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Power off daily or not?


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#1
vinny_the_hack

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I would like to hear from a number of people as to the pros and cons of powering down every night.

I use my PC on and off from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed.

Should I power it off every night?

Should I leave it fully up?

Should I have the hard disks stop spinning? Should I have it hibernate (whatever that is)?

Does anyone know if manufacturers have any recommendations? I haven't found any.
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#2
ScorpioWulf

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I'm no massive expert on this, but I have seen a direct correllation between leaving my computer on for long periods of time and it breaking.
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#3
dsenette

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before i replaced it (last week) my old computer BASICALLY stayed on for 7 years straight except for windows update restarts or software installs (or the occasional power outage)...and i had no issues what so ever with it that would be related to it being on all the time
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#4
vinny_the_hack

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:whistling: :blink: This is precisely why I wanted to hear from as many people as possible. Both my personal experience and the little I have heard on the subject is inconclusive. Adding this thread into the mix, I may never have a definitive answer. You'd think that an issue with such (possibly) important consequences would have a fairly easy to find, generally agreed-upon answer. I now wonder if it actually makes much difference. Quite possibly, components break down at similar rates regardless of how often you power them up/down. A small number of users' experience is just anecdotal evidence. This would explain the difference in the first two respondents to this thread.

Thank-you to previous and future posters.
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#5
cmw2010

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I have a 5 year old Gateway that is hooked to my big screen tv that has rarely ever been shutoff. My sons computer has been on for 4 years with only restarts for updates, my computer in the kitchen has been running for 3 years, and I have one in my garage that hasn't been shut off in years either. I have had no breakdowns except a harddrive on my Gateway in the first year that I had it, and an occasional fan needing replaced.
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#6
anzenketh

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I think the hole idea with this is based on theory.

I suppose you could say it could even be a myth.

The theory is this.

You computer have moving parts there is a increase amount of friction when you power up and turn off your computer. There is less friction when you leave them running. The theory is it costs more due to wear and tear to turn on and off your computer then it does to let your computer run and pay the electric bill for leaving it running.

I would argue to say this. If it is a not a server type system turn if off at night then turn it back on when you use it in the morning or when it could be used off and on. Do not turn it off and on multiple times during the day instead just leave it running. I think the harm comes from turning it off for 5 minutes then turning it right back on.
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#7
vinny_the_hack

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Yeah, I lost a disk drive after having my machine on for most of 3 years. Again, who can say if the drive would have broken down, anyway. It's really only harddrives that I'm concerned about (due to being mechanical). I'm fairly confident that electroncis are better off not having daily surges of electricity course through their circuits. I think I'll explore options around shutting down the drives after prolonged periods of inactivity.
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#8
Troy

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Or just make sure you backup your data!
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#9
Rob60

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I put my work laptop into standby mode at night for quick start up next morning, but shut it down at weekends. Standby on a laptop uses virtually no power. I use my home desktop computer in the evening, and only have it on then. I am not aware of any evidence that a computer has a shorter life if shut down frequently. Running the fans all the time will draw more dust into the case, which will give problems of its own as well as probably wearing out the bearings of the fans and HDD, although they are very reliable these days.

Of course it also depends on how much you care about the size of your carbon footprint and the cost of your power bills. A computer left on all the time is wasting energy for no good reason. (about 400W for a desktop) For a while I ran my home machine 24/7 while I participated in the BBC climate change prediction (lots of users each ran a climate change scenario from 1920 to 2080). During that time, the room I have it in was noticably warmer, so by particpating I was contributing to climate change myself - Ironic isn't it!
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#10
vinny_the_hack

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I appears I have little choice in the matter. It's all or nothing. About 6 months ago or so, inexplicably, when I shut down Windows, the machine would not turn off completely. The hard drive keeps spinning and the light goes solid. I have to switch off the power on the tower. Last night, I experimented with "standby" mode and turning the disks off. Not overly surprisingly, the disks would not turn off. It appears that they have a mind of their own and will not listen to the operating system. I'm going to try hibernate and if worse comes to worse, I'll go back to just shutting everything down each night.
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#11
Kemasa

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This thread has come up numerous times, so you might want to seach for those to get more info.

There are reasons to leave computers on and reasons to turn them off. Ignoring the power issue, it is often better to leave them on, assuming you have an air cond. system, over temp controls, UPS, fire system, etc. Otherwise, it is best to turn it off if you are not going to use it for quite some time.
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