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

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  1. #46
    Star Lounger
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    Bruce,

    OK, thanks for the update. I only have one PC here running 8 (the wife's), so I hardly use itl.

    I would think that coming out of sleep is still faster for "most" people than booting from scratch.

    K

  2. #47
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    philomel

    There are many theories either way. Most are theoretical.
    One is fact.
    A shutdown computer consumes no power.
    If its unplugged or switched off w/ an AC line voltage power switch.
    My old (and missed) Fellows remote switched Surge Protector actually had a relay w/ power to it from a bridge rectifier used to turn on. I never measured it but I am sure it was a much smaller draw than a 'regular vampire tap' . My new Surge Protector has a wire to the switch that is as heavy as the feed from the wall. I am guessing it is a 120 switch and thus draws zero current off.
    Last edited by wavy; 2014-07-20 at 23:27.

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  3. #48
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    I worked for many years with a bunch of Electrical Engineers...they could never agree on which "method" has the most stress.

    "an always-on machine won't wear out" - How so? Electronic components are rated typically in MTBF. Hard drives WILL fail at some point in time...they still have mechanical components which do NOT last forever. I had two Seagate 1.5Tb drives fail in my home server pretty close together. It is now running WD Black drives.

    K

  4. #49
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    So, when everyone is turning off their PCs...are they also unplugging them from their surge strips so that they can avoid any lightning related issues? I have had hardware go south during a big storm (my assumption then was lightning related as three separate components went "south" at the same time (CRT, FD comtroller and modem) - yes, this was a "while" ago).

    I have run using APC UPSs ever since and so far (touches forehead) - I have NOT seen that type of issue again. Of course, living in FL tends to get me more lightning than some other places in the country.

    Personally, I have opted for convenience and just "sleep" my PCs and server when not being used.

    K
    Last edited by kevmeist; 2014-07-21 at 09:19.

  5. #50
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Personally, I have opted for convenience and just "sleep" my PCs and server when not being used.
    Me too. And I don't use a UPS. I have never had an issue even though we get some pretty violent storms in the summer here with lots of lightning.

    Jerry

  6. #51
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    The lightening strike and UPS/Surge protector issues have been hotly debated from all points of view by VERY knowledgable sounding people that can not manage to agree. So I mostly take a deeep breathe and just do what feels right for me.
    Having said that I will put me 2cents in on the HDD issue. If a HDD fails on startup it is at end-of-life anyway. Failing on startup when nothing important is yet being run may save a lot of grief by avoiding loosing new un backedup data in the middle of a run. From what I have read it is sometimes possible to start a stuck drive for long enough to extract important data that is not backedup, and you certainly know it is time to replace the failing HDD. This would seem to be an advantage over SSD which (again from what I have read) seem to fail completely and suddenly.



    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  7. #52
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    My Seagate server drives were about 2 years old when they failed. So, who knows when they will fail other than that they WILL fail at some point in time.

    I keep all my data files on the server with several layers of backups being run. Father/son server share backups for offsite (with several generations of father/son on two rotating 1Tb drives).

    I also keep a 2Tb ESATA drive in the home office where I take backups of the server shares twice per month (with 4 to 6 generations being kept on the ESATA drive (which stays powered off but still "connected" when not being used).

    Having said that, I'm not worried about data loss but just about the time to install a new drive and recover the data files from one of the backups. The most awkward drive fail is when the server boot drive fails.

    BTW, the server runs SMART software (now, but not before the Seagate drives failed), so I should get warnings from the SMART addon to the WHS software which sends me emails and notifies my cell phone. I check the drive status manually via the WHS console from time to time also.

    All the PCs hard drives are backed up to the server every day also.

    K
    Last edited by kevmeist; 2014-07-21 at 17:40.

  8. #53
    3 Star Lounger Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Complete and utter bunk...It's all about the power saving and nothing more.
    If anything, shutting down reduces wear over a system being always "full on".
    In the context of a typical home / office computer, especially any of decent quality and less than about ten years old, I wholly agree with you CLiNT.
    Of the thousands of customers' computers I have worked on during the past 15+ years motherboard failure has been fairly rare. In almost all cases the motherboard damage was due to mains power surges (lightning, unexpected power outages such as transformer failures, etc.).
    A decent computer these days should boot into Windows certainly in less that three minutes - if not then something is causing it to be slower than it should be.
    My production PC is about three-years-old (AMD FX8120 8-core CPU @ 3.1GHz / Gigabyte 990FXA-D3 motherboard / 2x2=4GB RAM / 256GB Kingston SSD / 2TB Seagate HDD). Before I fitted the SSD last October it usually took about 2.5 minutes before Win7 was ready to use. I was expecting it to be quicker with the SSD, but was very surprised at the huge difference; since fitting the SSD it boots and is ready to use in about 1m15s.

    Edit: meant to add that it makes *no* sense to me to leave computers etc. powered on (even if in 'sleep' or 'hibernate' mode) while I am asleep in bed. Equipment that is powered-off at the wall socket is very unlikely to be damaged by power-surge.
    Last edited by Coochin; 2014-07-24 at 01:35.
    Computer Consultant/Technician 15+ years experience.
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  9. #54
    3 Star Lounger KritzX's Avatar
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    I never switch off any of my computers, unless I'm sure not gonna be anywhere near them for atleast 2 days or so. Even then, I always Hibernate them, never use Shut Down. In the past 7 months, out of my 3 PCs, I've only had to use Shut Down once on one PC, when I had to replace a bum PSU. I don't bother putting the monitor in Sleep mode; I just issue the Sleep command from within Windows and turn the monitor off. So technically, only my console consumes power. Also, I close the lid on my laptop at the end of the day, which activates Sleep mode automatically.

    I've been following this routine for over 5 years now and (knock on wood), I've not faced any issues so far. I stopped turning off my PCs, because I'm subjected to drastic temperature changes where I live, and I feel that keeping the PCs on does help regulate the internal temps. Besides, the entire turn-off-turn-on process takes way too long and being impatient by nature, I decided to follow this routine.
    Last edited by KritzX; 2014-07-24 at 02:33. Reason: Few Typos
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  10. #55
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    Agreed Coochin...although it took me years to train my wife in that respect. Any more, I just change her power settings and sleep her after x minutes of inactivity. I don't think she knows where to alter that <g>.

    K

  11. #56
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    My present computer, at seven years old, is turned off and on once a day, with no known ill effects. Same was true for my previous computer, which was retired to back-up status after eight years of use. So, based on my limited experience with two computers over 15 years, there has been no known thermal fatigue.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudsandskye View Post
    My present computer, at seven years old, is turned off and on once a day, with no known ill effects. Same was true for my previous computer, which was retired to back-up status after eight years of use. So, based on my limited experience with two computers over 15 years, there has been no known thermal fatigue.
    So, this is right back to observations earlier that this is all personal preference. I suspect that for people like me that hop on and off the PC all day long that sleeping would be a better way and maybe cloudsandskye "may" be better off than powering down.

    I will say that "most" of the EEs that I worked with over many years subscribed to the power off philosophy is harder on electronic components than not powering off. Nowadays, with solid state stuff that may not be quite the same story. I don't power off as it is inconvenient for me.

    K

  13. #58
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    I have had computers from the 386 days and have always turned them off when not in use, this has never caused a problem, they all have lasted until they were totally obsolete except One.

    What brought on the demise of the only one that died prematurely was a leaking rechargeable battery that damaged the motherboard.

    Turning the computers off when not in use has saved them from many power abnormality I am pretty confident.

    Rick

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by re2s View Post
    I have had computers from the 386 days and have always turned them off when not in use, this has never caused a problem, they all have lasted until they were totally obsolete except One.

    What brought on the demise of the only one that died prematurely was a leaking rechargeable battery that damaged the motherboard.

    Turning the computers off when not in use has saved them from many power abnormality I am pretty confident.

    Rick
    So, do you unplug your computer from the wall when powering off? You could still suffer electrical power supply issues if still plugged into the wall especially with lightning around.

    K

  15. #60
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    Turn off your computer & peripherals at mains when not using-saves capacitor & hard drive wear

    Here's why.

    I fix all my own electronic/electrical equipment, as well as family and friends' desktop computers. My experience, as well as the widespread experience of professional service people. is that the electronic components to wear out the most quickly are almost always electrolytic capacitors. (This applies to computers, home audiovisual, and other electronic devices).

    Electrolytic capacitors are cheap themselves (around 50c-$2 each), but if you're paying for service work, can be so expensive to replace, that for a device a few years old you'd be better off just buying a new device. Circuit boards with tracks on each side can be a son-of-a-bitch to solder, and just removing a cap from a crowded board can be a pain. Laptops can take dozens of hours to carefully assemble and disassemble for those new to it, with the risk of breaking them higher (and with tablets, generally held together with tape and glue, about one in two pysically break during servicing!). 'Brick' type power supplies can also be a bastard to service, and are not always easily replaceable. Super-thin devices using surface-mount electronics such as new skool monitors might not be worth repairing at all.

    Electrolytic capacitors have a limited running life, I've seen it estimated at around 5 years. By 'running life' I mean the total time the device has had power connected to it. Leave your computer on all the time, and you wear out its electrolytic capacitors quicker. So turn it off at the mains when there's no good reason for it to be on. Hibernating or in Sleep Mode is not 'off.' Start->Shut Down is not fully 'off' unless you turn off mains power afterwards. Turn off all peripherals at the mains, too.

    For similar reasons, laptop and any other (e.g. monitor, printer) powerpacks should be turned off at the mains when not in use.

    As observed by others here, powering completely down when not in use is also better for the environment (less energy consumption), and easier on hard drives, whose estimated useful life is based not just on reading/writing amount but on total time powered up since manufacture (you'll see this figure in SMART stats).

    I've seen it stated that leaving devices powered on permanently is easier on semiconductors, but since semis are unlikely to be the first components to die, that isn't an issue.

    So turn all your computers/devices off when they don't need to be on. For my desktop computer I plug the desktop and all peripherals into a single powerboard, and switch off the power to it when it's not needed.

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bigbadsteve For This Useful Post:

    timsinc (2014-08-09),wavy (2014-08-12)

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