable plugged directly into your PowerBook (it never worked off a hub for me).

You might want to try TimeLeft, a little program which can run an AppleScript once your PowerBook's battery level drops below a certain capacity. You could set the threshold to something absurd like 99% and use it to run a simple script which dismounts all external drives.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:29 PM on April 4, 2005

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