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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Computer in storage

    A friend goes south for 10 weeks each winter. A question came up whether it was important to keep his computer system plugged in while he was gone. I suggested that it would be OK to unplug it. He is worried that his battery will "run out". He has a friend who does come over when there are thunder storms and unplugs the computer. So would it be OK to leave the computer unplugged for the 10 weeks that he is gone?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer in storage

    I can't imagine that it would hurt a thing. And IF the battery were to die during that time it probably would have done so anyway. The worst that would happen is him having to re-enter a few BIOS settings.

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Computer in storage

    I wouldn't think it made any difference to the CMOS battery whether the computer was left powered on or not, since I don't believe it is rechargeable (too expensive when the manufacturer is saving pennies). Does anyone disagree?

    John

    PS On the other hand the machine will have a lot of work to do to catch up with software and antivirus updates when first powered on again...
    But on the other, other, hand it wouldn't be attacked during its period of off-ness.
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer in storage

    I am bemused at the lounge pedant incorporating the phrase "period of off-ness"

    StuartR

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Computer in storage

    Nothing will beat unplugging it for safety, but ideally he should have adequate protection against lightning and brownouts in any case - this has been covered often enough here in conversations covering the use of of power filters and UPSs.

    As regards the CMOS battery, theoretically the drain on the battery should not be much more than its own self-discharge - in other words, its expected lifespan will not be affected that much. Exactly how long the battery would last in the first place depends on too many factors to guess at, such as how old it was when the pc was 'new' and its quality. As has been discussed above, no permanent damage should occur from the battery failing, just inconvenience...

    Personally, I'd be more concerned with the environmental conditions the pc was left in - ideally dry with no extremes of temperature....

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Computer in storage

    I don't think price comes into it.
    Rechargeables are not really viable as their self-discharge is likely to give them but a short life, perhaps just a month. Lithium type batteries, with a ten year shelf life, would probably last a good five years.

  7. #7
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer in storage

    I think some newer boards do provide a little trickle charge for the batteries - there's getting to be so many "mini-peripherals" on-board (mini-peripherals? - if that's never been said before, I get the trademark/copyright/patent - whichever applies lol) , and if my quinquagenarian memory cells are correct, aren't BIOSes pushing 2 Mb these days? That may be pushing limits for non-rechargeable batteries of that size - motherboards are getting crowded.

    If the power cord is attached, and if the master power switch on the rear of the power supply (if so equipped, many supplies do not have a master switch) is set to "on", the ATX and
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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