XP maximum uptime / recommended uptime / uptime comments and opinions

Posted on 2006-05-28
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Hi, this is a bit of a fluffy question really, but I have a lot of linux boxes that have uptimes of months all the time.  My record is 454 days on one, when the datacentre forced me to shut it down because they were installing a new UPS.  

I have just set up an XP Pro box with all the latest fixes that's going to go into a workgroup and it won't do an awful lot.  Just a central place to share files really.  But that made me think about uptime.  Can I expect this XP box to keep on going until there is a power cut, or will it grind to a halt in some sort of reasonably predictable timeframe?  What is the experience out there?

It won't be accessed during the night, so I have it copying the data off to another computer (doing a backup to DVD-RW).  But I decided it may pay to do a scheduled reboot first to clear any memory leaks, disconnected yet active user sessions or other imaginable drama, and then do another reboot after all the data has been copied, just to give it a fresh start to the next day when people come back to work.

Am I being overly paranoid?  I guess that after years of dancing the grim fandango with Windows boxes I have simply become pragmatic about doing reboots whenever it's practical.

(question is neither difficult or urgent, but I like to be generous anyway :)

Question by:crnz
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Hi crnz.

    Look at this statistic:

    Keep in mind that :
    This appears to make BSD look superior to all operating systems in terms of reliability, but the Netcraft information is unintentionally misleading. Netcraft monitors the uptime of operating systems based on how those operating systems keep track of uptime. Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, and some versions of FreeBSD only record up to 497 days of uptime, after which their uptime counters are reset to zero and start again. So all web sites based on machines running Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and in some cases FreeBSD "appear" to reboot every 497 days even if they run for years. The Netcraft survey can never record a longer uptime than 497 days for any of these operating systems, even if they have been running for years without a reboot, which is why they never appear in the top 50.

    Given the 497-rollover quirk, it is difficult to compare Linux uptimes vs. Windows uptimes from publicly available Netcraft data. Two data points are statistically insignificant, but they are somewhat telling, given that one of them concerns the Microsoft website.

    ---->As of September 2004, the average uptime of the Windows web servers that run Microsoft's own web site ( is roughly 59 days. The maximum uptime for Windows Server 2003 at the same site is 111 days, and the minimum is 5 days.
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