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PC Workstations - As a policy, Reboot vs log off

Posted on 2014-03-06
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Last Modified: 2016-05-13
Hello All,
Oddly enough I could not come up with much in google.  As a policy that has been in place since I worked her in 2000. The policy for users to follow at the end of the day is to reboot/restart their workstations. DO NOT shutdown and really there is no verbage at all for using the log off function.  Since workstations used to be Winnt.  I am wondering what the validity and need for reboot is vs just performing a log off at the end of the day.  This environment is mostly windows xp but will be moving toward windows 7 start in July.  Since these workstations need to be in a power on state to receive Mcafee updates, bigfix packages usually for software updates and MS patches, powering off (shut down) is not an option. So this discussion should just be around pros and cons of restarting vs Logging off.  Any upside/downside to one over the other?
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Question by:Gary-Work
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by:David Kroll
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I always reboot at the end of the day.  I think it's good to start off the next day after a reboot, rather than just a log off.  That's just my $.02.
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Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
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My systems (workstations and servers) reboot once per month to apply updates.  That's it.  There is no need to restart more often than that on a regular basis.  You're not hurting anything if you do in my opinion, but it's essentially a waste of time.  Indeed, I don't usually log off either - screensaver locks the screen and that's that.  Saves time when I return to work in the morning or if I connect remotely.  If your employees saved 90 seconds every morning by NOT having to wait for applications to start up, that adds 7.5 minutes per week or about 6 hours per year where the employee can work instead of wait for the computer.  That's almost getting an extra day of work each year by not requiring the employee to log off/restart.
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by:John Hurst
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If the workstations are going to be left ON (not shut down), then just log off. Rebooting does not hurt, but it is not necessary either.
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by:_
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edit: I knew I should have refreshed first.   : /
But here it is anyway

Interesting question.

Short answer is Reboot. At least once in a while.

For the long answer, there are a couple of variables to consider (in no particular order):

- Some programs do "housekeeping" on Exit (flushing caches, temp files, etc). Logging Off doesn't always mean a program gets closed

- Windows does some "housekeeping" on Shut Down.

- While not a bad as it used to be, "memory leaks and resource hogs" get released on Exit/Shut Down.

- Some Updates (MS for sure) require a Reboot to finish. Thought I think W7 is set to auto reboot after X amount of time (or can be set to). Don't remember about XP.

- Are these Warm or Cold Reboots? Cold Reboots are marginally "rougher" on equipment than Warm Reboots. It's said it also takes slightly more energy (but I haven't personally verified this).

If you have some leeway to experiment in, have them Reboot just once a week (say Fri before they leave work), and Log Off the rest of the time.
If you are getting a couple of Update Reboots a week, see if those are enough to keep thing under control.

You could also pick a couple/several  "average" machines, have one/some reboot  and one/some log off, then monitor their resources and logs. See if there is any big difference.
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by:nobus
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i also do a reboot - even as much as 3x per day (but it takes only 20 sec)
that way, i'm sure to start off fresh (see housekeeping, and background tasks mentioned above)

+ i even shut off the AC to the PC completely with a breaker (it still uses current when the system is shut off normally)
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Thank you much.     : )
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