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Required and Suggested Windows Operating System Settings for Tempurity™

 

Introduction

Many customers are already familiar with "server environments", that is IT environments where computers need to be running 24 hours a day.  This document will be the most valuable for non-IT professionals that are not normally managing Windows servers.

The Tempurity System is comprised of two software components - at least one Tempurity Server which collects temperatures and other data from at least one monitored device 24 hours a day through the network, and at least one Tempurity Monitor that communicates with the Tempurity Server and sends alarm notifications. Both of these components must be running constantly in order for the Tempurity System to function properly.  They can be running on the same, or different machines.

Various events, such as manual restart, power failures, automatic windows updates, and sleep settings can interrupt the ability of your computers to perform needed Tempurity functions. While these temporary outages are common, and if these outages are short they will not seriously affect quality operation of the system,  the computer must resume operation seamlessly after "interrupting" events.  This can be easily achieved, even in non-server-room environments, however your computer must be configured properly and tested. 

This document describes the recommended Windows XP Operating System and BIOS configuration options that should be considered for computers running each component, Tempurity Server and Tempurity Monitor.

Tempurity Server and Monitor Computer Operating System Settings

In all versions of the Tempurity Server the system will resume temperature and other data collection automatically after a reboot if the computer is configured correctly as described below. Earlier versions of the Tempurity Monitor ran interactively and did not automatically restart. Later versions, Tempurity Monitor (version 1.6 and later) software automatically resumes the capability of sending alarm notifications after a reboot. 

Neither Monitor or Server need to be logged into a user account in order to run. Processing is accomplished in the background.

The following settings are the most important and should be examined to help ensure that Tempurity Server and Tempurity Monitor computers are always running:

    Windows Power Settings

    BIOS Power Settings

    Windows Automatic Update Settings

When Do I Need to Make these Changes

While these setting are important for Tempurity Servers, customers that are using Tempurity Monitors to view data only, and not for alarm notification sends, will not need to follow these steps.  That is, alarm notification sends can stem from Monitors anywhere on the network. If this function is covered by a PC somewhere else on the network it need not be established permanently on every computer running the Monitor.

Windows Power Option Settings

You will need to adjust the Windows Control Panel Power Options such that the computer starts automatically whenever an interruption such as a power failure occurs.

 Click Control Panel and then on Power Options. Set the power options on your Tempurity Server as follows:

 

This "Power Always On" setting is required for Tempurity Servers and for Tempurity Monitors.

BIOS Power Settings

Some Windows computers must be set to automatically reboot when the power is restored after a power failure.

This is accomplished using the PC's BIOS.  Most computers have BIOS settings that will allow you to reboot automatically after a power restore however the commands to enter the BIOS are different among types of computers. Check your owners manual or check online for the procedures needed to configure this option on your specific computer.

Testing for Correct Resumption of Operation after a Power Failure

After the above have been set, try simply unplugging the power cable from your PC.  Then plug it back in.  If the PC reboots and the Tempurity Server or Tempurity Monitor have started as expected,  your PC is configured correctly. The PC need not be logged into an account for the Tempurity Software to be running. As long as the computer is powered on, Tempurity Software is running in the background.

If the power is restored and the computer does not reboot, check the BIOS and Windows settings as indicated above and try again.

To verify Tempurity Server function,  use a Tempurity Monitor from another computer and verify that the data is being collected. You'll need to wait several minutes for data to be acquired.

To verify Tempurity Monitor function, disconnect one of the NTMS units from the network, and verify that alarm notifications are received as expected. You will need to wait for a period longer than the communication alarm threshold for this device, and have an active alarm group that is watching this monitored device.

Alarm Notifications are Sent for Active Alarms when the Tempurity Monitor Restarts

When the Tempurity Monitor is restarted for any reason, alarm notifications are sent for any alarms that are outstanding at the time of the restart.  This is true whether or not these notifications were sent previously. This is because the Monitor can't tell if those alarms were generated during the period when it was not active. This is a way for the Tempurity Monitor to "err on the side of safety" by sometimes sending alarm notifications more than once.

Windows Automatic Update Settings

Windows can be set to automatically update the operating system whenever new software is released by Microsoft. When an update is obtained, depending on your automatic update settings, the computer may be rebooted. This reboot can cause a temporary pause in the ability to of a Tempurity Server to collect temperatures (usually a minute or less).  More significantly a reboot may expose conditions that may pause the automatic resumption of processing by the operating system. Networked Robotics recommends that the Windows Automatics Update option for computers running Tempurity System components should be “Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them”. 

If you allow automatic updates on a Monitor computer, if there are active alarms at the time of reboot, alarm notifications will be sent as described above.  If your computer is updated frequently and you have active alarms, this may lead to the sending of a lot of duplicate alarm notifications.

 

 

Non-genuine Windows and Windows Licensing

In 2006 Microsoft established detection of Windows Operating System, such that licenses were considered genuine, or non-genuine. If the Windows license is considered non-genuine, a prompt appears at boot time recommending the potential purchase of a license. The appearance of this prompt prevents the automatic reboot of Windows and thus prevents a Tempurity Server from resuming temperature and other data collection. On a Tempurity Monitor it prevents the computer from processing alarm notifications. Although manual intervention will cause normal processing to resume, the system will not be collecting data or processing alarms until this occurs.

 

Viewing the Status of Tempurity System Components

How to tell if the Tempurity Server is running:

The easiest way is to tell if the Tempurity Server is running is to examine the system tray. If the icon is red, Tempurity Server processes are not running. If green they are running as expected.  A green icon does not necessarily indicate that data collection is occurring. It indicates only that Tempurity Server processes are running. If an IP address is wrong for data collection, the server could be on, but no data collection would be occurring. 

 

Windows Process List

You can also use the Windows Task Manager process list to confirm that the Tempurity Server process, called NewTempurity.exe, is running as expected.

Older Monitor Versions

The Tempurity Monitor must be running in order for alarm notifications to be received.

In versions 1.6 and later, the monitor is always running if the computer is on. Previous to 1.6 the monitor computer must be set to running the monitor with the autostart utility.  The screenshots below show how login can be automatically enabled to automatically run earlier versions of the Tempurity Monitor.

 

Screensaver Options for Always-on Tempurity Monitors

You may wish to install a hallway display, or a wall-mount display that is designed to display the status of your population of monitored devices constantly in a very visible area. Disable the screensaver so that the main monitor display is always visible. Choose Control Panel and then Display. 

 

 

You may wish to set the “Turn off monitor” setting to Never.

 

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