How often should I shut down my laptop?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by DesuMaiden, May 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Posts:
    534
    I have a pretty new laptop (been using it for the past 8 months). I shut it down at least once a day whenever I am not using it for an extended period of time. Sometimes I put my computer on sleep whenever I want to carry it around in my suitcase. I was wondering if shutting down the laptop too frequently or infrequently may have an adverse affect on its life span.

    tl;dr

    If I want the laptop to last as long as possible, how often should I shut down my laptop? My laptop uses Windows 7 64 bit Premium Office Edition. This laptop cost me 1000 US dollars so I want it to last for as long as possible. Ideally I want this laptop to remain usable for at least 5 years. I do all my work and all my entire life is on it (all my video games, photos, facebook, and other hobbies are done from this laptop). I back up everything onto an external HDD.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
  2. Wroll

    Wroll Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Posts:
    549
    Location:
    Italy
    I highly doubt it matters how often you close and open your PC these days.
     
  3. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    3,518
    Location:
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    I believe in shutting down my laptops for sure at night. And if I'm not going to use it for at least a half hour. I don't like traveling with a laptop thats sleeping or hibernating. Off ime is always safer & makes the hardware last longer. Heat is the enemy more than switching on & off.

    Others will disagree.
     
  4. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Posts:
    4,215
    I was told that putting a computer to sleep is quite safe to carry it around as the disk can't be damaged... I still prefer to turn it off if shifted and certainly at night as Windows does perform some optimization when shutting down and starting up again(SSD drives don't have this problem). This may not be the case for desktops, but saving energy might be arguably a great reason to power it down.
     
  5. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Philippines
    I doubt frequently or infrequently will have any noticeable impact. I have four laptops. Most on only when in use. One I keep on quite a bit simply because I want to access via my network to work using my desktop monitor. When traveling I turn them off. I use standby or hibernation occasionally mostly to save my place.
     
  6. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Posts:
    1,280
    I never read nothing conclusive about that subject.

    There are a couple of things you should take care:
    - Dragging the laptop over the desk, bumps, vibration, etc. will damage the hard drive;
    - Heat: ideally you should use a laptop cooler base, and clean the dirt out of the ventilation system, and replace the thermal paste (i would say once every year, but not before the guarantee expire - you´ll lose the guarantee if you send it to be opened).
     
  7. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Posts:
    23,873
    Location:
    SW. Oklahoma
    I shut mine down whenever it is not in use to keep the fan and other hardware from running for no reason.
     
  8. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Posts:
    1,709
    I know what it feels like paying a premium for a laptop.

    Here's a few suggestions:

    1. Put it to sleep when you know you're going to access it within a short period of time. This is handy when you're moving from 1 place to another that would not take you a long time to reach. E.g. moving from food-court to class/workplace.

    2. Put it to hibernate when you want to resume working from the current state but you're going to do that within a longer period of time.

    3. Shut it down when you're definitely not going to use it.

    4. You also don't want to leave your laptop unused (without turning it on at all) for an extended period of time (weeks or months).

    5. When you're going to use your laptop for a long period (e.g. 6-12 hours) and it's connected to a power source, take out the battery (provided there's little risk of losing work). Leaving it plugged on with the battery for too long will shorten the battery life. When your work is more important, then of course you have no choice.

    6. Don't drop it. At least, try not to. :p

    7. Utilize your warranty and know when it expires. Don't wait till the last minute to send it for repair in case there's a problem. You don't want a situation whereby you regret not sending it a week ago.
     
  9. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    3,518
    Location:
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    Disagree. Read more than a few makers say always leave the battery in. I believe it safeguards the hardware in a couple ways.

    But there are 3rd party programs that will stop your battery from constantly charging to 100%. My Lenovo came with a program who's default is to only charge to 60%, this will double the life of battery. But if you need the full charge that program needs disabling & then charge battery to 100%. The heat of a full charge/charging kills a battery prematurely. So if full charge isn't needed there you go.
     
  10. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Posts:
    1,280
    When using the battery the HDD is safeguarded against accidental shutdowns (when someone stumbles in the charger wire or disconnect it by mistake, for instance)...
     
  11. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Posts:
    6,468
    If it is possible always try to use your laptop plugged in to the power outlet and remove the battery. Only use the battery when there is no power outlet available. The less you use your battery, the longer it will last.
    You still have to use the battery every now and then to keep it fresh. (Probably like once a month)
     
  12. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Posts:
    3,871
    Thanks for bringing that up.

    Since i plug my laptop into a mains socket,i was wondering if it was safe to take out the battery.

    Only disadvantage would be if there were a power failure.
     
  13. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Posts:
    534
    I hope my computer has that feature too!
     
  14. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Posts:
    1,709
    Not all vendors provide such a program. Using a 3rd-party tool such as BatteryCare is possible though so I won't argue on that. I still insist that taking out the battery when you're connected to an AC will extend it's life. Of course, do it only when you're not using your computer for critical stuffs and can afford to lose your state in the event of a power failure or accidental shutdown like the others mentioned. If you're working on important documents for school or work, it's advisable to leave the battery in.

    Here are a few links:

    Should I remove the battery when A/C is plugged in?
    Prolong Laptop Battery Life with Your System's Battery Care Settings
    Should I Remove My Laptop Battery To Increase its Life? [Geeks Weigh In]


    '
     
  15. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Posts:
    1,709
    Yup...that's what I was trying to say when I mentioned about the risk of losing work. You explained it well. :thumb:
     
  16. guest

    guest Guest

    No no no no, I don't think it's a good thing personally. I don't know much about electricity and computers, but if the electricity goes down, wouldn't that affect the machine? There was once we have to change the motherboard of our desktop. They said it was because of the sudden cut of electricity (the UPS wasn't used properly at that time :D ). The battery could save your life if that happened. I don't know in other places, but electricity shut-down is a pretty common thing in mine. :'(
     
  17. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Posts:
    6,468
    My brother used to own an ASUS netbook and the battery completely died and would not hold a charge after 2 and a half years of use, he always had the battery plugged in the laptop and at the same time the laptop plugged to a power outlet and it was mostly used in the house.

    At the same time I own a cheap Acer Notebook (15.6" and was like $350 back when i purchased it) that still runs like a champ. The battery still lasts the advertised 5+ Hours after 3 and a half years of use.
    My laptop is used mostly at my house, probably like 95% of the time. Since i always have it plugged to a power outlet i take out the battery.
    Keep in mind that Acer is not known for reliable hardware.

    (Before taking out the battery i charge it to 60% - 80% and it loses like half a percent every month)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  18. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Posts:
    1,280
    Yes, that´s another thing to consider.

    Personally, i always use the battery. But that´s because i always use the laptop connected to an AC, so i don´t have the need to save it, and i will get the advantages of having the battery always on (protection against accidental shutdowns, and maybe against some power variations)...

    But if someone uses a lot the laptop disconnected from an AC, it may want to save the battery by using it only when it´s needed. Although that might not be necessary, as safeguy mentioned, because of applications like BatteryCare... if those are really effective in reducing battery degradation, leaving the battery always on won´t bring any disadvantage, but only benefits, i guess.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  19. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    2,509
    Location:
    Slovakia
    I would advice to disable turning off HDD in an inactivity (sleep and hibernate as well) to prolong its lifespan. Only shutdown time to time (daily is good enough). My old HDD died in about 2 years, it was started about 3500 times, thanks to those power saving features. I use only screensaver and that is it, the power is already at minimum anyway.
     
  20. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Posts:
    1,280
    3500 times in two years it's a lot... :gack:

    @ComputersRock
    if you decide to follow TOMxEU advice, i think you should shutdown the computer before carry it around in the suitcase... because bumps while the HDD is turned on will damage the HDD for sure.

     
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I think you should follow the guidance given in your owner's manual and I doubt very seriously it says to pull the battery if using the notebook on charger for ANY length of time. There is just no reason to do that for a properly functioning system.

    In fact, I have NEVER seen a notebook maker recommend pulling the battery, except for troubleshooting purposes, cleaning, or replacing. Of course, that does not mean it is not so, but it does mean I would be surprised to see a notebook manual suggest it.

    For the record, my Toshiba notebook was purchased new in Feb 2010. I have taken it traveling for a total of (maybe) 6 weeks during that time. The rest of the time, it is left plugged into the charger and I NEVER shut it down when home. It is typically used once or twice a day for quick referencing and I just let it go to back to sleep when done. The battery (and notebook) still work fine.
     
  22. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Posts:
    3,518
    Location:
    USA - Back in a real State in time for a real Pres
    As far as the battery. The 2 important things would be get a program that can limit charging capacity to 80% or less & occasionally cycle the battery.
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Limit the charging capacity to 80% or less? Nah! Totally disagree with that! Got any references, links to white papers, or better yet, a link to a notebook owner's manual that suggests you purposely take 20% of your capacity away?

    Batteries should be fully charged. If you don't fully charge a battery, many batteries will remember that 80% mark and then stop charging beyond that. That is what "memory effect" is all about and while newer battery technologies do not suffer from memory effect like older NiCad batteries did, they still are affected.

    That is exactly why you cycle batteries and why it is fine to leave your notebook connected to the charger overnight, or even days on end.

    At the other end, batteries should be allowed to fully discharge occasionally so they don't obtain a memory effect level, drastically reducing run times.
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Bill,

    Apart from the AC power loss issue, are there other potential problems with operating a laptop on AC power without a battery installed?
     
  25. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Posts:
    4,215
    My new Samsung notebook has the battery inside its case which means one has to unscrew the bottom panel in order to access it, a time consuming operation to say the least. Samsung also recommends using its own utility to keep the battery at 80% max as it extends its life (see attached images).
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.