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View Full Version : Turning off computers- do you, or not?



Kev Williams
01-10-2016, 7:03 PM
I'm just curious more than anything as to what others do!

Most of my computers are XP's, and most of those I hibernate, simply in case of a power outage, as I usually have unfinished work I don't want to re-do. My Win8.1 and one XP I generally just leave on and they'll go to sleep. They never have any critical info going so if the power goes out it's not a big deal.

I rarely reboot. I have a Win98 computer that runs some very old graphics program, that one I shut off every night, usually. But it will boot up in 20 seconds flat, which is faster than my XP's come out of hibernation.

One of my XP's is pretty old and slow, it's divorced from the internet, and I've loaded it with COM and LPT ports and hard drives. All of my common work files are stored on these drives, and I also use it as a print server to run many of my machines. I run no programs with it. It's simply my 'server' computer that allows me to open & save files and run machines from any of my other computers. I've been hibernating it, but I'm thinking lately why should I bother? Seems all I'm doing is wearing out the on/off switch! ;)

Jon Nuckles
01-10-2016, 7:22 PM
I shut mine down completely a couple of times a week. I've no idea if it helps or not. Some updates require a reboot to take effect, but that shouldn't apply to your unconnected computers.

Leo Graywacz
01-10-2016, 7:26 PM
I hibernate my computer every night. If I'm going away for a short period I'll just disable the wireless internet connection.

Bruce Volden
01-10-2016, 7:42 PM
I have a custom built XP machine which hasn't been shut off for more than ~12 years? It used to shut down automatically when certain upgrades happened but for the most part runs 24/7. It is slow and clunky and I keep hoping it will DIE! I have had to replace the power supply once. I also leave my 17" Planar monitor on 24/7, I keep hoping this will also DIE! My box is always connected to the internet (no 'bugs' yet).
Someday I hope to join the fast and furious and go with an I 7 fully loaded, but until that day I will be trapped with a clunker.

Bruce

Pat Barry
01-10-2016, 8:03 PM
Simple answer = No

Ken Fitzgerald
01-10-2016, 8:17 PM
I shut mine off every night when I go to bed.

John K Jordan
01-10-2016, 9:14 PM
I not only left my XP machines on for years but often didn't reboot for a year or more unless needed for some software requirement. These were only turned it off for hardware changes. These were dual-processor graphics and video machines, several linked as a render farm. All were solid and stable with both hardware and software, but then I had installed XP from scratch and never installed ANY software I didn't absolutely need so there was not a bunch of bloated junk.

I did install extra fans on all machines, some blowing directly across each disk drive so the hardware was stable. Big UPS units took care of power issues. I never had a disk or hardware failure in the decades I did this work.

What often kills things with chips and circuits is the repeated physical expansion and contraction from heating and cooling when turned on and off. Expansion and contraction can create tiny breaks in printed circuit board traces and components and can even make chips work out of sockets (not many of those these days!) Keeping things uniformly warm also can minimize corrosion on sockets and connectors. And as you mention, switches can fail.

As far as unfinished work, I backed up in at least three places every time I had done enough work that I would hate to have to redo. Often this was every 15-20 minutes. I wanted results instead of excuses! At the end of a project I might have 100s of different versions saved.

BTW, at the laboratory I worked for they never turned off servers or dedicated computers or supercomputers or network hardware.

Just for fun, this was one corner of my office in the basement of my last house, before I retired to feed the llamas and horses. I called it the Dungeon - the commute to work was about 18 seconds. I did a lot of scientific and technical 3D graphics, animation, and video editing.

329103

JKJ

Stan Calow
01-10-2016, 9:22 PM
I shut mine off every time I am done using them. I do not trust them.

Jim Becker
01-10-2016, 9:24 PM
The only time I shut my computer(s) down is if I'm going to be away for a few days (my iMac) or if I'm going to be on a plane. (my MBPr13) They do go into "sleep" mode when inactive for a bunch of hours.

Myk Rian
01-10-2016, 10:33 PM
I ran a BBS system for 14 tears. The machine was on 24/7.
I turn this machine off every night. As I understand it, hibernate keeps the RAM active, and warm/hot.
Why take a chance.

Leo Graywacz
01-10-2016, 10:58 PM
Sleep keeps things warm and powered.

Hibernate puts the contents of RAM into the HDD and then the computer shuts down.

Mike Henderson
01-10-2016, 11:12 PM
I power mine down each night. The newer computers with the solid state drives boot very fast so starting up each morning is not a problem.

Mike

Bruce Page
01-10-2016, 11:52 PM
I shut mine off every night when I go to bed.
Ditto for me. I have an SSD drive that takes ~ 22 seconds to boot up.

Steve Peterson
01-11-2016, 12:25 AM
I let my work PC go into hibernate mode. I never shut it off and hate when they force me to reboot it to load software updates. I use it every day and it is faster to come out of sleep than a full wakeup. It is also less passwords, since they force us to use a 16 letter hard disk password, an 8 letter account password, plus an additional password if I log in from home. Coming out of sleep is usually only a single password.

My shop PC with XP for a CNC router gets shut off when I am done. It may be weeks between uses.

Steve

Brian Henderson
01-11-2016, 5:11 AM
Nope, our computers never get shut off, with the exception of a week-long vacation every year when we're just not around. Otherwise, it reboots only when necessary and stays on 24/7.

Gary Gill
01-11-2016, 7:02 AM
I leave mine on 24/7. My reasoning is the cycles of on and off, heat and cool the components. The heat and cool cycling might work harden those components. Maybe not, but that's my reason and I am sticking t it.

Paul Lawrence
01-11-2016, 8:00 AM
Only one direct mention of a UPS (uninterruptible power supply.) I'm sure others have one, but just didn't mention it.

I don't have any electronics that aren't covered by a UPS. None. TVs, sat boxes, stereos and network devices. All have continuous power. They never see power glitches. (Even my refrigerator and freezer have a voltage cutoff device to keep them off for a set time after a power outage.)

All of my computer problems have gone away with this UPS arrangement over the last few decades.

My computers are put into "Sleep" mode in the evening (iMacs). My only PC left is for programming so it shuts off in the evening after running a backup program.

A UPS on every device is the only way to protect those hard drives when there's a power outage.

Mike Null
01-11-2016, 8:52 AM
I leave two of mine on except when I want to reboot them for a reason. One is an XP and the other a Win 7 pro. Both are connected to a UPS. My Macbook Pro is shut down when I'm finished using it. It is not used for my business. I have another Win 7 Pro which is my dedicated shipping pc. I generally leave it on unless I'm traveling.

I use AVG Free and have never had any problems. I tend to replace my stuff every 6 to 8 years. Most of my work is graphics related.

roger wiegand
01-11-2016, 10:04 AM
Never. I'm told most electronic issues are the result of number of power cycles, don't know if that's true. With all solid state drives I don't worry about mechanical failure of the drives and the mimi fan doesn't run unless you're actively pushing the machine. Having to go boot the computer every time I want to play music in the shop or living room would be a pain. I don't think the Mac Mini uses much power when it's asleep, the case never gets warm.

Kev Williams
01-11-2016, 12:31 PM
I should know better than to start talking about stuff like this, it always seems to kick Murphy's Law into effect...

I start this thread yesterday, and just now I find my 'main' computer (the one with all my email), that I left on last night for once, completely stone cold dead. Because of the email I started to panic a bit.

But fortunately I follow the "is it plugged in?" form of initial troubleshooting, and found the problem: The powerstrip, which is screwed to a wall, that the computer is plugged into, was now not screwed to the wall. It was laying face down on the desk, and the switch was turned off...

Murphy's Law works. The powerstrip has never left the wall before. Within 24 hours of deciding to try NOT turning off the computer, it does. And really, what are the odds of it falling just right enough to flip the switch off?

I've told people for many years I have a ghost. And his name is Murphy... ;)

But all's well... :)

Brian Elfert
01-11-2016, 12:43 PM
I leave my computer running 24x7 except if I am leaving town for a few days. I have an SSD instead of a mechanical hard drive so thermal stress should be less of an issue. One of the main reasons I leave it on is so I can use it at any time without waiting for it to boot and stabilize along with the time taken to launch all the software.

Leo Graywacz
01-11-2016, 1:20 PM
I should know better than to start talking about stuff like this, it always seems to kick Murphy's Law into effect...

I start this thread yesterday, and just now I find my 'main' computer (the one with all my email), that I left on last night for once, completely stone cold dead. Because of the email I started to panic a bit.

But fortunately I follow the "is it plugged in?" form of initial troubleshooting, and found the problem: The powerstrip, which is screwed to a wall, that the computer is plugged into, was now not screwed to the wall. It was laying face down on the desk, and the switch was turned off...

Murphy's Law works. The powerstrip has never left the wall before. Within 24 hours of deciding to try NOT turning off the computer, it does. And really, what are the odds of it falling just right enough to flip the switch off?

I've told people for many years I have a ghost. And his name is Murphy... :)

But all's well... :)

I think it just told you it wants to be turned off at night :D

Larry Browning
01-11-2016, 2:55 PM
If there was ever a question that has no right answer, it is this one. It is sort of like what is your favorite food or color. For every reason you might have to shut down every night there is an equally valid reason to keep it on. I say it's whatever makes you feel better, shut it off or keep it on, it really doesn't make a hill of beans difference. I'm not even going to tell what I do.
Here where I work we are strongly encouraged to shut the power off to our computers when we leave each day, mostly to save electricity. A few computers won't make much of a difference, but thousands of computers left on, can add up. Every little bit helps add to my profit sharing at the end of the year.

David Masters
01-11-2016, 10:24 PM
Now that Wake on LAN works reliably, I let the iMac and Windows machines sleep after a couple hours of inactivity. I'm not sure how much power I'm saving though. The three RAID cabinets stay powered up when the iMac is asleep.

Dave

Matt Meiser
01-11-2016, 10:47 PM
We shut our laptops off when we go on vacation and put them in a safe location. They are set to go to sleep though. All have SSDs so they wake up very fast when needed. My Windows Home Server and my VMWare environment have been shut off once last year (when my daughter plugged a vacuum into an outlet connected to the UPS in my rack!)

Bruce Page
01-11-2016, 11:47 PM
If you have an SSD drive, what is the power consumption difference between setting it to sleep and a full shutdown?

Curt Harms
01-12-2016, 9:11 AM
If you have an SSD drive, what is the power consumption difference between setting it to sleep and a full shutdown?


Here's the power use on mine: Power Consumption Idle: 0.60W, Active: 3.450W. I couldn't find anything on sleep, I'd guess pretty close to 0 seeing as flash doesn't need to be refreshed.

There seems to be some advice on the interwebz about disabling hibernate on SSD systems, I have no idea if valid or not. Here is one example:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/disable-hibernate-ssd-warranty-purposes/

My primary O.S. Ubuntu has two lower power states. One is suspend, the other hibernate. I use suspend-to-RAM which keeps the current state in RAM but sets the rest of the system to a very low power state, just enough to keep the RAM fresh. I found hibernate on Windows XP not much faster to resume than starting from a cold boot. Dunno about Win 7 and newer, I seldom boot them and for a specific purpose when I do.

Larry Browning
01-12-2016, 10:21 AM
I think for home use of only a few PC's the power consumption is a total non issue. We are talking most likely sub or very few pennies a day. Why would you care?

Mike Henderson
01-12-2016, 10:55 AM
If you have an SSD drive, what is the power consumption difference between setting it to sleep and a full shutdown?
My understanding of "sleep" is that the state of the computer is left in RAM and the processor clock is slowed down quite a bit, just enough to refresh the RAM. With "hibernate" the state of the computer is put on the drive - either mechanical or SSD - and the computer is shut off.

To recover from sleep, you just have to wake everything up and get the processor clock up to speed. With hibernate, you need to "boot" but the state of the computer is then transferred from the disk back to RAM. So recovery from hibernate takes longer than recovery from sleep.

Sleep requires continuous power while hibernate can turn power off.

At least that's my understanding.

Mike

Larry Browning
01-12-2016, 12:37 PM
My understanding of "sleep" is that the state of the computer is left in RAM and the processor clock is slowed down quite a bit, just enough to refresh the RAM. With "hibernate" the state of the computer is put on the drive - either mechanical or SSD - and the computer is shut off.

To recover from sleep, you just have to wake everything up and get the processor clock up to speed. With hibernate, you need to "boot" but the state of the computer is then transferred from the disk back to RAM. So recovery from hibernate takes longer than recovery from sleep.

Sleep requires continuous power while hibernate can turn power off.

At least that's my understanding.

Mike
This is my understanding as well.
We had one person where I work put his laptop in sleep mode, then put it in his backpack and zipped it up for a long trip to another plant location. When he got there 3 days later he discovered the heat generated within that confined place had fried his computer. The PC service department gave him a very hard time about him not taking proper care of his PC. That incident prompted several memos concerning the proper use of sleep vs hibernate.

Bruce Page
01-12-2016, 1:57 PM
Thanks for the info. When I put my PC into sleep mode it goes dead quiet.
Larry, I wasn't worried about the pennies, I was curious about what the difference was between the two states.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-12-2016, 2:12 PM
I am not knowledgeable about the current level of Windows. In the early days when laptops first came out I stayed on top of it. In those early days, certain files got closed and others got cleaned up only when Windows got shut down. Failure to shut systems down periodically could really effect the performance of a system.

Professionally, I had to deal with UPS's. I don't have a UPS, have no desire to have a UPS as I consider it a minor inconvenience to power up and wait for a system to boot up. Having dealt with equipment failures for 40 years often due to "dirty" power, I choose to shut my computers down each day. I also unplug everything in my shop when I leave on an extended vacation or trip as I have dealt with the results of damage caused by lightning striking the ground and coming into a radar via power cables buried in the ground. (The lightning striking the nearby ground was witnessed by the runway crash crew sitting in their "crash" truck some 20 yards away.)

It's subjective. There is no right or wrong. Do what tickles your fancy.

Scott Underwood
01-12-2016, 2:38 PM
My file server running Windows Server 2003 had close to 23,000 hours of run time before I had to restart it. It has a big UPS hooked up to it, so it even stayed up when we lost power for 2 days.

Larry Browning
01-12-2016, 5:45 PM
Thanks for the info. When I put my PC into sleep mode it goes dead quiet.
Larry, I wasn't worried about the pennies, I was curious about what the difference was between the two states.


I think Mike H. has it right.

Dennis Peacock
01-12-2016, 6:04 PM
I never shut mine off. It stays up and running 24x7x365.

Tom Stenzel
01-12-2016, 10:30 PM
At the opposite end of the spectrum, I turn my 'puter on only when I use it. Since I received the Samsung tablet my desktop system isn't turned on most days. Leaving it on for only a few hours of use a week seems a waste.

-Tom

Paul Lawrence
01-13-2016, 10:16 PM
... I don't have a UPS, have no desire to have a UPS as I consider it a minor inconvenience to power up and wait for a system to boot up.

A UPS has little to do with powering computer up or down. It only keeps the computer from losing power at an inappropriate time where one might lose something unsaved.

We have more little "blips" of power outage than complete power downs. I guess tree limbs and squirrels short the wires, but don't blow the breakers. A UPS saves a lot of electronics in those kind of power problems.

Leo Graywacz
01-13-2016, 10:27 PM
One reason to have a laptop. Built in battery backup