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View Full Version : How long can a computer be left on for?



Rarri
09-12-2009, 06:38 PM
This no doubt has a really simple answer, but my Google skills have gone phut for today.

How long can a computer be left on without blowing up, starting a fire, etc? Ideally, i'm wondering if it's feasible that a desktop or laptop could be left switched on for three or four weeks? No work would have been done on the machine in that time.

It's not critical to the WIP, but it would be handy.

Many thanks!

alleycat
09-12-2009, 06:42 PM
We never actually turn the ones off in my office. We log off when we leave; at night there's a backup run.

RJK
09-12-2009, 07:00 PM
I leave mine on all the time. It goes into 'sleep' mode after it's been idle for several minutes. Windows, God bless MS, takes it upon itself to download updates, install them and reboot my PC, I think about once a month. That's the only reason you need to shut it down, to get it to go through the reboot cycle.
I don't know how much electricity the PC uses in 'sleep' mode, but it isn't much, and it makes for quick access to your programs when you return to work at it.
Another note, for security purposes, you should set your sleep mode to require a password to reactivate. Never leave an unprotected PC unattended.

Kathleen42
09-12-2009, 07:05 PM
We never actually turn the ones off in my office. We log off when we leave; at night there's a backup run.

That's what most of the guys at work do as well.

BigWords
09-12-2009, 07:12 PM
Using the Hibernate feature takes up even less energy than Sleep mode.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-12-2009, 07:26 PM
This no doubt has a really simple answer, but my Google skills have gone phut for today.

How long can a computer be left on without blowing up, starting a fire, etc? Ideally, i'm wondering if it's feasible that a desktop or laptop could be left switched on for three or four weeks? No work would have been done on the machine in that time.

Our household server (the one that gets/sends the mail and stores the files for most of the users) has been running constantly for a couple of years, except when we moved it or had a power blackout.

paperbacklove
09-12-2009, 07:35 PM
Our computers at home are on all the time. I suppose if there was nothing you needed to restart for, you could leave it on indefinitely (barring any abnormalities, of course.) Computers don't blow up without outside stimuli, and they'll shut themselves off if they start getting overheated.

Jersey Chick
09-12-2009, 09:00 PM
My laptop is on almost constantly. I shut it down when I go away and that's pretty much the only time it's off.

When I had a desktop, I did the same thing. An electronics guru once told me that computers "like to be left on." (he was spacey, but a frickin' genius.)

CACTUSWENDY
09-12-2009, 10:02 PM
My home puter is on all the time. Not always on line....but on.

JulieHowe
09-12-2009, 11:40 PM
I leave my desktop computer on for months at a time without turning it off.

cbenoi1
09-13-2009, 12:29 AM
> It's not critical to the WIP, but it would be handy.

Desktop computers are DESIGNED to stay on permanently. Some laptops might be problematic, where they could heat up and given a warm enough environment, make the CPU chip to stop working properly.

Depends on what effects you need for the WIP. Can you fill us in on the details?

-cb

VeggieChick
09-13-2009, 12:58 AM
Same here. I put my computer to sleep when I go to bed, but it's never technically off. In fact, I don't think it's been off for at least a couple of months now.

BenPanced
09-13-2009, 01:08 AM
Huh. The compugeeks at work tell us to shut down each night to lessen the possibility of a virus getting in (though if you log off and aren't running teh intarwebz, I fail to see how that could happen). At home, I power up my computer and just leave it on all day, powering down when I go to bed or during a storm.

Rarri
09-13-2009, 10:29 PM
Thank you! :)

I feel a little more enlightened, that's for sure; we always shut off our computers last thing at night, or when we go out, so wasn't sure how long computers could be left on.

The detail wasn't dramatic, a couple of characters come across an abandoned computer that's been left on for a few weeks and as such, find important information but i wasn't sure if that was feasible.

Thank you, again. I really appreciate your help :)

Nivarion
09-14-2009, 01:04 AM
The last power supply I bought said that it had a 100,000 hour life. That's about 11 years.

So they could run for 11 years with good ventilation and not dust bunnies gumming the fans. So basically until its too obsolete to really matter any more.

Unless your talking about massive super computers here...

pink lily
09-28-2009, 07:16 PM
I chat online, and people in the chats often like to brag about their uptime; that is, the amount of time since their last reboot. Those who can achieve 4-6 weeks uptime without a reboot are very proud of it. (Those who are not using Windows machines mock those who have to reboot.)

Like most people, I never shut my computer off, but I do reboot about once every 7-10 days.

KTC
09-28-2009, 07:37 PM
I think my laptop's been on since 2006.

Clair Dickson
09-28-2009, 08:12 PM
Oh, yeah, computers turn off. I keep forgetting that... =)

If you have a battery backup, even a storm won't shut the computer off. If you don't need to restart for Windows updates, the computer can stay on even longer. And if the computer is abandoned, it could, conceivably be on forever.