Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

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Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby exoilman » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:31 pm

How often should I do a shutdown? I just replaced my 9 year old Dell which I rarely did.

Thanks
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Re: Computer question

Postby Toons » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:41 pm

It is an age old question,pros and cons to both sides,personally I do not like starting and restarting my computers. I prefer keeping the hard drive spinning. Like you I leave mine on most of the time and shut down maybe once a month :happy

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Re: Computer question

Postby livesoft » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:58 pm

I never shutdown unless I am forced to.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Computer question

Postby maxim81 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Keep it on Hibernate and you should be good to go. Only reboot if a new software or update requires it.
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Re: Computer question

Postby Higman » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:20 pm

If you want to leave your Desktop PC up all the time then be sure to have a Back-up Universal Power Supply (UPS). This will protect the PC not only from power surges but brownouts and will shut down your PC gracefully after so many minutes running on battery back-up after an extended power loss. I use an APC Back-UPS ES 750.
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Re: Computer question

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:23 pm

Mine seems to restart itself periodically when software updates have piled up. It seems to be about every 2-3 weeks.
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Re: Computer question

Postby frugaltype » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:40 pm

No kidding? I turn my laptop off several times a day. I think it used to be hard on displays to be turned off and on, but I thought that was no longer the case. I haven't seen any ill effects in years of doing this.
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Re: Computer question

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:46 pm

frugaltype wrote:No kidding? I turn my laptop off several times a day. I think it used to be hard on displays to be turned off and on, but I thought that was no longer the case. I haven't seen any ill effects in years of doing this.
I turn my display off when I'm not using the PC (it's a major power draw). I worry about the hard drive being turned on and off, not the display. The display doesn't have moving parts (other than buttons).
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Re: Computer question

Postby mjdaniel » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:49 pm

I only shutdown if I leave the house for more than a day. I do reboot every Sunday after a full security scan. I am sure everyone has a different response.
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Re: Computer question

Postby dm200 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:13 pm

The "debate" between those who say rarely turn off/shut down PCs and those who advocate turning them off when not in use is "interesting". I do not have an opinion.

It occurs to me that, back 46 years ago, when the "current technology" for input media for the latest and greatest mainframe computers was punched cards, there was the same debate about turning off the keypunch machines. One memory of that was being "chastised" by a ornery know it all fellow employee for doing one or the other (can't remember which). Funny how some "debates" never change.
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Re: Computer question

Postby EternalOptimist » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:41 pm

For what it's worth, I Shutdown my pcs whenever they are not going to be used for quite a while
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Re: Computer question

Postby bertilak » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:53 pm

Mine is almost always on. It is a laptop but I hardly ever take it anywhere.

I leave it on since there are many things that happen when it is unattended: General backups, specific program backups (e.g. Quickbooks) upgrades, maintenance (defrag), etc..

Take a look at the Task Scheduler (via the Control Center). there are many things that get scheduled there to run at various times of the day or week.
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Re: Computer question

Postby Tom_T » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:21 pm

As a programmer, I often need to connect to my office computer from home. I would guess that I shut down my office PC once a year -- and only because I am going on vacation.

That said, my home PC does go into sleep mode after a couple of hours, so it's essentially off.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:33 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (computer).

I also retitled the thread.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Rob5TCP » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:38 pm

I have heard that debate for years. When clients ask, I tell them to shut it down over the weekend and bring it up Monday morning.
On my own computer, I used to leave it on 24/7. Now I turn it off before I go to sleep and turn it on first thing in the morning.
For server, I recommend 24/7 (but they have UPS that will do automatic shutdowns if there are problems).
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Re: Computer question

Postby 1530jesup » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:39 pm

I am on a desktop (XP), use it daily for my projects and shut it down only when updates require it or Florida Power & Light fails...
The UPS helps when the power blinks off for a few moments or seconds so the programs do not shut down and in the event of a prolonged outage I am able to save and close my work.

Otherwise it is running constantly (monitor on only when I am at my desk).
I former network colleague said the computer should be re-booted every week or two to keep it running at optimum efficiency.
efficiency is not all its cracked up to be, do you want to live your life in half the time it takes the average person? Rhymes With Orange | Rich
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby mike143 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:53 pm

Work computer gets restarted and left at login screen at the end of the day, for remote access. Home laptop, with SSD, gets shutdown after use. Home HTPC (home theater personal computer) runs 24/7 and restarted for updates. I setup my Mom's computer to hibernate after and hour and told her to restart it once a week.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby wilpat » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:02 pm

I let my laptop take a nap (sleep) whenever I don't bother it for a while.
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Re: Computer question

Postby frugaltype » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:09 pm

1530jesup wrote:I former network colleague said the computer should be re-booted every week or two to keep it running at optimum efficiency.


It sounds like that was trying to compensate for a memory leak.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby gerrym51 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:12 pm

i read somewhere that a computer in sleep mode is more easily hacked. i shut down every night and re-boot every morning
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Calm Man » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:28 pm

I don't like leaving electrical things on when not in use for long durations such as overnight. I do leave the computer on generally during the day. But at night, the power strip with the router, modem and computer gets turned off as does the power strip with the cable box and tv. It takes a brief expenditure of energy when I turn the TV strip on and the computer strip on most days. I also have to enter my password on the computer, and maybe that's good. Some days I don't use the computer and/or the TV and turn neither on.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby scrabbler1 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:51 pm

I put my desktop PC into stand=by (sleep) mode whenever I am going to be away from it for a while, as well as overnight. Also, I turn off the modem overnight to reduce its use. The monitor turns itself off (actually, sleep mode) when not used for more than 20 minutes. I do not turn the PC off but do restarts when I have to install updates or when there is a problem with the printer's buffer and the only way I can clear it is to reboot.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby BolderBoy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:11 pm

All hard drives manufactured in at least the last 8 years automatically spin down and park after a very short period of idleness.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby stevep001 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:20 pm

My primary personal computer, running win7, is set to sleep after 30 minutes and to hibernate after 6 hours. The only time it reboots is when automatic updates are applied.

Windows 8 makes major changes to how the boot process works, and is optimized for SSDs. I just cold booted my X1 Carbon Touch and was at the login screen in 14 seconds.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby bltkmt » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:30 pm

I leave mine running 24/7, but reboot it every day.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby frugaltype » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:56 pm

BolderBoy wrote:All hard drives manufactured in at least the last 8 years automatically spin down and park after a very short period of idleness.


That's controlled by the power options on my XP laptop, unless the hard drive is taking it upon itself to ignore those settings.

I don't have to leave my laptop on for automatic updates, backups, and so on, because I don't let it do such things without my starting them by hand (which I do.)
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Mudpuppy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:03 am

Some of the advice to do regular shutdowns or reboots comes from an old Windows bug that might cause it to crash after about 50 days: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1040-222391.html

Since no such issues exist now, it's more a matter of personal preference and usage. I leave mine on 24/7 because I run servers, but that's really the only reason.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Padlin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:32 am

We find it helps our servers and workstations at work if they are rebooted weekly, clears out registers, clears and reloads memory. It also is prime time for power supplies to go bad and Anti-Virus software to kickoff.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby 1210sda » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:22 am

stevep001 wrote:My primary personal computer, running win7, is set to sleep after 30 minutes and to hibernate after 6 hours. The only time it reboots is when automatic updates are applied.


What is the difference between "sleep" and "hibernate" ?

1210
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby stevep001 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:35 am

1210sda wrote:
What is the difference between "sleep" and "hibernate" ?

1210

That's a good question. Windows has several different power-saving states that trade off the amount of power savings against how long it takes for the computer to turn back on, and whether power is required.

Sleep turns on quickest, but has the lowest power savings and requires some power to keep the computer going. I routinely let my computers go into sleep state after 15-30 minutes of inactivity. It takes a couple seconds for the computer to restart from this state.

Hibernate completely* turns the computer off, but supports faster restart than a cold boot because the running state of programs is saved at the time of hibernation. Depending on your computer it can take 10-30 seconds or more to return from hibernate, based in part on how much memory you have and how many programs you have running.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... -questions provides more detail on the tradeoffs.

Windows 8 has some big improvements in this area, primarily with a feature called "hybrid sleep". That combined with a SSD (flash) drive gives excellent startup performance. Most Windows 8 computers are configured to use hybrid sleep instead of shutdown, meaning the system only reboots (in the classic sense) for certain driver and update installations.

If you have slow hibernate or resume times, this article points you to the section of the event log that will show which driver on your computer is slowing things down. Slow hibernate/resume times are often due to third party drivers taking a long time to start/shut down.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby 1210sda » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:17 am

Steve,
Thank you very much for that very good explanation. Bogleheads rock. 1210
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby mur44 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:40 am

I shut it every day. This was true at office as well.

Saves energy.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Quickfoot » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:46 am

If you use your computer every day I'd use a low power sleep mode rather than completely shutting the computer off (with windows just do shutdown, sleep). If you only use it a couple days a week hibernate it or power it off. With modern hardware sleep is so close to being powered off it isn't worth the boot time to shut it down completely.

I prefer keeping the hard drive spinning


Merely having the computer powered on does not mean the hard drive is spinning. Hard drives will shut down when there's no disk access for a period of time, then when disk access occurs they spin back up. With low noise hard drives these days you'll never even hear the hard drive spinning down / up. Hard drives sit for months from being manufactured to being sold / installed in computers, powering them off for days / weeks / months wont hurt it. If you store a hard drive for years without having it spin up you can run into mechanical problems, that's one reason why hard drives aren't used for long term archival of data.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Default User BR » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:03 pm

I never shut mine down. As others have noted, with the home computer sometimes Windows will decide a reboot is necessary. Otherwise it just goes sleepy-bye after a bit.

At work we're not supposed to turn them off, because systems stuff (security patches, software updates, file backup) takes place at night.


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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Jack » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:54 pm

As Steve explained above, there are three basic power saving modes. They differ in how they preserve the current state of your computer.

When your computer is at idle but still running, it uses somewhere between 25 and 75 watts.

1. Sleep mode. The CPU and graphics freeze. The DRAM memory keeps refreshing to maintain memory contents. Everything else is stopped. Recovery from this mode is very fast, a couple of seconds, because all that needs to happen is the re-enabling of the CPU. However, if power is lost while in sleep, everything in DRAM memory is lost and a cold boot is required. So you should save all open documents before sleeping. In this mode power consumption is reduced to about 5 watts.

2. Hibernation mode. The state of the the CPU and DRAM memory is saved to disk in a hibernation file. Then the computer is turned off completely for the best power savings. When turned back on, the CPU state and DRAM memory are copied from disk and your session resumes exactly from where you left off without a reboot. Resume may take a few seconds longer than resume from sleep because it takes a while to copy the hibernation file back to DRAM memory and to initialize all of the hardware. One advantage of hibernation is that you can't lose open documents if there is a power failure during hibernation because memory is saved to disk. Power consumption is reduced to 1 watt or less.

3. Hybrid sleep combines the best of both sleep and hibernation. It copies everything from memory to disk just in case a power loss occurs, so nothing is lost. Then it goes into sleep mode with just the DRAM being refreshed. In most cases you can resume from sleep very quickly, but if a power loss occurs, then the system resumes from the hibernation file backup. Power consumption is the same as sleep mode, about 5 watts.

My system has all solid state drives, so I choose to use regular sleep mode instead of hybrid sleep because hybrid sleep requires copying gigabytes of memory to SSD each time you go to sleep. I don't know if this significantly affects the life of the SSD drive but I don't need to find out. I just make sure I have saved any open files to disk before invoking sleep mode. Loss of power during sleep has never occurred, but if it does, nothing important is lost.

I would not leave an unused computer running any more that I would leave lights on in unused rooms.
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Re: Computer question

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:31 pm

1530jesup wrote:...
I former network colleague said the computer should be re-booted every week or two to keep it running at optimum efficiency.

In a long-ago project management job we had an occurrence in which one of our customers had all their computers fail all at once throughout their business. Globally. Their CEO was not pleased. Neither was ours.

It turned out there was a subtle system-wide bug we had never identified: not in code review; not in alpha testing; not in beta testing; nor in previous experience with other customers who had bought systems based upon the same products. It would never happen in one machine operating all by itself. It was a consequence of a flaw in the networked nature of the solution.

Upon analysis it only ever could occur after months of continuous operation.

None of our customers' servers had ever stayed up long enough for it to happen before.

We didn't know whether to celebrate or mourn.

PJW
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:32 pm

In a combined software engineer + IT support job I responded one day to an employee's dissatisfaction. In that situation I made a point of personally visiting the complaintant. He had come to dislike one aspect of his PC's operation. We, which is to say I, had fixed it months before. The fix downloaded upon the next login.

He said he never logs out of his computer, just locks it. Why?

Because that way he never had to reset his password. Our policy forced it every 120 days.

Software engineering and IT are both much more about human behavior than about technology.

PJW
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby froman118 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:44 pm

At home everything is set to go into standby/sleep after a half hour of idle, even my HTPC that idles at 20W. My gaming desktop idles at about 100W and I'll manually put it to sleep if I'm done. No point in burning money when a tap of the keyboard will have it up and running before the monitor is ready to go. I never do an actual reboot unless forced to by updates.
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby KarlJ » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:03 pm

I shutdown prior to a vacation, otherwise my desktop runs 24/7. Walter Mossberg of the WSJ gives his answer to this question here:
http://allthingsd.com/20130702/shut-down-or-sleep/
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Re: Computer question [How often to do a shutdown?]

Postby Blues » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:05 pm

i put my computer on standby nightly. Only reboot or shut down when needed.
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