Turn computer off will harm it?

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Turn computer off will harm it?

Postby goeppingen » Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:21 pm

Hi,

What your saying is it good to turn computer off will it harm it?

Goeppingen
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RE: Turn computer off will harm it?

Postby Nigel » Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:18 pm

There is no easy answer to this one.

The arguments for leaving a machine switched on all the time include :
* Most wear & tear on disks, fans etc occurs when they are initially spun up; far less when they are constantly spinning
* Rapid rise & fall of temperature does more harm to the insides of your machine than constant temperatures - this is especially true of connections between (eg) cards & the motherboard where different compositions of the metals mean they expand at different rates.
* When left on all the time a machine can run housekeeping jobs (backups, updates, log rotations etc) in the middle of the night when they don't interfere with anything else
* You can access anything served by the machine (web server, file server, mail server) at any time from other machines without having to worry about booting it first

Arguments for turning it off when not in use include :
* Power saving (how big is your electricity bill...)
* Regular reboots means fsck gets run regularly on your disks
* Don't wear components out when the machine is not in use (this has to be balanced with the startup wear on disks, fans etc mentioned above)
* Reclaim all the machine's resources at each reboot (more important for Windows than Unix)
* If it isn't turned on it can't be hacked (or if already hacked it can't be sending out tons of spam)

You have to figure out a regime that works for you. Mine goes something like this ...

Home :
Linux box - on all the time (it acts as a fileserver to the network)
Windows machines - turn off when not in use
Mac - let it go to sleep (low-power standby mode) when not in use
SparcStation - turn off when not in use for more than a few hours

Work:
Linux firewall - only turned off during Christmas shutdown
Linux fileserver - only turned off during Christmas shutdown
Linux workstation - turn off if I'm going to be out of the office for more than about 3 days, otherwise runs all the time
SparcStation - turn off when not going to be used for more than a day
Windows machines - turn off when not in use
Hope this helps,

Nigel.
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RE: Turn computer off will harm it?

Postby alloydog » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:19 am

"* Most wear & tear on disks, fans etc occurs when they are initially spun up; far less when they are constantly spinning "
But in most PCs they are not constantly spinning, even when the PC is on 24/7...
Very few PCs run the HD 100% of the time, especially if power save features are used. Also, many new PCs only run the fans when the temperature hits certain limits.

"* Rapid rise & fall of temperature does more harm to the insides of your machine than constant temperatures - this is especially true of connections between (eg) cards & the motherboard where different compositions of the metals mean they expand at different rates."
Hmmm... tentative... The amount of metal is so small I doubt the expansion makes much difference.

So, unless you really need to run a PC 24 hours a day, such as with a server, or something that needs to access data all the time, then I would say that if you are not going to use the PC for more than a few hours, shut it off.
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