[mythtv-users] Slightly OT: Powering up remotely

Jim Abernathy jfabernathy at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 18:46:44 UTC 2020

On 9/21/20 2:13 PM, Ian Evans wrote:
> Away from home for a bit and have been logging in remotely to check on 
> my MythTV system, which also runs Zoneminder.
> Last night while on the system, I suddenly lost the connection. When 
> my remote internet connection came back (the ISP can see the modem on 
> their network) I couldn't login to the Myth box so I think that must 
> have gone too.
> It's connected to a surge protector but currently not to a UPS. The 
> bios is set to autostart when the power comes on.
> 1) Let's say it auto-started but is currently sitting there with some 
> "press y to continue" drive/os message. To future proof this, aren't 
> there some motherboards that allow you to have remote KVM access 
> through the bios?
> 2) let's say you have a UPS with shutdown software. It goes on 
> battery. Safely shuts down Linux box. Power comes back before the 
> battery has drained. I'm assuming the computer won't autostart because 
> the power to it never stopped. Anyone ever tried using a WiFi plug to 
> power the computer off to force an autostart?
> Thanks for any advice.

I just did some testing on this after I had my 7 year old UPS battery 
die and I replaced the whole thing.

1.)  I use to work for Intel back prior to 2013 and is those days you 
could buy a business motherboard with the Management engine and 2nd 
Ethernet connector so you could run network management remotely that 
included everything from KVM to re-flashing the BIOS. At that time 
corporate IT loved those features so they could do everything remotely.  
Now that's 7 year old information, so your mileage may very.

2.)  I have my UPS software set to let the system run until a critical 
low battery alert is received and the shutdown issued. I also have the 
BIOS set that will always power on if power is restored after a 
failure.  So most of the time the sequence is the power is lost, and 
either recovers quickly 5-10 minutes and nothing happens except some 
warning emails.  Of if the power gets critically low, the UPS shuts down 
the computer but other peripherals keep draining the battery and then 
the UPS is completely dead.  Now when Power is restored the BIOS 
registers this as a previous power failure and immediately boots.

There is a small window of time between the PC being shutdown, but there 
is still power coming from the UPS that, if the power to the house is 
restored, there PC will remain off because it never saw the power failure.

My Netgear Wireless AP router has Openvpn built in and I can easily 
control my Mythtv backend remotely, except when I had the problem where 
the power is restored after the UPS has shutdown the PC and power was 
restored before it drained completely.

You could solve this with a Corporate motherboard or as I do I give my 
neighbor a bottle of wine every time he goes into my house to power up 
my PC after that problem occurs.  So far that's been the most economical 
solution. $30 for a decent bottle of wine, $200 for a new motherboard + 
$200 for Management capable CPU and chipset, etc. I had this happen once 
in 3 years, so I'm ahead of the game.

Jim A

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