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A Never Ending Question (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

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Should I run my desktop 24/7?
Does running my computer 24/7 wear it out? There's an argument that it actually extends the life of the machine and saves energy in the long run.
I usually turn my computers off at night, but have wondered about this. My oldest computer is now 9 years old and still working fine.
 
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The_Doc_Man

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The "leave it running" argument is that it is a greater strain on the motor-driven parts (fans & HDD primarily) to start and stop them because of the inherent magnetic reluctance of any coil-based motor. That reluctance is the circuitry equivalent of a type of inertia.

The "turn it off" argument has to do with adequacy of cooling and the long-term wear on the bearings used for the rotating things.

My oldest computer was 14 years old, all either original equipment OR stuff added on after the first year or two. No replacements. But it is an old XP and it just got too old to worry about. Couldn't update any of the web-related things, couldn't update Java. Couldn't connect to my banking site. Lots of things just wouldn't work right any more. But it gave me 14 really good years including a term of service in Texas after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the New Orleans office and I had to relocate to Ft. Worth for a few months. It was a real workhorse. I'd have to check, but I doubt it would run Win10. Too small and not enough CPU power any more. I left it running day and night except for the few times it was in transit.

Wife's computer ran for about 12 years, day & night, before her HDD crashed HARD. Fortunately, it had given us a warning, so I backed up most of her stuff about a month before that. While she lost a few documents, we were able to recover most of her files including her pictures.
 

Steve R.

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Last year we replaced a computer that was approximately 14 years old at that time. It was getting to be barely functional. A few years ago the house was hit by lighting. Some of the electronics, such as the ethernet port were zapped but "fixed" by adding an ethernet card. Still using the old hard drive!!
 

AccessBlaster

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I repurpose my older windows machines with Linux, they seem to run just fine.
 

The_Doc_Man

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If this weren't the original hard drive, I might re-purpose my old clunker. But it is highly likely to give up the ghost any time now.
 

Steve R.

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I repurpose my older windows machines with Linux, they seem to run just fine.
Good to hear!! Which distro? I'm using Mint 20.

If this weren't the original hard drive, I might re-purpose my old clunker. But it is highly likely to give up the ghost any time now.
Hard drives are now really cheap. You can buy a new drive as the "main" drive, install a Linux distro, and then just use the old drive for data backup.
 
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Isaac

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Not much to add other than to me one factor I consider isn't just the hardware failing, it's my operating system working properly. And I've always gotten the sense that the more times it has to boot up, the shorter its life. My instinct has been to tell my family to please just leave them on (except for some really old ones that make noise when they're on--my wife's a LIGHT sleeper!) - and upon reading Steve's original linked article, seems like this is probably at least an alright way to go.
 

AccessBlaster

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On the other hand it could be viewed as leaving a three hundred+ watt light bulb on indefinitely :cool:
 

The_Doc_Man

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While it still ran, I left it to run. But you are right and after it no longer ran what I wanted to use on it, I knew it was time to shut it down.
 

AccessBlaster

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I seen a video where this person unplugged or switched off all electrical strips that were connected to appliances such as TV's or toasters Etc. He would do this at night before bed, everything except refrigerator and phone. I believe he reduced his electric bill by a third.
 

Galaxiom

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I often leave our Toshiba All-in-one desktop on for days at a time.

It has power saving features and uses very little power when not doing anything.
Doesn't register as a load on the Tesla battery app.
 

Steve R.

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I seen a video where this person unplugged or switched off all electrical strips that were connected to appliances such as TV's or toasters Etc. He would do this at night before bed, everything except refrigerator and phone. I believe he reduced his electric bill by a third.
You raise a very important point. Virtually every electronic device today is never actually "off", they are always "on" in some manner and always drawing power (however small). So even if your device, with a microphone/camera is "off" someone may still be listening/watching. ;)
 

Isaac

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You raise a very important point. Virtually every electronic device today is never actually "off", they are always "on" in some manner and always drawing power (however small). So even if your device, with a microphone/camera is "off" someone may still be listening/watching. ;)
Al Gore: Unplug!
 

The_Doc_Man

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I solved the camera/microphone question another way. The machine I bought and the display I bought lack either a camera or a microphone. Turn THAT on, hackers!
 

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