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Computer Power/Restart Fact Or Fiction Thread


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#1
superstar

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Okay I'm starting this post off with a comment I heard from many people in my circle...

That there is no need to turn off and on your pc everyday. That you should let it stay on all the time. Someone actually told me there computers have been on for over 5 years (shutting down only during lightning storms, or program installation restarts). He actually told me if you power up and down your actually killing the pc and it will not function for a longer period of years because of the surge of electricity that hits the hardware when you press that ole power/restart button.

I personally have taken this into consideration and am now leaving my pc on at all times... EVERY DAY AND NIGHT! My Xp has a standby mode, and a hibernation mode that sets in when I don't use my pc. Okay I have no idea if when you have standby or hibernation mode this leaving on your pc bit has any effect. Because I do not know if when it goes into standby or hibernation, if that is considered a restart or power off.

So I leave you all to post your comments about this topic which is rarely heard of by beginners and the intermediate alike. Things like hardware life expectancy, and overall pc lifespan are supposedly shortened by turning on and off your pc everyday. They say to leave them on at all times! Is that why we may pass a buisness place on the street at 3am and still see they have there computers on? Should we be leaving them on, and what difference does it make? What settings should be applied/disabled (standby, hibernation)?

I'll let the masters answer these questions for us all. As we need enlightenment on such an unspoken topic.

Please leave your posts in regards to this topic. All are welcome!

Edited by superstar, 22 March 2006 - 11:31 AM.

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#2
-=blaster=-

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There is an off switch?!?!

At home I keep my main box on all the time. Go to the chat room and you will see. :)

If there are no security concerns, there isn't any harm in leaving a computer on all the time, as long as you can afford the electric bill.

I don't have hibernation or standby enabled. I only have the monitors shutdown after 15 minutes.

Work in a different story, the IT department forces a log-off after a time. And rightly so. We still keep the little buggers on though, as it takes the 333 Celerons way too much time to boot up. :)

It has been my experience that an electronic device will usually fail sooner rather than later. As long as the devices are not overheated they should run for a very long time.

:tazz:
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#3
Kemasa

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Yes, it is true that there is damage done when you powercycle the computer. The power does not come up perfectly and there is the thermal shock too. It might have changed, but in the past most of the failures occurred during power cycles.

Also remember that the constant heat is not good for parts of the machine and you need to make sure that it is as cool as reasonably possible. Constant running of the disks, if they don't spin down and the constant running of the fans with also be a problem.

The bottom line is that there are good reason to leave the computer on and good reasons to turn it off. Part of the decision depends on how much you use it vs. it sitting idle. BTW, I turn my computer off.
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#4
superstar

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I dunno about yall but imma start to shut mine off.
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#5
SRX660

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Currently i am doing both. i have had a intel 2.4 puter running 24/7 for 2 years now with no problems. Why? Its my wifes puter and she has loaded so much junk on the puter it takes 10 minutes to get to the desktop. Its easier to leave it on so its instantly ready. The other 4 puters i shut off. These are my lean and mean machines. They boot quicklyand run pretty fast simply because i don't put much software on any one of them, and i keep them trimmed of any excess data. Generally i use them for a couple of hours and then they sit for 5-8 hours, so why leave them on. I also like rebooting them as it clears the memory. If you have done very large files you know how quickly a puter can slow down when it starts using the swap file a lot. A slow boot up on a computer that your using for videos makes it a lot harder to use.

The longest i kept a puter runing 24/7 was 3.5 years. This was a old intel P3 1 giger which i recently sold to a friend. It was getting a little long in the tooth.

I really dont think it matters either way. It's just a matter of personal preference.

SRX660
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#6
Kemasa

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I really dont think it matters either way. It's just a matter of personal preference.


What you do makes sense and I agree with that. It does matter depending on how you use it. It would not be a good idea to constantly turn the computer on and off. I would leave the computer on if you plan to use it in a couple of hours, but would turn it off if it is not going to be used until the next day. I would not leave a computer on for days if it was not going to be used, especially if you don't have a UPS and/or not going to be around. I tend to turn the computer on once per day, leave it on for a bit and then turn it off, in part because computers are a black hole for time :-).

It is at the extremes in which it really makes a difference.

The other thing to consider is whether you have a fire system or not, especially if someone is not around, as well as a monitoring system for the temperature. While it is rare, a computer can fail in a very bad manner and you would not want to come back to a pile of ashes. This also means that some thought to where the computer is and what is around it, same as with any electrical item.

There are good reasons to leave a computer on and good reasons to turn it off and many of the reasons conflict with each other, so it is a matter of deciding which risks you prefer. There is no one right answer, just lots of things to think about.
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#7
superstar

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The other thing to consider is whether you have a fire system or not, especially if someone is not around, as well as a monitoring system for the temperature. While it is rare, a computer can fail in a very bad manner and you would not want to come back to a pile of ashes. This also means that some thought to where the computer is and what is around it, same as with any electrical item.


My pc case is made out of see through acyrlic. Check it out here:

http://www.atruerevi...c_case/1big.jpg

I have my pc on a lot. I have a carpet in the room, and I don't have a computer desk. Just a little table that my monitor sits on. I have carpet in the room which supposedly causes static electricity. So I have my pc case sitting on top of a thick layer of styrafoam. Do any of you think this is a bad idea or good?

I dont want static electricity comming into my pc. But I don't want the styrafoam to ruin it in any way or be a fire hazard. Plus I dunno if styrafoam is a conductor of static electricity or something. That way I don't know if when I push my pc forward to get to the back if it sends static electricity through the styrafoam or not. I also cover my pc with a blanket at night as dust tends to get ontop of the acrlyic. I hope this isnt a bad problem or a conductor as well. How well is an acrylic case compared to a normal metal/aluminum pc case anyway? what sthe difference?????
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#8
Kemasa

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Static is not an issue when everything is in the case as the case should be properly grounded or at least not able to get to the electronics. Not sure of your case though, but it should be find.

You don't want it on the carpet due to the dust which comes from the carpet. Cleaning the filter/air vents and also cleaning inside the case is a good idea (be careful how you clean, remember static issues at that point).

I don't think the stryofoam is an issue to worry about personally. It is better than just sitting on the carpeted floor in my opinion.

I hope the computer is off when you put the blanket on it. Often people block the vents of computers and/or monitors and that is not good.
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#9
superstar

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no it is off when i put the blanket on it.

just a way to keep the dust from piling up you know?

but people need to write more about the leaving it on or off topic thats all i know. so we can all get more ideas and opinions.
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#10
superstar

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I think it doesnt matter if you turn off a pc all the time. everything has a lifespan and eventually dies.

"Nothing Last's Forever"

- Nas
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#11
Kemasa

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I think it doesnt matter if you turn off a pc all the time. everything has a lifespan and eventually dies.

"Nothing Last's Forever"

- Nas


Ok, so please conduct the following experiment: Turn your computer on and off every 10 minutes and document how long it lasts.

Try the same thing with your vehicle or another example is changing the oil in your vehicle (or cleaning the filters/air intake on your computer), failure to do so will decrease the lifespan.

There are things which you can do which can increase or decrease the lifespan of items. Failing to use a UPS or other power conditioner in areas with lightning storms can drastically reduce the life of electronics. Running items with ICs through x-ray machines can also reduce the life of the item.

While nothing lasts forever, there are many thing which can be done to increase the life.
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#12
warriorscot

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You should turn your system off when not in use, for a few reasons:

A. the 10 or 12 hours you wont be at your system is an extra 10-12 hours into its lifetime, these are all at some level mechanical parts and susceptible to heat(thats why we cool them so much) and unnecesary use is bad.

B. they are designed to be turned on and off as part of the use, a good PSU and motherboard will give a nice steady powerup and shouldnt be a problem. Turning on and off does less damage potentially than leaving it on unused for 10 hours.

C. Its an awful waste of electricity, even an idling system uses a large amount of power, everyone needs to cut down on our electricity use, im no ultra green hippy type but by using your PC your only racking up more carbon emmisins and this is a HUGE global problem.

D. Its a complete fire risk, its just stupid to leave heat producing appliances on while you sleep, its just asking for a fire.
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#13
Kemasa

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A simple example is a light bulb and think about when the lights tend to fail, it tends to be when you turn it on.

There is no set number of hours in which a device will work. In a computer there are mechanical parts, such as the disks and the fans, and electronic parts. Each is affected differently by turning it on and off vs. leaving it on.

No power supply comes on completely cleanly, it is just the nature of the beast.

Personally I would turn off the computer due to fire and other such issues, but I also realize that it is best to leave a computer on in the ideal world, but most homes are not ideal and some computer rooms are not ideal.

I suspect, but do not have proof, that leaving a computer on is less damaging to the electronics than turning it on and off, in part due to experience I have had. I still turn off my computer.
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#14
p-zero

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I have mine set to turn itself to standby after 20minutes powering down pretty much everything except for the case fans. My old DELL was left on for about 3 years and since then has been turned off and on when used. It has no problems whatsoever. Very fast for what it is, a 6 year old computer. Also, ive had a sony playstation on for about 8 years, still works great.
-Pete.
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#15
superstar

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:whistling:

I have mine set to turn itself to standby after 20minutes powering down pretty much everything except for the case fans. My old DELL was left on for about 3 years and since then has been turned off and on when used. It has no problems whatsoever. Very fast for what it is, a 6 year old computer. Also, ive had a sony playstation on for about 8 years, still works great.
-Pete.


You must have a huge electricity bill at the end of every month.... :blink: :) :help:
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