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View Full Version : Ok Seriously how harmful is it to leave your PC



mark1978
20-03-2011, 07:10 AM
on 24/7???

Some same its really good for the PC and components, others say don't do it...

Any thoughts????

pctek
20-03-2011, 08:19 AM
It isn't. It's just wasteful of power.

mark1978
20-03-2011, 08:20 AM
lol...

gary67
20-03-2011, 08:23 AM
Of the 6 desktops in this house all get turned of at the wall when not in use and 3 of them are old Pentium 4's so been around awhile and all are still working perfectly

lagbort
20-03-2011, 08:45 AM
Mine gets turned on when I wake up in the morning and turned off when I go to bed ( it's in my room so a bit loud to leave on ), still working perfectly after 3 years or so. The 2 laptops that stay on 24/7 in my room ( 1 is my torrent server and 1 is the media server ) are both at least 3 years old and still going strong.

Snorkbox
20-03-2011, 09:40 AM
Mine is on 24/7. Apart from rebooting when I have to after updates etc that is.

mark1978
20-03-2011, 11:26 AM
Mine is on 24/7. Apart from rebooting when I have to after updates etc that is.

And how long had you had your pc for?

mark1978
20-03-2011, 11:27 AM
Mine gets turned on when I wake up in the morning and turned off when I go to bed.

SAME!! But... uhmm the reason I asked this question is that my PC makes a HELL of a noise when it first starts up in the morning! Especially when its cold in the house... It was fine over summer..

plod
20-03-2011, 11:37 AM
I leave mine on 24/7 unless I'm going away or updates.Now 3 and half years old now

wainuitech
20-03-2011, 11:41 AM
Generally the only reason a PC will make noise is dust and dirt in the fans causing wear, OR a HDD worn.

Basically there are only two things that spin in a PC, Fans or the HDD (unless its an SSD).

As for times -- In one business I take carre of,their server / computers have not been turned off for approx 4-5 years, unless I do it for some maintenance or some other reason, like moving their location.

mark1978
20-03-2011, 11:51 AM
I reckon its the CPU fan, coz it only does it first thing in the morning, plus it does it really loud on a colder day...might put the vacuum on blow and blow it all out!!

BigBadBob
20-03-2011, 11:56 AM
Can you turn them off??!! Mine only has a START button! ...lol

johnd
20-03-2011, 06:40 PM
Most of the damage is done to electronic circuitry on power up. So if this was the only thing to consider, you would leave the PC going all the time. However leaving it on will use unnecessary power and as with any electronic device there is a small chance of it catching on fire.

So I turn mine off when I am not using it especially if I am not at home.

goodiesguy
20-03-2011, 07:16 PM
My laptop is turned on when i wake up and turned off when i go to sleep.

I haven't been on my main rig in ages.

Paul.Cov
20-03-2011, 08:41 PM
I had a CPU fan in my well used Win98 machine that would make a racket upon startup - taking the case off revealled that it was barely turning when it was like this - so not a state to ignore or to put up with.

My former workplace - they left the PCs on 24/7.
The insides consequently became terribly dusty, and one even caught fire.
Unbelievably, even after having one go up in smoke the needless 24/7 behaviour continued... it's like "what? Do you want the business to burn down?"

Mine are off (including at the wall switch) whenever they're not serving any purpose.

I can't understand why some folk fine it so challenging to turn things off!

Snorkbox
20-03-2011, 08:45 PM
And how long had you had your pc for?

About 5 years now.

linw
20-03-2011, 08:55 PM
No one seems to use sleep mode here?

I sleep mine at night. Uses very little power and starts quickly.

But the OP's problem is about fixing what is causing the noise.

bluezone
20-03-2011, 09:07 PM
Yeh I use standby mode at night when not on my pc.

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 12:02 AM
SAME!! But... uhmm the reason I asked this question is that my PC makes a HELL of a noise when it first starts up in the morning! Especially when its cold in the house... It was fine over summer..

The PC in the lounge did this for a while, it was the el-cheapo case fans I had put in, I think it's that the lubricant gets quite thick in the cold and doesn't operate properly until the fan has been on for a while and it's warmed up and become more liquid.

Most of the noise was actually the case panels vibrating rather than the fans themselves, seems they were chugging along just at the resonant frequency of the case or whatever.


Most of the damage is done to electronic circuitry on power up.

Yes, at power on everything is subject to more stress, of course the longer something runs the more it degrades too from use.... really you're screwed either way.

Given a good quality system you could say that running 24/7 will be beneficial but then a good quality design with high quality components should be less prone to failure even at switch on anyway, so it probably cancels out.

mark1978
21-03-2011, 07:10 AM
I blew out the fans this morning before turning it on, after all the dust was out I turned it back on... same thing, makes noise, then after 20 to 30 sec its gone, am convinced its the CPU fan..

pctek
21-03-2011, 08:33 AM
Most of the damage is done to electronic circuitry on power up.

Yes this theory is mentioned often.
I turn mine off at night.
Perhaps I will get some degradation of components over time for doing so but who cares, I'll have changed parts long before then.

Also, do you leave your car running all the time? Saves on startup wear you know.

linw
21-03-2011, 09:03 AM
I blew out the fans this morning before turning it on, after all the dust was out I turned it back on... same thing, makes noise, then after 20 to 30 sec its gone, am convinced its the CPU fan..

Don't guess - find out. Stop all fans, one by one, except CPU fan, and see if the noise stops.

Power supply - poke a pencil or other thinnish stick through grill to stop fan. Change noise?

Use your finger to stop other fans.

If noise doesn't stop, bingo, it is the cpu fan for sure.

Cato
21-03-2011, 09:04 AM
I blew out the fans this morning before turning it on, after all the dust was out I turned it back on... same thing, makes noise, then after 20 to 30 sec its gone, am convinced its the CPU fan..

Disconnect CPU fan and try again, so long as you only do it for a short duration, WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT LOAD, it won't cause damage.

Surely with the case open you can hear where the noise is coming from?
Could be your chipset fan too.

jwil1
21-03-2011, 09:35 AM
We have a 10-ish year old Pentium 3 server at work we just decommissioned. It had never been turned off... and it's still going strong (as a NAS now)!

mark1978
21-03-2011, 10:09 AM
Wow, 10 years and still running is very good! I have been seriously thinking about leaving it running 24/7, one reason for this is this fan that makes the noise.. I will find out which one it is, thanks for the advice how to do this.

Snorkbox
21-03-2011, 10:13 AM
Personally I would not stop the CPU fan during your investigation if I were you.

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 10:27 AM
Don't guess - find out. Stop all fans, one by one, except CPU fan, and see if the noise stops.

Better to jam the fans before starting the PC up, then let them start one-by-one.

Sticking a hard object into the path of a fast moving plastic fan may well snap a blade off. THEN you will have more problems than just an annoying noise.

Start with the CPU fan as it's the most critical.

dugimodo
21-03-2011, 10:37 AM
Yes this theory is mentioned often.
I turn mine off at night.
Perhaps I will get some degradation of components over time for doing so but who cares, I'll have changed parts long before then.

Also, do you leave your car running all the time? Saves on startup wear you know.

Not so much a theory as an accepted property of electrical devices. Largely to do with inrush current. As a simple example we almost all should have experienced when does a light bulb blow ? Almost always when we switch it on.

Not really the same thing as a car, but yes they do wear more during startup as well.

Thye truth is though wether you switch it off daily or leave it running 24/7 it should still last long enouogh to become obselete say 3-5 years minimum

1101
21-03-2011, 01:32 PM
The truth is though wether you switch it off daily or leave it running 24/7 it should still last long enouogh to become obselete say 3-5 years minimum

this is the only fact here that isnt based on speculation & old wives tales
:punk :punk :punk

Who here leaves there $2000 TV on 24/7, their car, stereo (some do)
same arguments apply (more or less)
more PC components start to fail when the thing is up & running than at turn on. Its just the symptoms often show at turn-on.

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 02:02 PM
Why do some devices (especially SMPS) have slow-blow fuses? because they have to withstand normal high current surge at startup.

Higher current = more stress

It's not all electrical, filaments in lightbulbs, CRTs and other valves expand when warming up, mechanical strain is added.

Older hard drives that park the heads on the platters will wear faster if spinning up and down all the time.

pctek
21-03-2011, 02:09 PM
The only thing I almost never turn off is my cellphone.

1101
21-03-2011, 02:25 PM
higher current is a bit irrelevant if the circuitry is well designed & made.
& cooled

you have the choice of
allways on
heat stress - this may cause some parts to fail prematurely: caps are a good eg
wear & tear - ie bearings in fans & HD's getting noisey & failing

or
turned off each day
constant expansion/contraction from off/on causing failures. eg solder joints ?
daily spinup on start causing failures HD & fan motors

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 02:32 PM
It doesn't matter if it's well made, the point is that the initial surge is higher and has more potential to cause failure.

What you say may be true for older devices, where things were built tough to last, nowadays things are built to work long enough to become obsolete, often not even that long.

As for capacitors, doesn't help that all the cheap electrolytic ones in most devices are useless, like the lovely Fuhjyyu junk in the horrible Hyena PSUs.

Snorkbox
21-03-2011, 02:44 PM
The main reason I don't turn my machine off is I run BOINC software 24/7 and am donating CPU time to grid computing.

It's not because I know or care about the risks or otherwise to my hardware.

And I can afford to pay the power bills.

SolMiester
21-03-2011, 02:50 PM
SAME!! But... uhmm the reason I asked this question is that my PC makes a HELL of a noise when it first starts up in the morning! Especially when its cold in the house... It was fine over summer..

This is the worst time for PC's.....boot up!....Just let the PC go to sleep after an hour idle....honestly, it might use 50w an hour max!

pctek
21-03-2011, 03:12 PM
I once had a computer (with the same components in it) for 8 years.
I turned it off at least once a day, sometimes more. After 8 years I sold it - it never had any hardware problems.

Choise is on or off, whatever you feel like.

Bobh
21-03-2011, 03:53 PM
I put my computer to sleep at night before I go to bed. I do have it set up to do tasks in the early hours, things like backup, defrag, record late night TV, windows update, etc. I Quite often find in the morning that it has been woken to do these tasks.

Barnabas
21-03-2011, 04:09 PM
I have my server set to turn off by itself, usually sometime around midnight. Depending on the day it will wake itself up again in the wee hours, do some stuff, and then go back to sleep. It then turns itself on at 6.30 before I get up so all my emails etc are arriving for when I wake up.

My main desktop pc only ever gets put into sleep mode, either when Ive finished using it or last thing before I go to bed.

My laptops are always put to sleep after using them

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 04:17 PM
You'll drain the battery less if you shut them down properly.

Barnabas
21-03-2011, 04:44 PM
I know, I just prefer the faster startup time.

mark1978
21-03-2011, 06:05 PM
higher current is a bit irrelevant if the circuitry is well designed & made.
& cooled

you have the choice of
allways on
heat stress - this may cause some parts to fail prematurely: caps are a good eg
wear & tear - ie bearings in fans & HD's getting noisey & failing

or
turned off each day
constant expansion/contraction from off/on causing failures. eg solder joints ?
daily spinup on start causing failures HD & fan motors

I think this is well said...

Agent_24
21-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Yeah, and everything hinges on "if the circuitry is well designed & made"..... most el-cheapo made-in-China junk is NOT well designed or made.

dugimodo
22-03-2011, 08:02 AM
this is the only fact here that isnt based on speculation & old wives tales
:punk :punk :punk

Who here leaves there $2000 TV on 24/7, their car, stereo (some do)
same arguments apply (more or less)
more PC components start to fail when the thing is up & running than at turn on. Its just the symptoms often show at turn-on.

No speculation or old wives tales, rather 25 years in the communications industry and several qualifications relative to servicing electronic devices and I was taught about the dangers of "inrush" current.

Another point I didn't bother with is sometimes devices slowly go faulty while in use but don't actually fail until turned off and later back on. Older telephone exchanges for example sometimes experience failures after a power outage - usually due to capacitors that have "dried out"

As for the TV, if you turn it of with the remote it goes in to low power standby and is not actually off, this allows faster startup and protects key components from the stress of power cycling, it is designed that way.

Turning a device on and off IS more stressful that leaving it on. However the people who design them are aware of this and make allowances. As I said it should make no important difference to the longevity in practice.

mark1978
22-03-2011, 06:03 PM
I think this is a very interesting subject!!

Hey Guys, the PC has been off all day, came home, its quite warm in the room, turned the PC on and no noise coming from the fans! I KNOW for a fact in the morning when I turn it on again one of the fans will make a noise... I might Google it as well... Will try to find out which fan is making this noise though

Agent_24
22-03-2011, 06:04 PM
I believe it happens because the lubricant in the fans gums up in the cold overnight and won't return to proper state until it's heated up when the fan has been going for a while.

Or as you said, it's been in a warm room all day.