Is it ok to run my computer for up to 15 hours without shutting it down?

Alicia August 4, 2010

Is it ok to run my computer for about 12-15 hours without shutting it down? I use my computer and I am online a lot and I do a lot of downloading. Please let me know.

  1. Timdahl66
    September 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Yessiree, never shut that bad boy down.

  2. Jujdred
    August 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Running constantly is what Server setups are designed for. Your average home desktop is not really meant to be left on long periods of time, but no usually occurs from doing so. Maybe some excessive log clutter and an over abundance of temp files accumulation as well as your pagefile never being optimized in any way. But all you'll see is slow downs. Hell, mine has been running 32 hours now just defragging my Game drive using the new Ultimate Defrag.

  3. Ronnieaka
    August 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    well hell, what can i say... i am downloading movies and other shit on via torrents 31 all week and i just shut my laptop when i'm tired of it... just keep in mind though, keep it air ventilated well enough...and shutdown the resource hoggin apps on long runs. also close the sidebar shit.. useless when dling.

  4. Jack Cola
    August 14, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Here are my views:

    1. It won't hurt to leave your computer running 24/7 if it needs to be running. But if it doesn't, switch it off, it will save you quite a few $$$ if you switch it off

    2. Look at web servers, they are left running 24/7 without a problem. A large company I work for, we recently found a server that we have forgotten about, it was left on for 1700 days (about 5 years) and that was running smoothly. However, can be some issues as it has been on for so long, the elements cool down and can crack so it won't be able to boot again

    3. I heard somewhere, power consumptions for the worlds data centers are only like 3%, and half of that energy is for cooling (ie air conditioners)

    4. Lifespan - the longer it's on, usually, the shorter it lives. Since a Hard drive is mechanical, it has moving parts and they can only keep moving for a certain amount of time.

    5. Conclusion - best to turn it off when possible.

  5. Timothybarham
    August 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Seems to me to be like religion, conspiracy theories, climate change and vegetarianism.....choose what suits you and run with it!

  6. Sadobea
    August 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    i also leave my laptop running for more than 24 hrs when am home and i haven't experienced any problem. i only shut it down when am in a moving vehicle. i would love to know, if it is good to shut it down when in a moving vehicle or just hibernate or put it to sleep

    • Aibek
      August 14, 2010 at 5:26 am

      Good question! I think you should definitely shut down when on the move.
      I knew a person whose laptop drive crashed when he was on the move. It
      was on standby/sleep mode.

  7. Mr. R.K.
    August 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Don't worry your computer will live as long as they were built to run. Those who leave
    there computers running constantly make the electric companies profit even more
    billions. The electric companies CEO'S really could use some new mansions, luxury planes, yachts, golf courses and vacation resorts. Everybody raise there right hand and say, "We Solemnly swear to leave all our electricity running continuously, maybe the electric companies CEO'S will lower our utility bills and invite us to join them counting their profit's.

  8. John Goulton
    August 8, 2010 at 3:22 am

    If you have Pets, lots of carpet or heavy human traffic, do a spring clean on your CPU fan and heatsink, If you have always on broadband beware, the baddies will find you.
    If you live in countries where the power bills are going up,uP, UP allow your machine to hibernate. If like me you can't help yourself and buy new computers when you don't really need them, don't worry, we won't have them long enough to get any of the above problems OH! and I'll feel good knowing I'm not the only one addicted.

  9. Michael
    August 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Long term on time has been known to cause the micro-flopers (forgot the
    "technical name", the part of the cpu that thinks, the on off switches (010101) that process everything) to freeze to a permanent side.

    Also, long time battery pluged-in-ness can screw up its storage capacity in laptops. Oh and power bills are high too.

  10. Josh Fox
    August 7, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Does the power usage still come into the question if you put your computer to good use, even when you're asleep? You can always use your downtime to run virus and malware scans, work on a download queue, share some processing time for science, or compile software. Human fingers do not power a computer, only tell them what to do, and don't need to be present for the computer to do it's job.

    If you don't put your computer to use while you're away, sure, turn it off if you like.

  11. Mohamed Simah
    August 7, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I also keep my computer running continuously for more than 15 hours sometimes.. and had not noticed any prominent problems. But i guess it's not the best thing to keep the computer running for a long time without giving it a rest.. after all they are electronics and will continue to wear quickly..

  12. Loen210
    August 7, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Glad to find all the similar readers here. I keep my computer on 24/7 unless anything needs to be rebooted for download/start up new program, or it gets stuck or flaw.

  13. DdK
    August 7, 2010 at 2:19 am

    What about power consumption.
    If the majority of people leave their computers running 24/7, that's allot of juice being used up for nothing.
    And if you're in a place like LA (or anywhere hot), your computer is creating heat that your AC is trying to, well, condition, which sucks up even more electricity.
    But I guess all this isn't relevant to your question is it?

    • Myviolinsings
      August 14, 2010 at 4:12 am

      I have to say your answer may not be related to the question's intent, but we started watching every bit of power consumption in our home almost a year ago and the first thing we did was to shut off all 3 computers (laptops/pc) and unplug all unnecessary appliances with lights/displays every night when finished or whenever they were not in use. The added heat DOES mean a/c works harder. I believe energy consumption is critical in balancing our tech lives today...for us and for future generations.

  14. pceasies
    August 7, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Laptops aren't a good idea, desktops don't normally have problems. I have a couple desktops I'm using as servers that have 2-3 week + uptimes and only get restarted when installing programs and during power failures.

  15. Pyrotechplus
    August 6, 2010 at 4:58 am

    I hate to be the lone dissenting opinion, but a few things you should know.
    First of all, a laptop left powered on, and especially if plugged in creates heat that is the enemy of the battery.
    Desktop or laptop, you will find that even with the energy new conservation settings available, heat is produced when power is consumed. Heat is also the enemy of integrated circuit chips. Yes with proper ventilation the IC components will remain in the tolerable operating range of temperature. However life span is shortened by heat. However variance in temperature from shutting off, then turning on (cool/hat) also damages the chips lifespan.
    BUT...the most important component that is affected is the hard drive. Electric motors used to spin the disks have a winding to start it up, and another once it reaches its speed to keep running. By leaving the hard drive spinning at full speed all the time the startup winding does not get used. A typical MTBF (Mean time between failure) of hard drives is 2000-4000 hours of normal usage. Normal being shut off at the end of a work day, so it is 1-2 years. Servers that are running such extreme times use a scheme of some sort like RAID, so that hard drives can be changed while the server keeps up and running.
    The "damage" that some say takes place in my opinion is a leftover from previous technologies of hard drives that were more mechanically intensive.

    • Oron Joffe
      August 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      While I agree with most of your points, the MTBF of most hard discs is around five HUNDRED thousand hours, not two to four thousand.

  16. Alicia
    August 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Thanx u guys. I feel much better.

  17. Steve Campbell
    August 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    My PC has basically been running since 2004 when I got it and it still works fine. I've actually given up on waiting for it to die so I bought a laptop, but my other house PC (which is the same exact make and model) has had a lot of issues and we shut it down all the time.

    Honestly I think shutting it down can be bad at times because the fan stops running and a lot of dust gets in there. Plus I think it's good to have a constant power stream instead of intermittent use, but I have nothing to justify this.

  18. Jlninsfl
    August 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Yes, it is AOK to leave it on... I never ever shut mine down

  19. JCParkins
    August 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I agree with the previous three answers. We rarely shut our computers down but I would add that it is a good idea to have them connected to a UPS backup battery system. You can get one that will keep the computer running long enough to allow you to properly shut down your system in the event of a power failure and will also help prevent overload from power surges. They are are well worth the money, in my opinion.

    • Aibek
      August 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

      I highly recommend UPS adapters as well, especially for those who own one of those pricey iMacs.

  20. Hristo Barakov
    August 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I never shut down mine, and it's a laptop. I only restart it when installing updates ;)

    • Aibek
      August 13, 2010 at 10:23 am

      same here, my Sony Vaio can go without a reboot for several weeks.

  21. Josh Fox
    August 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I agree with rdube. Leaving a computer running constantly is perfectly fine as long as it's ventilated. The only limitation I've seen is if you leave resource hogging applications running a lot, you might experience slowdowns. Some torrent programs use libraries that are hard on resources, and iTunes can cause problems as well. If the computer is under heavy use with programs like these, at least 2GB of RAM would be advised.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    You only need to shutdown your computer if your computer gets too hot or it runs out of memory. Depending on if you have either a Laptop or Desktop. If you have a Laptop, make sure you have it on a flat surface or somewhere that the computer can breathe, so that it wont overheat. If you have a desktop, like rdube said, you wont really have to worry about restarting. But make sure you restart or shut it down at least once a day.

  23. Ryan Dube
    August 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Yes. We actually have a PC at home that runs for weeks at a time without shutdown. So long as it is in a well-ventilated area where the fan can do a good job keeping all of the components cool, it's fine. In fact, some technicians argue that constant shutting down and rebooting of a computer has more detrimental impact (from electrical spikes and the mechanical start/stops of drives) than simply leaving the PC running would. I would say you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

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