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  1. #1
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    I know I've seen this somewhere, but can't remember where I found it.

    Can anyone give me an official (hopefully journal article) that says it is OK to turn off computers when not in use. I believe there is a myth that computers will last longer if left on 24/7 thus wasting lots of energy and warming the planet.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I had a long reply ready, then lost it, so instead of reproducing it, here is my short answer. I'm sorry I could not find the journal article you mentioned.

    Yes turn it off when not in use. This article gives some compeling reasons for doing so. From my many years of experience in T/S electronic devices in the aerospace industry I will state in my opinion the longer an electronic device (PC's are after all electronic devices) is left on, the closer you get to life expectancy issues. In the aerospace industry, jet fighters are not kept powered up all the time because this shortens the mean time between failures. In other words the longer they are left powered on the more preventative maintenance needs to take place and the more failures there are. This is a bad thing. The thought that during the powering on of an electronic device damage occurs which shortens it's life cycle is a fallacy. Just the opposite, leaving an electronic device on all the time shortens it's useful life. You may not see a major change in your PC, but then again you might.

    From an economic standpoint, powering down a PC saves energy. Perhaps the amount for each PC is small, but when you add in the millions, if not billions of PC's in use this energy consumption becomes enormous. I am all for energy conservation. I recycle more than most, I minimize Christmas lights during the season, so everything we can do to conserve energy should be done.

    I guess I've said my piece. I hope this answers your questions.
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    I don't know that there is anything to officially sanction one method or other. I think it is a very subjective subject with a myriad of thoughts by both industry professionals and those who engineer and build computers. Its a bit like the old adage that you should change your motor oil every 3k miles. It may have had some merit at one time, but is no longer true. There was a time, during the DOS/Win 2.x/3.x days that this rumor was spread and I could never confirm if it was really true. Where I currently I work, we shut them off at night. In fact many companies now do this because the cost savings are tremendous. We have hundreds of 7 year old machines that are only just now starting to lose hard drives and power supplies. Its actually quite rare to lose a mother board. On the flip side, servers that have to stay running 24/7 don't seem to last nearly as long. After 3 or 4 years they need to be replaced simply because they become unreliable.

    Personally I have owned several laptops over the past 5 years. We never leave them on when not in use. The oldest, a 5 year old Dell Inspiron 600m, I just sold to a co-worker. It has never had a part replaced and is working perfectly. The same for my 4 year old Dell Inspiron 6000, which my daughter now has.

    But yes, the biggest reason to them off is to save energy. Even if you are not into being environmentally friendly, everyone likes having more money in their pockets!
    Chuck

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    4 Star Lounger
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    The uncompelling reason to not turn off your computer is that the PSU is a switched mode power supply and when they fail it is most often at Switch On.

    The compelling reason the switch off (and isolate the PC from the mains supply) is that computers use power, even when switched off unless isolated from the mains.

    Although it may not seem much power drain, multiply that by several million to see how much power is being wasted on all those idle hunks of metal!

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks so much.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There used to be an old saying that the act of turning on and off a computer on a regular basis causes heat/cold stress on the mainboards solderings, eventually causing shorts and failures. Whether or not there was any truth to it, I highly doubt it.
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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    As I stated previously, leaving power on electronic devices, chips transistors diodes, etc, for extended periods of time will hasten end of life problems on those devices. The power on power off shocking myth is just that, a myth. I worked for many years, starting in the old transistor days and working into the integrated devices era, often subjecting said devices to temp and vibration extremes to cause failures. The power on and power off sequence did not cause the failures in solder joints. The device itself may have failed under extremes, but not the solder joints.
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  8. #8
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    Here is some stuff the librarian at my school found:

    According to an article by Walter Crawford, Online, November/December 2004. “Modern power supplies are rated for tens of thousands of on/off cycles. Today's hard disks should handle hundreds of thousands of on/off cycles. Today's power supplies are also better regulated, minimizing "surge" situations for the PC itself.”

    Page 868 of Encyclopedia of Personal Computer addresses the issue as well as this link: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question328.htm. The librarian’s article by Amy S. Blaine (Library Media Connection, January/February 2010) notes that turning off your computer “makes your library a bit more energy efficient and cooler”. I’ve witnessed this in the classroom. When I have my students turn off their computers when they leave the room is noticeably cooler.

    Here is the U.S. Department of Energy link and their recommendation http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=10070. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/g...-vampires.html) wasted energy from computers powered up but not in use and other electrical devices in “standby mode” adds up to an estimated 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. This extra electricity costs consumers more than $5.8 billion annually and sends more than 87 billion pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Right On Sam!!! If we all saved the wasted energy just think how many fewer tons of coal would be burned each year!!! When not being used Turn The PC Off!!!

    You can eassily speed up your power on boot speeds. My Sony laptops both power on from a cold start to ready to work between 30 and 45 seconds, No Kidding. Some tweaks using msconfig makes this possible depending on your system.

    Run/msconfig or (Win 7) search msconfig. In the boot tab, select No GUI boot and change the Timeout to a more manageable time (I use 3 seconds). Then go to Advanced Options. Check Number of Processors and set the number to correspond to your number of CPU's. Remember Duo core is 2 processors, quad core is 4 processors. Select OK twice. Remember that when you change you boot configuration the Selective Startup will be checked on the General tab. (Leave the Use original boot configuration unchecked)

    This small change decreased my boot time considerably. Try it, you'll like it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Then go to Advanced Options. Check Number of Processors and set the number to correspond to your number of CPU's. Remember Duo core is 2 processors, quad core is 4 processors.
    This has been shown to be baloney as far as boot speed up by several people. It is used for troubleshooting to use less than the maximum number of processors/cores to isolate and identify malfunctioning hardware. See Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors - Vista Forums and Tweaking Myth: Decrease boot time with msconfig - Within Windows.

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
    This has been shown to be baloney as far as boot speed up by several people. It is used for troubleshooting to use less than the maximum number of processors/cores to isolate and identify malfunctioning hardware. See Boot Advanced Options - Number of Processors - Vista Forums and Tweaking Myth: Decrease boot time with msconfig - Within Windows.

    Joe
    Perhaps, but in my case it did boost (decrease) my boot speed, with several PC's. The first posting does not state anything against this change. The second post seems to be one individuals opinion. Again perhaps I'm just lucky, but the change DID help on my PC's. Plus both posts were concerning Vista systems.

    I performed an unscientific check on my PC (2.53 GHz, duo core P8700 CPU, 4GB Ram, ATI HD4650 graphicss, 320 GB 5400 rpm Toshiba ATA HD, Sony Vaio Laptop using Win 7 Ultimate, 5.9 Windows Experience Index) I started at cold start (Shutdown) I started a timer and pushed the Power On button. From this cold start to desktop ready to work including entering my password was less than 45 seconds. I do have to admit it took 6 or 7 secs more to connect to my wireless router. I do not think that's too bad. Now I have to admit, I do not let very many apps start in the background. I have Alps Touchpad S/W, MSE, bluetooth radio for my mouse and network connectivity, MS services are almost at default, Action Center does run, but very little else. I stop apps that I install from loading themselves at start up.

    My whole point here was to show that hibernate, or even sleep mode is not necessary to get back to work quickly when starting your new day. From a power savings standpoint this is great. I do not think hibernate would save much time over 45 seconds, and disabling hibernate lets me save the huge space the hiberfil.sys file takes.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Perhaps, but in my case it did boost (decrease) my boot speed, with several PC's. The first posting does not state anything against this change. The second post seems to be one individuals opinion. Again perhaps I'm just lucky, but the change DID help on my PC's. Plus both posts were concerning Vista systems.
    The first post definitely says that the tweak is unneeded.

    See the NOTE section:

    "Vista will use all your processors by default at boot up without this Number of Processors setting box checked. "

    If Vista did this then I will abolutely guarantee that Windows 7 does it.

    You did not state what the baseline number was in your boot test. Nor did you state in detail what other tweaks you did at the same time.

    Joe
    Joe

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    For the boot time, I did not actually time the boot time as originally set up by default, sorry, but it was considerably higher. I did not think about doing this at the time. To help with the boot time, these changes with msconfig I outlined above were the only changes I made. I have made numerous other changes with my OS but these are all apparent after boot has completed. A major difference is also that I do not let everything load at Windows start. My feeling is that if I want an app to run I will put up with a few extra seconds to load it from scratch. I do not want it running in the backgroud slowing me down. It seems today that every app you download assumes you want it to run all the time so you can simply click on it to bring it to the forefront and work with it. Unfortunately this just consumes large amounts of resources running apps that you may not use for a month if ever. Many people do not even realize this happens and are plugging along with dozens of unused apps running in the background. These people often wonder why their PC's have slowed down so much.

    Perhaps you are correct that the Number of Processors specified does not help much with boot time. I have never gotten deeply into it as this, but my feeling is that it does not hurt my boot time and may indeed help. I am very pleased with my short boot time.
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