Should you leave your PC on all the time or just turn it on as needed?
In the distant past, say 10 years ago, it was recommended to leave your computer equipment running around the clock because it would increase the life of the equipment. In those olden days, the transition state from powering on or off could cause damage. On power up, the initial surge of power through the motherboard and hard drives could cause damage. Also, when the computer was turned on, it would warm up and its various internal components would expand. When the computer was turned off its components would cool and shrink back to their room temperature size. These thermal stresses decreased life.
Hard drives used to develop “stiction.” This informal contraction of the words “static” and “friction” was coined to describe how hard drives used to get harder and harder to start as they aged. However, due to progress, this is no longer an issue. Hard drives now last longer and then fail without warning due to other reasons.
Times have changed. Manufacturers have made improvements. Design changes have addressed thermal stresses. Now most PCs are always connected to the Internet thereby allowing software to update itself or to perform useful functions (e.g.: backups, virus and spyware scans) in the middle of the night.
With all things considered, don’t leave your desktop on all the time. Shut it off for the weekends or when you will be away for a day or more. Do leave it on overnight when you will be back the next day. This will allow your PC to run the aforementioned updates and backups late weeknights. Do set power management to shut off your monitor after 30 minutes of inactivity.
Having the hard drive shut off, or the system go to sleep or hibernate after an hour so on can interferes with some applications during the day such as Peachtree. Overnight, hibernation can interfere with your remote access or update processes. If that happens you may not be able to use the hibernation feature on your desktop.
Setting your desktop to shut off the monitor after 30 minutes will not interfere with any processes and saves more power than hibernation.
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