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"ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:27 pm

Learned something new tonight. I'm in the process of redoing my home server, and one of the things I always do with server boxes is configure the BIOS/EFI to power the system back on after a power outage, if the system was on prior to the outage. Every BIOS/EFI I've dealt with in the past decade or more has had an option to enable this.

Well, I couldn't find it anywhere in the settings for this motherboard (Asus M5A97). Went through all the settings pages, and it just wasn't there.

Turns out you have to disable the "ErP Ready" setting (which is enabled by default)... otherwise, all of the power event handling options (power up after power outage, wake-on-USB, etc.) are completely hidden. Would've been nice if they'd just grayed them out instead, as a hint that you needed to do something to enable the ability to change them.
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Dposcorp
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Re: "ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:44 am

That is something new............I do not think I have seen that setting before.
In the power or boot menu I always see the "keep off / last state" option as regards to power outages.
Now I gotta do some reading.
 
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Re: "ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:26 pm

Dposcorp wrote:
That is something new............I do not think I have seen that setting before.
In the power or boot menu I always see the "keep off / last state" option as regards to power outages.
Now I gotta do some reading.

This isn't even a particularly new motherboard (~6 years old). Maybe it's an Asus thing?

Getting a little off topic, this server build has resulted in some other interesting side adventures as well.

CMOS battery was dead (I normally check that when re-using old motherboards, but forgot to this time), so all my settings disappeared the first time I unplugged the PSU.

I learned that 3.5" HDDs typically draw a startup surge of around 20W (measured at the wall) when they first spin up. I decided to measure this to ensure I wouldn't be overloading the PSU (a 430W Corsair) during initial spinup of all the drives.

I installed an ATI Rage XL card (whoo-hoo, 20 year old tech!) in one of the legacy PCI slots to use as a console (no IGP on the M5A97), and discovered that although I was able to run the Ubuntu Server installer successfully, first boot into the new system resulted in a "signal out of range" message on the display. Turns out GRUB (and the Linux kernel) were defaulting to some video mode that the Rage XL and/or my old VGA LCD couldn't handle properly. :roll: Had to do some Googling to figure out how to force it to text mode only; fortunately I'd had the foresight to install OpenSSH and configure the network as part of the initial installation, so I was able to remote in to the box to fix the display issue. The console display won't get used much once I'm done setting it up; this server will be running headless unless something breaks which prevents remote administration.

I also discovered that the Linux SMART tools have gotten a lot better about being able to pull diagnostic info from drives which are connected through a USB bridge. This used to be somewhat annoying in that you had to guess what sort of USB bridge chip you had, and specify it as a command line option; it seems to reliably auto-detect the bridge chip now.
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demolition
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Re: "ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:20 am

Leaving ErP Ready off can also mean a lot higher power consumption since it is keeping a lot of stuff powered. One of my PCs were using about 20W in off mode if ErP Ready was disabled (which was default), which I think is quite ridiculous. I generally try to lower the power consumptions of all my devices and after enabling ErP Ready it dropped to below 0.5W.
 
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Re: "ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:27 am

Even with ErP Ready off, mine's only a watt or so. Probably depends on whether you've got wake-on-USB enabled (and what USB devices are connected), etc.
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demolition
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Re: "ErP Ready" BIOS/EFI setting & power options

Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:12 am

My current motherboard is also using much less than 20W. It is closer to 2-3W, which is still not insignificant since I have no use for any of the features that it provides. If you do need it, then a few watts would be an acceptable level. And yes it probably also depends on the number of triggers that you leave enabled (USB/Ethernet/serial/etc), and in particular, which USB devices you have connected to those always-active ports.

Actually I need ErP to be turned on in my setup since I use a power strip with a relay in it and it controls the power to all my other stuff triggered by the current consumption of the PC. If I leave ErP off, it never goes below the trigger level so it never kills the power to the other equipment.

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