Is shutting down many times a day dangerous for my system?

inspi August 28, 2010

I shut down my computer many times a day. I want to know if it affects my system? I am using Windows Vista Premium. How many shut downs are permissible in a day?

  1. Li07 Jason
    September 7, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    You normally should turn it off at least once a day, because you need to flush the cache buffers in order to free up RAM (my computer uses more than 2 GB in cache!).

  2. LARdT
    September 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

    As far as I can remember all breakdowns in our servers (around 100) happened or were detected after a switch off-switch on routine. But spikes can happen also when the computer is running and the parts of your computer have been designed to work for a certain number of thousands of hours. So leaving it switched on permanently is a waste. And heat is a big source of problems too.
    Just switch on/off in order to suit your working routine Make a rule, are you going to rest for more than a day?, for example, then swittch it off.

  3. Yorick
    September 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    depends what "many times" means ;-)

    YES, computers are rather build to *run*, than to keep rebooting.

    However, for normal (consumer) daily usage, you don't need to worry about rebooting your computer couple of times a day.
    as long as youre not overheating it, overclocking it, straining harddrive etc - it will cope without any problem for at least couple of years.

    Still, computers are complex systems and you always have 5% chance that something will go wrong in your model.

    generally (if we ignore faulty manufacturing) the weakest link in computers tend to be the mechanical parts = harddrive, dvd-drive, fan - and these are easily replaceable (just remember: backup! backup! backup!).
    next is the heat problem, which affects power sources and processors (and hdd too).

  4. Steve Campbell
    August 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I'm a personal believer of leaving your computer on as opposed to turning it off frequently. I think it's a good idea to keep a steady flow of power instead of interrupting it all the time. You can still give it a break by enabling stand-by or hibernation.

  5. Saikat Basu
    August 29, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Also, check the answers to what someone asked before - Is it ok to run my computer for up to 15 hours without shutting it

    P.S: Always keep you computer well ventilated and clean the air vents (and the insides) regularly.

    • inspi
      August 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

      yup i had already read.actually this question came to my mind after reading the same question.

  6. Ryan Dube
    August 29, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Inspi - many people believe so, yes. The reason is that every time you power on any electronic component, there's always an instantaneous "spike" of electricity. Electronics have the ability to deal with those spikes, but over time that spike can essentially "wear" on those electronic components far more than if you simply turned it on and left it running in a steady idle state.

    A good example of this is how incandescent light bulbs most often "blow" when you first turn on the light - not so much when the light is already on. If you have a choice, I'd say it's best to leave it running and reboot maybe once a week. Just my opinion - others may feel differently!

    • Jack Cola
      August 29, 2010 at 7:24 am

      I agree with you Ryan about your first paragraph, but once a week to reboot, I think that too long. I have my computer on during the day and turn it off when I go to bed. But if I am going out, I turn it off.

      Leaving it on at night is a waste of energy and can cost quite a lot of extra money on your power bill.

      If you go on your computer for an hour, leave for an hour, and then come back, I would just turn it on. You could probably put it on standby or turn of the screen.

      Also, as working in a reasonably large datacenter, we had to relocated a few servers last night, and when we turned one of them off, the system board died and we could not turn it back on and we had to replace it. This is because the parts/circuits cooled down and once they heated again they broke - something along those lines. So leaving it on for long period of times can be bad as well.

    • inspi
      August 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

      thanks alot for explaining so nicely..the concept of spikes is very much logical but i think rebooting once a week is not digestible, isn't it??.

      • Ryan Dube
        August 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

        Inspi - it depends on your preference. Some user comments on a recent article I wrote on a similar topic noted that they never turn off their PC at all. I've let my family PC run for a month before before reboot - so long as the computer is well ventilated and the fan is working it will not overheat.

        Do what you feel comfortable with, but don't worry about leaving a computer running for long periods. As I mentioned - the majority of the electrical danger comes when you first flip that switch on.

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