How to Automatically Restart a Dell Server After a Power Outage
By Gareth Downes-Powell
Updated September 28, 2017
When you are hosting a server of any kind, it's usually critical that it be online 24 hours a day so users can connect at any time. In the event of a power outage, it's important that the server automatically restarts as soon as the power supply is resumed, to minimize downtime. Dell servers have a special "AC Power Recovery" option in the BIOS, which allows you to specify how the server behaves in the event of a power outage.
Power on the Dell server, and press the "F2" key on the server's keyboard when you see the message "
Use the "Down Arrow" key to move to the "System Security" menu option and press the "Enter" key to select it. This will display a new page of settings relating to security and power.
Move down to the "AC Power Recovery" option. This has three options: "On," "Off" and "Last." Set the option to "On," which means that after a power outage, as soon as the supply is resumed, the server will automatically turn on. The "Off" setting tells the server to remain off after the supply is resumed, and "Last" returns the server to the state it was in when the power outage occurred.
Press the "Esc" key to exit the BIOS, and then select the option "Save Changes and Exit" to store the new settings. The server will then restart, and in the event of a power outage, will automatically restart when the power supply is resumed.
If you have an older Dell server and cannot see the "AC Power Recovery" option in the BIOS, check for BIOS upgrades on the Dell website, because these may add the feature to your server.
This feature is not unique to Dell, and many other brands of server also have this option in their BIOS.
If the power supply to the server does fail at some point, data corruption may occur as the server will not shutdown cleanly. If possible, a Uninterruptible Power Supply should be used, which uses battery power to keep the server online during a power outage.
Gareth Downes-Powell has been writing since 2000. He has contributed to a number of U.K. magazines, including "Web Designer," and has co-written four IT-related books published by Apress and Wrox. He has also worked as a technical editor on a number of titles for U.K. and U.S. publishers. Downes-Powell attended Thanet Technical College, achieving A-Levels in computer science, math and physics.