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to shutdown or not to shutdown

By nashcomp ·
I understand that turning electronics off and on does more harm than leaving them on all the time.

I usually leave my PCs on 24/7 with a screensaver but I restart them every 2 or 3 days to refresh the memory.

All my current customers run 95/98or ME. I need some advice on how to explain to them that it's OK to leave their computers on all the time. They aren't completely satisfied with the damage to components theory and are worried about parts wearing out.

I know about power optionsunder the control panel, but I need some suggestions about the settings and system standby options.

Also, will scheduler tasks run if the system is in standby or the hard drive is not spinning?

I understand that the standby option on the shutdown menu is not be good for overnight because nothing gets saved to disk. Hibernate (if available) would be good, but scheduled tasks won't run.

Sorry about the long question and thanks in advance for any answers/ideas/suggestions.

nashcomp

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by TheChas In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

Scheduled tasks will not run if the pc is in standby mode.

Scheduled tasks however, will cause the hard drive to spin up if required.

As far as dealing with customers, it somewhat depends on the installation.
I would make sure that there is noty a potential for harm to the PC or data if the unit was left on.
Are any of your customers subject to power spikes, or outages? If you want them to leave their machines on, they need a good surge supresser / UPS system, or 24/7 could be a problem.
Also, do any of them have an open network connection that would open them up to a hacker attack? If they leave their PC on it's imperative to maintain a good firewall.
Do they shut off the heat or A/C at night?
While leaving the PC on with no heat is not a problem, (you can argue that this is a situation where it is imperative to leave the PC on) leaving a PC on in a closed room in a hot climate can be a problem.
In an office I used to work in, we had to turn the PCs off at night so thatthe A/C had a chance to bring the temperature down below 80 by morning.

For explanation, use anologies:
One thing that you could compare shutting down the computer to is using the brakes or clutch on a car. Every time you shut down, it's like riding the brakes, or the clutch. You just increase wear.
Also, it is documented on cars that the greatest wear is in the first few minutes when the engine is cold.

Install a system monitor utility, and show thaem the heat up profile on the PC. This way, they can see how long it takes for everything to reach equilibrium.

I would set up machines to be left on 24/7 with a 1 hour timeout to spin down the drives.
I would also set the video to suspend after a reasonable amount of time. The monitor is the big heat source and power user.

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by nashcomp In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by Shanghai Sam In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

The only parts I have had to replace because of 24/7 have been cpu fans at my office. I turn all home machines off every night. In my experience, hardware becomes obsolete long before it wears out from use. That may not be true with some of the newest systems that seem to also function well as space heaters. The other consideration for not leaving on has to do with possible damage from electrical storms. Uninterruptible power supplies are no guarantee you won't get damaged.

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by TimTheToolMan In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

Hi,

Regarding the hibernating vs. scheduled tasks not running... Well, if the PC is off, the scheduled tasks wont run either so that shouldn't really make a difference.

Although rarely documented on PC components, the mean time between failure is high enough these days that the added wear and tear due to daily power cycling of a PC still keeps it within its useful life span - which is generally about 3 years or less depending on what its being used for.

At the least, your monitors should enter power saving mode after maybe 1 hour. Do this in addition to a screen saver (which may kick in after 15mins) as it minimises energy use as well as slowing the screen from wearing out.

I would suggest that your clients should turn their PCs off if they want to or leave them on if they want to. It should be up to them. I would also suggest that they refrain from turning them on and off several times during the day, though.

Either way, dont rely on scheduled tasks running in the middle of the night as the PC may not be operating then.

Cheers,
Tim.

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by nashcomp In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by B_Pope In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

I was in the middle of answering you question when what do you think happened, the power went out in my area. Just came back on 1 1/2hrs later.

I don't think it matters one way or the other, if you leave your system on your still wearing out yourcomponents ie;fans,CPU,HD,MB,video card,monitor. If you know your not going to be using it for long periods say 4 to 5 hours or more. The benifits of shutting off or leaving on are pretty equal.

As noted, if your system is off there's less chanceof power surges, & if your CPU fan dies while it's on & your away, you might have to replace a couple of them components sooner than you think.

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by nashcomp In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by brian In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

I agree that the hardware may be better off left on and is not damaged by being left on.
However I believe that once you convince them to leave the computer on, THEY WILL NOT REBOOT as often as you do. As you stated Win 95, Win 98, and Win Me computers need to be rebooted. I believe that the shutdown each night ensures that the machine is rebooted every day and because of that it results in better performace for most end users (who don't reboot if they don't shut down). I predict that manyusers will fail to reboot which we all know will cause problems, and then they blame the fact that it is running all of the time for their problems. I think you may be better off with them shutting down each night.

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by nashcomp In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

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to shutdown or not to shutdown

by jereg In reply to to shutdown or not to shu ...

I tend to agree with Brian. All my users at this company turn the PC's off every night. By doing this we:
save electricity,
protect the PC from power outages/spikes/damage,
keep hackers out of our system,
have better system backups because thereare no open files,
clear memory problems in the PC every day.
There is no good reason not to turn PC's off at night. PC parts, if you buy good systems, will last many years. I spent a lot of money on my original 80286 PC at home in 1987. I keep rebuilding it and putting in new parts. But I'm still using the original power supply after 15 years. It's turned off and on almost every day. If you buy quality, it will last.

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