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Is it bad to have the PC running 24/7 ???

by Archangeldawn / October 26, 2009 2:33 AM PDT

Hello all,

My question is, if is bad for the Pc's health to be running 24/7?? I'm not doing any major tasks that requires the processor to be constantly running, but mostly the hard drive that is being accessed. I am currently downloading a series' complete season, and so that takes some time and I have left my PC running for almost 48 hours. I have heard that leaving the PC on for so long can be hazardous, but I'm not really sure. The only thing I know that is okay is to leave the PC on standby instead of fully powering it down. But at this point it's been on for almost 48 hours.


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Up to you last one ran like a rock on 24/7 for well
by VAPCMD / October 26, 2009 9:57 AM PDT

over 5 years. The system was well cooled and was protected by a good UPS and disconnected from the WEB when I was not online (Motorola cable modem had a disconnect switch). If you leave it 'on' ...having an efficient PSU keeps your electricity use down too.'s all up to you.


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No Way
by rayweygant3 / July 14, 2012 4:12 PM PDT

Theres on way you left your computer on for 24/7 for 5 years.... you have to atleast shut it down to clean all the fans, and heatsinks out.... after say 6-8 months of 24/7 computer time. the computer gets full of dust... you have to clean it out or the airflow going through the cpu heat sink will get clogged with dusk and which will deny sufficient cooling and the cpu can become overheated.... especially when you have animals in the house! your computer sucks up alot of hair and it gets stuck in the grills of the heatsink

I leave my computer on 24/7 with fan cooling and have to clean out the beast every 6-8 months... if you have water cooling its alot easier all you have to do is detach the fans from the radiator and maybe even clean the radiator out by rinsing it with water.

Besides all that computers are made to run 24/7.... low end computers not so much! laptops not so much.... custom built computers or high end oem computers can be left on for 24/7... harddrives go into sleep mode when you dont use them, i got 7 harddrives in my computer and after like 20-30 minutes the harddrives my computer isnt accessing goes to sleep... and as soon as i click on one of them the harddrive starts spinning up again and can take like 20seconds for me to access the files.... and most likely the monitor turns off after 20 minutes depending on the settings.

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You're a little late to the thread but my PC runs
by VAPCMD / July 15, 2012 3:22 AM PDT
In reply to: No Way

24/7 and only on occasion do I reboot it, take it down to clear any dust from the interior or to swap out a component. The point is it's on all the time, even when not in use, except as noted for normal maintenance.

The system is custom and runs 4 HDDs that never spin down. The full tower sits on top of the desk and I believe that helps to keep the dust down over units sitting on the floor.

Happy Computing


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Can of worms . . .
by Coryphaeus / October 26, 2009 8:59 PM PDT

There are a gazillion discussions about leaving the PC on 24/7. No winner. My server is on 24/7 (home built running XP Pro). My main PC is turned off when I'm not there.

I do restart the server about once a week.

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What is a server
by Archangeldawn / October 27, 2009 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Can of worms . . .

Hm, pardon the simple question, but I have never really known what a server is exactly. I know big businesses used them for loads of data, but when a home user has a server , what could it be used for?

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Good question . . .
by Coryphaeus / October 27, 2009 9:26 AM PDT
In reply to: What is a server

It's a "plain old computer", but it's used as storage for files and folders that can be used by other computers on my home network. File and printer sharing is enabled and I can keep programs and pictures and "stuff" that can be used by other PCs on my network.

It's also where my web site resides. Since web hosting sites charge by the megabyte, I can use my server to store and make available to my site, the size of a hard disk. I only pay for the site/domain name, and point it to my IP address connected to the software that runs my site.


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daylight Savings time
by mwooge / November 1, 2009 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Good question . . .

> Daylight Savings Time - "Only white man would believe you could cut off top of blanket, sew it to bottom of blanket, and have longer blanket."

Interesting political statement. Personaly, I could do without DST, but it saves a bit of energy by having people awake during the daylight more. Russia advances the clock twice in the summer months.

It's estimated that DST reduces electricity use about 1% per day, or 100-150 MW hrs per day.

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Running 24/7
by bigdad17 / October 30, 2009 11:18 AM PDT

Its not really bad to let your computer run 24/7, you get all your updates automatic, I'm assuming your running a good virus program. Turning your computer on uses a lot of resources while every thing is loading. Just shut it down to clean your system, power supply, and cpu fans to keep it from running to hot, there are some free temp. monitering programs online.

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24/7 computer issue
by DougSK / October 30, 2009 3:36 PM PDT

This discussion has been going on for over 20 years. No clear winner has ever been declared.

No heating/cooling expansion/contraction issues
Boot is the most vulnerable time for errors
Immediate access (no wait time)
Late night scheduled utility runs (defrag, virus scan, etc, etc)

Power usage (less of an issue by the numbers than it used to be, but politically not OK)
More wear on moving parts
MBTF times reached sooner (Mean Time Between Failure)

I tend to leave my systems on. I do have one caveat.. a UPS is even more important for an unattended running system. One power outage or surge can undo whatever benefits you believe leaving the system running confers.

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48 hours on? I wouldn't worry at all!
by pamelad / October 30, 2009 8:50 PM PDT

I leave my computers running almost all the time, and they have all lasted a long time in computer years.

It depends on how often you use your computer, though. IMHO, frequent powering up and down puts wear and tear on the computer, especially mechanical parts such as the hard drive and power supply. If you use it many times a day, leave it on. If you're like my mother and use it only every two weeks, then turn it off to save on electricity. If you're in between, well .... only you can decide.

If you are a frequent user, leaving it on all the time also provides the added benefit of automatic security and other scheduled updates when you're not likely to be using it.

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Hibernate it
by wmkbilly / November 1, 2009 1:34 AM PDT

Go to Control Panel-Power Options and enable Hibernation from Hibernate tab then go to the advanced Tab and tell it to Hibernate when you press the power button.

Leaving it on will only make if fail sooner as fans and HD have moving parts which will eventually wear out. fans will cause dust to collect and clog heatsink and vents as well. Not to mention cost you $ for electricity..

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by zacdebeer / December 4, 2009 2:55 PM PST

The only negative side I have experienced in the last 2 years of running 24/7 is, The CPU fan & machine tends to collect more dirt than before. So a periodic monthly "blow out of the whole computer" becomes a must. The fans & heat sink collect a vast amount airboune dirt. Good advice when doing this clean up, outdoors is the only place. This dirt also causes your CPU to start running at higher temps. So keep monitoring the CPU temp. I have not found any other downside to running 24/7, besides this.

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You will eventually need to reboot your PC
by mvarela / December 5, 2009 12:59 AM PST

There is no "physical" reason for having to reboot your PC periodically. Except for the normal wear and tear nothing should physically prevent you from doing so. But, there is a thing most of us forget. The accuracy of the information residing in your RAM while the PC is operating is (extremelly) crucial for the health of your PC. Have you asked yourself why do "official" servers come with ECC and sometimes Buffered RAM? The reason is simple, in order for a PC to survive 24/7 you have to make sure what is in RAM will stay uncorrupted. Now, why could the information in RAM become corrupted? I have read in computer related journals that besides the ever present power line noise even minute environmental radiation will eventually corrupt your RAM. Even radiation coming from outer space (cosmic radiation) will also eventually corrupt RAM content. ECC RAM can correct changes in RAM content not made by the OS or the application you are running. Also, Buffered RAM will help in the trasnfer of data between the RAM modules and the Memory controller chip when there are large amounts of RAM. In simple words, RAM content accuracy will determine how long will your PC keep going without a reboot. So, you need a reliable 24/7 PC?, use a PC with ECC RAM.

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Room Temperature
by rayweygant3 / July 14, 2012 4:21 PM PDT

leaving your computer on 24/7 you should also pay attention to the room temperature.... if in the summer and you dont have a ac in your room. your room can get really hot... and the computer will be blowing hot air through the heatsink. and thats verrrrrrrry bad!... if you want to leave your computer on 24/7 in the summer make sure your room temperature is somewhat cool and comfortable....

if in the winter... leaving your computer on 24/7 is a good thing... well for me i enjoy it! actually in the winter my custom made computer that i built myself i7. i leave it on 24/7 and it actually heats up my room. its weird but it just does! sometimes i even leave my window cracked so i can lower the temperature in my room....

and sooner or later i would also like to try this in the winter lol

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