View Poll Results: Fact or Myth - does switching the computer On and Off daily cause Thermal Fatigue of Motherboard ?

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  1. #16
    Star Lounger AlanWade's Avatar
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    My machines are shut down each night, I see no valid point in leaving them on.

  2. #17
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    How many millions of PC's in business and industry are left on 24/7, particularly in production/manufacturing facilities that operate 24/7. How many more millions of PLC's (Programmable Logic Controller) are on 24/7? How many millions of servers are shuttling billions/trillions of packets around the internet 24/7?

    This is an endless debate, and people are going to do what they want to do regardless of the consensus of some thread on some discussion forum. My laptops hibernate for the simple reason that I want to put them to use when I open the lid. My desktop stays on for the simple reason that when I have time to use it, I don't want to consume a lot of that time doing routine maintenance, so Task Scheduler takes care of my routine maintenance while I'm asleep.

    Do whatever suits you, and don't worry about us.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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  3. #18
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I don't see any debate here whatsoever...it all depends upon usage needs.
    If you have a need for your system to be on all the time, that's fine, work has got to get done, and that is what they're built to do.

    But the OP's question of whether turning on and off regularly is causing the issues referred to is nothing more than myth.
    You are far more likely to ruin or strip the front panel on/off switch than to heat or cold stress anything.

    But yes, it's a stupid and senseless debate, whether you turn your computer off or not.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-07-16 at 08:30.
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    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
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  4. #19
    4 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I will declare for the turn it off pov. I save a little $$ and with my surge protector switched off I am a bit safer from power line spikes.


    I just noticed thanks are kinda back

    Last edited by wavy; 2014-07-16 at 15:36. Reason: noticed 1/2 thanks are back
    David

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  6. #20
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    Leaving the putor on at night, I always assimilate to leaving your car idling over night as you might use it tomorrow. Electronics nowadays are very resilient. Yes, I turn mine off even during the day after I am through, maybe four times/day/ Be good.

  7. #21
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    For what it's worth (and this info. goes back 25 years so probably not much) a large computer manufacturer once showed me their stats. on maintenance call-outs.

    By far the busiest day of the year was Easter Tuesday because more companies shut down their computer systems over Easter weekend than during any other holiday period. December 27th was also very busy indeed. The cause? Mostly fans not restarting after being shut down for a couple of days, also some problems with power surges at power-on.

    Consequently I got into the habit of keeping everything powered on and frequently vacuum the dust out of my desktop's fans. I've never had a power-on failure and the only time I've ever had a heat failure was when my router fried.

  8. #22
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    I think this was more of a problem with the old thermionic valves (tubes to you Americans) than with modern electronic circuits. The threat of global warming is a far more real one -- I switch off at the wall when I am not going to use the computer for a bit, e.g. overnight. How long do you want your computers to last? I have an 18 year old computer in the loft that still works, but I wouldn't want to use it in everyday life!
    The only time I have had something go wrong when powering on was when the heating had been off for a week because we were away over Christmas, and I switched on before the house had warmed up. That put paid to a hard-drive, which was painful because they were expensive on those days and it took a lot of floppies to back it up, and therefore hadn't got a recent backup. But that was over 20 years ago...

  9. #23
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    I switch off at bedtime (or occasionally restart at other times) to clear memory (and caches?) and end unnecessary background processes, started and seeming to run even when a program has been 'closed'. The thinking is: speedier computing.

    Am I mistaken?
    Tim

    (Asus Transformer Aio. Win8.1. Galaxy S4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5)

  10. #24
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    I taught computer skills to retired adults for several years and at the start of each class we would debate shutting down the computers when not in use for long periods of time. I have always shut my computers off overnight. I do not like the drives running or the fans running (bearing wear on the shaft bearings). I do not like to waste energy. I have not had any unusual problems getting my systems started. Modern motherboards do not use many chip sockets or do not have any chip sockets. The only device that is left on in my network is the TV cable modem. The Linksys switch that I use to connect my computers to the network is shut down along with the computers and monitor. I had one student that was totally honest when I asked her why she left her equipment running full power all of the time. Her reply to my question was "I do not know how to start my computer if it is shut down so I leave everything running."

  11. #25
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    Very many years ago some people (the very elderly!) thought that you should always ensure that an electrical socket had a plug inserted in it, because otherwise the electricity would leak out all over the carpet!
    The persons who suggested that you should leave computer equipment on may have been thinking of 'thermal creep', where surface-mounted components like the original push-in memory chips in the IBM PC, XT, AT... could gradually work their way out of their sockets due to the change in temperature produced by the power off/on cycles.
    There are arguments that power-cycling electronic equipment stresses the components. A counter argument is that warm (powered on) equipment might be more stable. Others may say the best state is powered off.
    My cable modem and router are always left on; my main PC is allowed to go to sleep (if only because the front push power switch is a bit dodgy); my printer is usually switched off. Take your pick!
    I only Quote when there is something Profound that I want to stress, or add to.
    I'm in total agreement with what 'BATcher' said, above.
    On most desktop PC's the power switch is indeed "a bit dodgy". Or, they just plain BREAK from continued use.

    But lets get practical for a moment. A home PC is made of the cheapest components, purchased from the lowers bidder, and only special and very expensive Servers were EVER meant to be left on all the time. I push my own, home-made, PC to the ragged edge, because it's ON some days for ~18 hours. But when I'm done for the day (and I encourage all my customers to do this) I run a little Shortcut to the Windows Shutdown program, that will shutdown the computer in an orderly fashion, properly closing files, etc. On XP, that shortcut reads like this:
    %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00 -f

    But, it's a little bit different for Windows 8, 8.1
    %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0

    You can just copy and paste whichever shortcut is right for your PC, into a NEW Desktop Shortcut, and you've got a fast and safe way to shutdown your PC.

    Then once the computer shuts down and turns itself off, I reach back to the power strip that the PC is plugged into and I turn that OFF. Then, there is no power going to the PC at all. I have my BIOS programmed to turn the PC back on when line power is restored. So I very seldom have to even touch the Power Button on the tower itself. I'll certainly not wear it out....and in nine years, I haven't !!

    In the morning, I have just one switch, on my power strip, to switch on and my whole system comes up in an orderly manner.

    Modems (cable or DSL) are designed to be on all the time, and likewise most good quality Routers, so they are no problem, but probably should be plugged into a good quality UPS, for both surge protection and power backup.

    I guess I'm kind of a UPS nut, because I have five of them in my house and all my electronics are backed up by them. In case of a severe storm, or Hurricane, when I might be without power for hours, my TV and Cable box are on a 600W UPS, with two car batteries attached, in place of the little Gel-Cells. I need the TV for weather reports, not just for entertainment. During Hurricane Frances, I kept that system up and running for five days, by recharging my UPS batteries off of my car.

    But, back to the PC. Use it like any other home appliance, because basically that's what it is, and when you're done with it, Shut It Off. But don't just turn it off, put it through the Windows shutdown procedure..... so files are closed and the registry, which resides in RAM memory while the PC is ON, will be written back to the hard drive.

    However, even though all the lights are out and it seems like there's nobody at home, your PSU (power supply unit) inside the PC is still connected to the mains and is still producing a low voltage to the motherboard. That's why it's so important to remove all power to the PC during thunder storms and when you're away from the PC. All that takes is one simple switchable power strip.

    Happy Computing!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2014-07-17 at 10:08.
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  12. #26
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    Turn off/sleep or not <g>

    My experience over many years in the IT industry is that turning off and on is certainly no worse than leaving everything on.

    Electronic components reliability are measured by the manufacturer in Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) or failures per year. Your hard drive WILL fail if run long enough (after all it is a mechanical device), so in my mind power down or sleep will run the hard drive "less hours".

    In my specific case, I sleep my home server several times in the course of a day (if I don't need it for a while). I keep all data files on the home server so that any PC in the house can access those files. I have both desktop PCs set to sleep after x minutes (roll your own flavor here based on your own needs). The server is slept overnight, but wakes up to take PC backups once per day.

    So, personally (even though I don't turn PCs "OFF" very often), I do sleep them on a regular basis as that seems to be the best compromise to me.

    K

  13. #27
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    I managed a large SUN, Windows and Mac installation (>1000 machines) back in the 90s. The Sun machines ran 24 hours a day with a sleep mode when they weren't being used for the monitors. Our admins (myself included) believed through inference, that the machines ran better by rebooting every 30 days, so we scheduled maintenance updates etc. once a month. Applied patches, (there were no security updates in those days!), and rebooted the machines. We had a pretty stable environment, and did not seem to see any problems by either leaving them on or off. OS instability was more the issue. Interestingly, none of our users every ran in Admin mode. Everyone was a standard account. It's funny that Windows still really has problems (mainly the apps) with that.

    Interesting that no one seems to mention the environmental costs of running a machine for hours when not needed. As usual, we think there's no cost to us for wasting energy. As an ex-manager of a large datacenter after that Sun environment, I can assure you the business thinks of those costs today. Of course, many computers today have much better energy management than before.

    But as to the components, while the computer could likely run for ages without a problem, the OS seems to need rebooting to run at best performance, especially if you are getting the ever present updates from MSFT (or any other OS company). Components do fail due to heat, but most computers seem to be well ventilated for running continuously.

  14. #28
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    Absolutely, power usage should be considered. It's a large part of the reason why I sleep the PCs and the server at home. Having worked (most recently) at a 3 letter Government agency (but now retired) with a 100,000 SF data center and around 3,000 people in that building I can vouch for the fact that large shops pay attention to their power bills. Small shops as well as home should do the same. Much of the data center equipment itself ran 24/7 as we were that type of shop with connections to every state, other Federal agencies and some commercial outfits. But, as Alf mentions above, and in our case even the mainframes were "re-started" (IPLd in those terms) once per month even though not strictly. The z series mainframes are very reliable and have been for years (the z stood for zero downtime).

    K

  15. #29
    2 Star Lounger
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    All previopusly said is correct, but ...

    ... I wonder why nobody clearly distinguished between company/corporate use and the average mom and pop home user that sometimes does not know where the power button is.

    The point that IMHO all previous posters missed is one of security. Important updates for Windows quite often require the computer to be restarted. I was laughing out loud first time I read Windows 8 telling me they would restart in eight days (or was it ten?) if I didn't do it right then.

    I advise all my mostly non-technical customers to shut down every night. That is the only means I have found to get them to get all updates completely installed. These updates harden the system against [U]existing[U] viruses and threats.

    Who wants to wait any longer than necessary to get that bit of free additional protection installed?
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  16. #30
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    We all do elkelein, but often there is little to no difference in that the user on the desktop in the corporate world is really not much different than the mom and pop. The security issue is real, but it's been my impression that most security upgrades these days seem to be forcing a reboot when done. I know my wife's Windows machine seems to, much to her aggravation. (she hates to come in and have to relog in, in the morning). while you make a good point about shutting down every night to get the latest upgrades, believe me, I've been there, and that is not always the best policy. I've had numerous examples of my productivity software no longer working properly after MSFT's best intentions. I always wait a day or so before upgrading, checking the blogs for any problems that have caused others, that took your advice, to lose a day of work or more. Adobe just recently got burned on this very issue with Apple's OS.

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