Which is better - leaving the computer on or off while gone?

There are some days like today where I tend to leave the house for at least four hours at a time (I have to run to another town). I was wondering if it was safer to leave my computer up and running or if it was to shut it down. I do turn it off at night, but I’ve always wonder what was worse. Leaving it running when I’m not home, or shutting it off.

Answer #1

Well its best to turn it off completely as much as possible. it increases performance and other stuff i havent learned yet. I usually put mine just to sleep but its best to turn it off completely.

Answer #2

. I leave my computer on almost all the time. The “thermal shock” created at switch on and switch off is one of the most likely causes of catastrophic failure of complex electronic equipment. . http://funadvice.com/r/15lmo8prcl7 . I would rather pay a tiny bit more for my electricity bill, than a huge amount to replace my main computer - especially in view of the high value I place upon the personal data files that I am almost continuously updating. .

– Best wishes - Majikthise. .

Answer #3

Oh really. I am an electronic engineer, and I would love to hear your analysis of why that should be the case.

Answer #4

I have no analysis. My dad is an IT director and he told me to shut it off instead of leaving it on. i figured he knew what he was talking about. Wrong?

Answer #5

“… Wrong ? …” Well, in my opinion Yes! . IT directors are usually just managers and often have little technical expertise. I have been involved in the maintenance and servicing of critical electronic equipment for around 40 years, and I avoid turning valuable and/or complex equipment off simply because it is not going to be in use for a few hours. Think about this for a moment: How often, in your experience, has an incandescent (hot-filament) lamp failed whilst it has actually been switched on for more than a few seconds ? Compare that to the number of failures that occur a fraction of a second after the lamp has been turned on (that is the most common), or found to be none functional when turned on (next most common), even though it was fully functional last time it was switched off. The thermal shock effect causes the vast majority of failures even in something as simple as a single element incandescent filament. Translate that failure principle to something that has literally billions of electronic elements built within the integrated circuits of its microprocessors, even before you take the other discrete components into account, and you get an insight into why it is not advisable to turn such equipment on and off excessively.

Answer #6

i useually turn mine off but i accidentally left it on and it wiped all most of my stuff off i am no expert on computors but it is best to turn it off

Answer #7

So its llike the battery in a car, the only time it wont start is at the get go. Once its been running, the alternater keeps it going, no matter the usage its demanding. But whats the percentage of computers that flake out when you turn them on? Ive never experienced the thermal shock effect with computers.

Answer #8

I put mine on sleep at night because….I dunno! The fan suck too much dirt?

Answer #9

Many computer failures are not really electronic failures. They are software failures - e.g. crashes, or virus infections that prevent normal function. Genuine failure of hardware is most frequently found to occur at switch on. Try searching for the word “ thermal “ in the following Wikipedia article entitled “Failure Mode of Electronics” http://funadvice.com/r/bop4tfdrqrr ….. It should become apparent how important the sudden changes of temperature that occur at switch on and switch off are, and when added to the effect of suddenly changing electric fields at the same time, it is hardly surprising that a disproportionally large number of failures occur within a few seconds of application of power to the equipment at switch on.

Answer #10

It’s also good to make sure that, if it’s a laptop, its not left charging all day. It really wears out the battery.

Answer #11

What about laptops? Someone told me to shut it off when i wasnt using it. . .

Answer #12

Also have a question on services that are running on my laptop, and how to know which was I need and dont need. I seem to have like over fifty things running all of the time.

Answer #13

It’s best to turn it off. If you leave it on you can melt the hard drive. Learned that the hard way.

Answer #14

Personally I leave desktop computers on all the time. Running all the time eliminates stress from thermal cycling and spinning platters are protected from head crashes thanks to the Bernoulli effect. When my laptop is plugged into mains I keep it running most of the time. If it doesn’t need to be transported and I’ll be using it later I keep it on. When I’m done with my laptop I hibernate rather than sleep or shut down.

Answer #15

off.It wont overheat

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