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su1daempathyFlag for United States of America

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Restart or Log Off Daily?

I am having unresolved discussion with a coworker. He claims that workstations should be restarted EVERYDAY because of software causing memory corruption. I disagree. While restarting a computer everyday does not hurt anything, it certainly does not fix any problems, but just puts the problem (if one exist) to another day.  I say Logging Off is sufficient (we have been doing this for two years) and accomplishes the same thing. Restart just reinitializes hardware. The problem is I can find no documentation to support his claim not mine. Furthermore, I can find no documentation from Microsoft stating the difference between Restart or Log Off. Can someone point me to some documentation on this issue?
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Glenn Abelson
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There is no one answer.

One thought was that Restarting would clear memory corruption and let the PC run better.
The problem may or may not come back, as you stated.

Some memory corruption, however, would be fixed with a restart . . . if it was not a systemic problem (i.e. you ran a program that caused a problem, but you probably will not run this program again for a year).

Also, I have noted that, sometimes a restarted PC runs faster.

However, if the PC is running fine and you just want to log off, that too is fine.

Everything does not have a right or wrong answer.
Not official but something to read...

I know it was bad back in the day, because of hardware limits.  Older devices could not handle the warming up and cooling down of devices daily which would cause failures.  However todays hardware is more then capable of handling constant shutdown, restarts, whatever you want.

I dont know of any articles on this but I have read this somewhere before.
And my opnion?  I just leave it on all week and restart weekly just to freshen up.
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If applications are written correctly then they should release memory, however some older and badly written programs may cause memory leaks which result in a slow reduction in available memory over time.

As far as freeing up memory is concerned then it really depends which program is causing the problem and how it is used by the system. User processes are terminated at log-off so this should free any memory they are using, however system processes and programs that do not terminate properly may still hog memory after log-off and a restart may be necessary in that case.
Well, The above question might not find you an official document but some of the points below can help
1) If you are in a domain environment there are computer configuration policy changes if applied it's mandotory to reboot rather than logoff, If the machine is not being used for a long while just log off and let the machine be up for next user.
2) There is a up-time for machines, better hardware / software configuration would give smoother performance but if you feel that the performance can be improved only via a restart and not via logoff, you have to check with the software beings installed on the box, some softwares keep on consuming the memory and ultimately degrade system performance which plays a key role in you to decide if you want to reboot or log off

Windows XP Resource Kit - Startup Process
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After reading the article referenced by DJ Drunk, maybe I should rephrase the question "does logoff solve memory corruption or does restart"? How about memory leaks? Thus far the article he has referenced is the most help but not quite the answer I am looking for.
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Some memory leaks/unreleased memory seem to require an actual shutdown to be released.
Periodically restarting the computer allows RAM (Random Access Memory) in the system to be cleared. This is important because as the computer runs it can hold things in memory that do not necessarily need to be there. By restarting your computer, the memory is cleared and the system will increase in performance and stability. Restarting the system does not put the same strain on the system as a power cycle.Also rebooting the computer helps clear the ram (I think there are programs that can do this) and overall refreshes the computer. If you plan on keeping it on 24/7 then plan on keeping it cooled

Please also see this link. This doesnt mean only for tablet PCs, it also should be taken for desktops

Some suggest that  Shutting down the PC everytime causes wear and tear on the hardware. When the PC is off, the parts inside are cold. When the PC is on, the parts get hot. Majority of the micro parts solder and today's processors are due to extreme heat issues. The heating up and cooling down continually weakens the internal parts resulting in "hardware failure!" .The duration the computer runs the more heat it generates. Technically heat is bad for the computer and wears down its life. We gain more by turning it off when not in use than leaving it on (and save some on electricity bill

While this is not the TOTAL answer to my question. I will accept it because it came closer than anybody else's answer and more credible. Memory leaks are easy to ascertain using Performance monitor. XP rarely needs to be rebooted for memory leaks according to Microsoft XP s documentation and testing.

So answers concerning memory leaks was really not the issue since that are so easy to ascertain. The main question concerned memory corruption. I still do not have the TOTAL answer, but I guess this is as good as it gets.