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When is the appropriate time to shut down my PC?


Should I shut down my PC whenever I'm not using it?


This question was answered on December 26, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Many people argue that leaving a computer on is bad for it, while others say it's bad to turn it off I find both arguments persuasive

One true fact is that turning off your PC saves electricity and money But then again, so does hibernation, which is faster When you set a computer to hibernate, Windows copies everything in RAM to the hard drive and then shuts down the hardware When you turn the PC back on, Windows restores your system to the state it was in when you started hibernation The problem with this is that many of your non-Microsoft programs may not hibernate well and could cause error messages

There are good reasons why you may want to turn your computer off instead, especially if you're using Windows 98 or Me These versions become further unstable the longer you go between reboots If you only hibernate, Windows never actually closes down and restarts, and therefore it becomes more prone to crashes However, this doesn't seem to be a problem with Windows 2000 and XP

Leaving your computer on is not bad but it does cost about $21 dollars a year (thats with the monitor off) Depending on your computer lifestyle you may want to leave it on If you use your computer constantly throughout the day, leaving it on during the day and turning it off at night makes perfect sense If you only use it to check your e-mail every now and then, turn it on when you need it and turn it off when you don’t

So the decision is left up to what OS you are using, what is your daily usage, and how much more your willing to pay on your electric bill Remember that if you do leave your system on, make sure to turn your monitor off since it uses the most energy.

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Posted by Michal of Data Doctors on December 26, 2003