Keep Power on-or Turn it Off/Power Supply Problem Again?

I know this looks like a no-brainer question, but after asking all the techs who maintain our computers at work there's still no clear cut answer:  

Should I physically turn off the computer every night (which I have been doing) - or leave it on and use the power-saving scheme available through the display/screensaver menu? I use the computer every day.  I have a surge protector everything is plugged into.  The computer is less than a year old, but recently the power supply/fan went out and had to be replaced.  The tech said that even with the surge protector you can get enough power spikes over time to damage the power supply.

The hard drive is again making similar grinding & whirring noise when I first power on -- it dies down after a few minutes, but could it be the power supply again?  
minnetonkaAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

oldgreyguyCommented:
This question will probably be argued for a long time, I personally leave my office computer on 24/7, the home computer gets turned off because of the noise of the powersupply fan.

I would not think that the startup noise is the hard drive, if it were, you would not be running, it is more likely one of the fans within the case, either CPU fan, Power supply fan, or if you have a secondary fan in the case.

to the statement about the power supply, for the most part, power supplies are made so cheap these days, I would tend to believe it died of its own, not power surges.

bill
0
vikiingCommented:
Personally, I turn off the machine. Reasons are more personal than technical, so you can choose freely.
0
minnetonkaAuthor Commented:
I guess I'll take it that there's no clear cut logic to turning the computer on/off or just leaving it run; more a matter of personal convenience than technical reasons.  Thank you both very much for the information.  It does help.
0
Introducing the "443 Security Simplified" Podcast

This new podcast puts you inside the minds of leading white-hat hackers and security researchers. Hosts Marc Laliberte and Corey Nachreiner turn complex security concepts into easily understood and actionable insights on the latest cyber security headlines and trends.

cumboCommented:
Like the old grey one I leave mine on 24/7. I turn the monitor off at night.

The power surge when turning on any electrical device causes more damage than leaving it on all the time. I also doubt that the ps died from a surge or spike.

If you leave it on all of the time it should be turned off and rebooted about once a month. This clears any memory leaking programs and, re-initializes the virtual memory.

Cumbo
0
CyberNerdCommented:
Think of it this way.  The more applications you open up, the more resources you will use.  The more you turn on the system, the more vurneralble from power surge attack and hackers attack.  Yes! I support users to turn off the machine at the end of the day for many good reasons.  When workers come back to work next morning, all they have to do is push one master button to turn on the system and it is fresh because all the resources will be at optimal level until users start to open up the applications.  Unfortunately, windows operating system has one big glitch(?) in its design.  The more applications you open and the more you turn on the system, you will clog up the system's memory.  Hence, subject to computer freezing and famous blue screen of death.  Hence, it is good for users to turn the machine off and start fresh next day.  Moreover, you save some bills on electric bills.
0
cumboCommented:
cybernerd,

You are not thinking of win 3.x are you?? Win 9x is a step above on this point at least. Except for programs with built in memory leaks, Win 9x forces most programs to return their used resources when closed. Consequently, (unless programs are left open) there is little resource drain in Win 9x when leaving computer on.

Cumbo
0
duchess1Commented:
running 24/7 also allows you to use Task Scheduler to run long maintenace chores at night , like Scandisk and defrag. i run all maintenace on my home PC while sleeping.
0
1cellCommented:
there are two schools of thought for this issue.

first, some believe that, much like a tv, turning it off will extend the life because it's not always on.

the second and the one I subscribe to is:
leaving the system on allows the system to maintain a consistent tempurature.  Fluctuations in tempurature can cause parts to expand and contract and finally wear down faster.

Now, leaving your system on always, you will want to use screen savers and power amangement for the monitor because it is like a television in regards to tube life span.  For the computer itself though, I believe, maintaining the temperature in your system by leaving it on will prolong it's life by keeping the chips and circuits stable.
0
1cellCommented:
also, I am experiencing the same "noises" from my powersupply at boot.  They last for a few minutes then go away.  Replcing the powersupply will fix it for me but might not be the case for you.  To make sure it's not the hard drive, is the noise coming from the back or front of the tower?
0
vikiingCommented:
>>leaving your system on always, you will want to use screen savers and
>>power amangement for the monitor because it is like a television in regards to tube life span

In that case, you can leave machine on while the monitor is powered off.
0
ViRoyCommented:
computers should always make odd noizes at startup.. as a matter of fact, there is a noise code that most pc's adhere to.. the beeps at startup for instance will tell you exactly what has happend at startup. the documentation can be found at ibm's site.

i use my pc daily for processor and ram intensive work, it has been on for 2 1/2 months now without a flaw.. if you play games then you might want to atleast restart 1nce cause then it will release all the ram not already released by the game... other than that i think the lifetime expectancy for a pc is 1200 years of continious use.

power supply's are quite reliable... they wont catch fire due to many many new electrical codes that they must comly with and if it does fail then your pc will just turn off.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
minnetonkaAuthor Commented:
I accept the answer because I think the cumulative comments by everyone, including ViRoy, have given me enough information to believe that technically it is fine to leave the computer on-- I do know what the normal computer sounds are on power-on--my concern begins when I hear the odd sounds that are outside  the norm.  I think 1cell has a good point about the temperature issue.

The  information I'm paying a lot of attention to is from cumbo who says, "The power surge when turning on any electrical device causes more damage than leaving it on all the time. . . . leave it on all of the time. . . turn off and reboot about once a month. This clears any memory leaking programs and, re-initializes the virtual memory."   But I think cumbo places too much faith in most programs returning their used resources when closed.  I find that when I close all the programs and games, I might as well restart right away because I'm only minutes away from problems.  

To sum it up I think the rationale for leaving the computer on makes the most sense for the hardware.  I think it's the software that 'suffers' and there may be more 'leaking' for some people (like me) because the more programs you load and gadgets you download, the greater the potential for all kinds of leaking and .dlls that are incompatible.  I like the idea of turning off the monitor though.  That's what we do at work now since there's no longer any option to turn the power off (network maintenance).
I'm VERY appreciative for all the assistance!  Thank you!

0
cumboCommented:
RE: My faith in programs returning resources: It is fairly easy to see which program does and which does not. Just look at the "Available resources" reading under performance tab in the System icon (Control Panel).

Check this resource reading before opening a program and, again after closing it.

Cumbo
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.