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Computer: always on or shut down each day?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by The Vector Doctor, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. The Vector Doctor

    The Vector Doctor Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Do you shut your computer down every day or leave it on? I have always been told to leave it on all of the time and use sleep mode when not in use. I only restart about once a week or 2 to refresh memory leaks etc. I shut down when out of town for more than 1 day or for bad storms. I don't trust my UPS/surge protection during strong lightning storms

    Has that theory changed recently? Is it still better to leave it on versus the supposed stress of daily restarts/boot ups?
  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    all computers at the shop except the dinosaur for the router stay on
  3. Tim Aucoin

    Tim Aucoin Very Active Member

    I leave my computers (home and office) on 24/7! Always have, always will! Don't worry much any more about wearing out HDD's (at the office anyhow), as I use SSD's now! I think you'll still find a lot of folks shut down daily... to each their own! :smile:
  4. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    I leave everything on, except for extended trips away. We also restart every few days to clear the memory and etc.

    We use smart power supplies that reduce power consumption in an idle state and have our raid power down the drives after 1 hour of no use between 8pm - 4am.

    our I7/xeon systems idle at 45watts each when in idle state.
  5. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    I shut them all down every day. I don't use sleep mode. Power savings and less wear and tear. Monitors go off every night as well.

    Might as well, less than 10 seconds to boot anyhow.
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Premium Subscriber

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Mac is on 24/7 365. Just walk away at the end of the day.
  7. The Vector Doctor

    The Vector Doctor Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    What kind of wear and tear during sleep/hibernate mode? My desktop and laptop are hibernating when not in use and monitors are also shut off.

    I am not yet on SSD so I don't enjoy the benefits of fast boots.

    Next question... if you do shut down is it better to close all programs one by one? Is there any harm to a hard shut down?
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    With sleep mode there is plenty of savings going on. I would guess there is more savings today than a few years ago when people were shutting them down over night.

    In the old days.. The wear and tear is negligible compared to the power surges of a restart in the power supply. That momentary surge that coursed through a machine for an instant when the power supply regulated itself was more troublesome than letting them run all day.
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    Couldn't say, but I do know that there is zero wear and tear when the thing is turned off.

    Should be six of one except perhaps that a hard shutdown won't offer you the chance to save any work, depending.
  10. The Vector Doctor

    The Vector Doctor Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    On my Mac I typically have many programs running at one time. 22 right now so selecting one at at time and shutting down takes forever and clicking on "shut down" from the menu takes ages as the OS shuts down the programs one by one. If one program hangs for whatever reason it cancels the shut down procedure. Adobe programs take an eternity to quit

    If I am hurried I just hold down on the power button and it instantly shuts off everything
  11. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

    Feb 14, 2007
    we keep them on all the time and we have to because we have 4 or 5 people in the office that use go2mypc.com so the computers need to be on. i do restart them every monday and usually during vacation i will shut them down
  12. signworldusinc

    signworldusinc Merchant Member

    May 16, 2012
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    We leave all of our computers on but most are programmed to restart during the middle of the night, the servers for the computers tend to have less latency issues with the daily restarts.
  13. JoshLoring

    JoshLoring Very Active Member

    All stay on except my alienware. So, 5+ on and one off. It boots so quick it's irrelevant to not turn off.
  14. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    Not much wear and tear in sleep / hibernation, but virtually none when it is powered down.

    I always close programs individually as well. This give me the chance to review my open files to make sure that I have saved them and also reduces the chance of potential file corruption during a hard shut down.

    Even with a UPS, you can still have power outages and surges. I have seen UPS's fail and surges get through them. Those without a UPS are at the mercy of their electric company. I would much rather have a surge, spike, or outage while my computer was completely powered down.

    But, everyone's situation is different (as stated above), so your mileage may vary.
  15. choucove

    choucove Active Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I would caution about doing a hard power off unless it is absolutely necessary. I've seen people do it in Windows and lead to a corruption in the operating system. This is because even though they may not see it doing anything, in the background the OS was doing something important and was shut down improperly right in the middle of it. This can especially be the case if Windows is doing updates, or any of your other software (flash, java, etc.) are installing updates.

    At my office and at home I try to shut down most of the computers every night. I have a couple servers that I will leave on overnight as sometimes I need to get remote desktop access from home or access to files remotely. Having the computer off saves on energy and allows the computer system to reboot and clear memory and anything else it needs to do for regular maintenance.
  16. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

    May 23, 2008

    I also turn everything off at night!

    Well you got a use common sense, most hard derives and fans have a certain life expectancy, they will not run forever. So if they are shut down at the end of the day and they sit dormant all night, you can effectively increase there life span by at least twice.

    While working at Texas Instruments everyone was told to leave all computers on 24/7, now we are talking about 80,000 employees with 50,000 computers, there were a lot of hard drive and fan failures, not to mention the increased electrical usage. So then the company sent out an email asking everyone to turn OFF their computers when leaving work for the day, and after the first year, they noticed a significant decrease in hard drive failures.

    So, that's how I run my computer today, at the end of each day, they are turned off and get a break just like a person, they get a chance to cool down, and give all the little electrons a chance to rests.

    Power supplies that get a chance to cool down, also last longer, heat is an big enemy of any electronic device.

    Monitors will also have a longer life, (about twice), if the power supply and inverter board are not energized all night.

    Leaving your computer on 24/7 is quite a wasteful practice that will slowly suck the life out over time.
  17. john1

    john1 Guest

    24/7 mostly but i do use sleep mode when i am not in my home office
  18. thewvsignguy

    thewvsignguy Active Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Grantsville, MD
    All 5 design/production computers go off at night. Our register and postage/shipping computers stay on 24/7.
  19. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    Off at night, unplugged on long trips or during storms.
  20. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Mixture here as well. Some like our mail server, security DVR, etc would not be a good idea to shut down. Most of the general office duty machines do get shut down.

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