PC - shutdown or leave running?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dpanic, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. dpanic


    does anyone have a knowledgeable opinion about whether or not you should shut down a pc daily or leave running all the time. I typically shut mine down at the end of the day but someone told me that a pc engineer type had told them it was actually better on the hard drives to leave them running all the time. I know for example my tivo machine runs all the time and that hard drive has been going for quite some time now.

    Just curious.
  2. I leave mine running and just power off the monitors. I really don't know what is best but my current HD has been running for almost 3 yrs now and it still runs fine.

    My logic whether correct or not - is that the less power downs and ups on the HD the less power surges and temperature changes the better.

    After all, when a light bulb burns out at my house, it almost always happens during a power up and not when it's just sitting there burning.
  3. wallaby


    Apparently the two best states for a computer are either permanently on or permanently off. As plum notes, its the thermal shock of booting up and powering down that [technically] does the damage. Shutting down once a day/overnight is a reasonable compromise.

    I too most of the time tend to power down only the monitors.

    Speaking of hdd's, a friend of mine recently had a hard drive fail at a most unfortunate time ... i haven't had something like that happen for a while but tends to reinforce why redundancy is important.
  4. 1. The MTBF for hard drives is something like 300,000+ hours. They should take any amount of power-ups.
    2. I do, howerver, have my HD spin down after 5 minutes of inactivity to save on bearing life.
    3. The weakest link in the "power up" issue is probably the power supply. I haven't had one blow in probably 10 years... maybe because I've upgraded after about 3-4 years? (If it does blow, it's an inexpensive replacement part.)
    4. A minor point... the accumulation of memory leakage. Each reboot erases it.

    Bottom line for me... power down at the end of the day.
  5. I rarely power down any of my units, including my laptops. The old logic was the start-ups were (and still are) the isssue that helps shorten life. Today's equipment is sturdy enough to not be too concerned. Especially since the average upgrade time is three years.

    If you leave it live constantly, that's 26,280 hours of operation for something that is rated to run about 500,000 hours (theoretically). Yes, there is the occasional hard drive failure but generally you will have upgraded well before you have a drive failure. :)
  6. TGregg


    That's what I do as well. If I'm going to be away from my desk for a few hours, I'll power down the monitors. But, unless my computer is crunching numbers overnight, it's get's powered down at the end of the day.
  7. dpanic


    thanks for the replies. sounds like considering potential memory problems(leaks/fragmentation) which I have also had it makes sense to power down eod.
  8. they don't rate hard drives for how many times they should be powered up or powered down, and the MTBF for just constantly running is several times the typical service life.

    I never power down except during power outages, severe thunder storms, or if I am going away for the weekend. I turn off my monitor every night though.

    now that I have XP, I seldom even reboot.

    the only real drawback to leaving it running is the electricity waste.
  9. You're not wasting anything in the winter-time since I know our little office at home keeps very warm with two computers and three monitors running.
  10. make sure you have zonealarm or at least a router

    leaving your PC on all the time increases the chance of someone hacking into it
    #10     Jun 20, 2003