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Windows 7: Is leaving your computer on all the time (24/7) better for hard drive?

23 Oct 2012   #31
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

No, I believe he believes what he says Deacon.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2012   #32
Wrend

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit, Debian GNU/Linux 64bit (virtual machine on a RAM drive)
 
 

I've only had one of my HDDs fail. It saw about 10 years of use with the computer being turned on and off daily, sometimes left off for a few days, and sometimes turned on and off a few times a day.

I've seen other computers where their HDD failed after two years.

I turn off my PC when not it use to save power, to not build up as much dust inside the case, and so the fans last longer. Just a guess here, but I probably save enough on power usage over the course of the life of the HDD to pay for it.

Either way, it isn't something to worry about unless you're running a server, or something.
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23 Oct 2012   #33
westom

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I sincerely hope you are joking with this comment. If not, I'm not entirely sure what to say.
Start by learning manufacturer spec numbers; not using feelings. Starting and stopping cause so much stress as to cause failures after ... 39 years. Did you read those numbers? Conclusions from subjective logic make one his own worst enemey. Numbers were obvious. Massive stress from power cycling causes damage ... maybe 39 years later.
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23 Oct 2012   #34
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by westom View Post
Start by learning manufacturer spec numbers; not using feelings. Starting and stopping cause so much stress as to cause failures after ... 39 years. Did you read those numbers? Conclusions from subjective logic make one his own worst enemey. Numbers were obvious. Massive stress from power cycling causes damage ... maybe 39 years later.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
No, I believe he believes what he says Deacon.
I think you're right. Scary. Anyway, I can't wait to come back here in 39 years with ALL of my drives still functioning and working properly to tell him he's correct. Only a matter of time before the manufacturer's start offering 25 year warranties on their drives.
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23 Oct 2012   #35
Goji73

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Came back to this thread and I'm surprised at how many people responded to it.

Anyways for anyone who was looking for anything specific. Here are some photos I took of the problem that would occur with my computer before the old hard drive bit the dust:

Whenever I would turn on my computer, this screen would appear right after the "ACER" logo disappeared:


When the problem first came, this was the error message that appeared. When the computer was rebooted the first time, they appeared again. Whenever I would turn my computer back on, it would freeze to a stop and this screen would appear without anyway of unfreezing it unless you shutting it off (by actually pressing and holding the power button on the computer itself:


Hope this helps anyone as this is the reason why I asked the question
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #36
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

It would be possible that the drive died due to being powered on an off several times a day (assuming this was how you used your system). HDDs are mechanical devices, meaning they can have issues over time and die. I see the POST screen telling you the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive as bad, and then an accompanying Windows screen confirming it.

Truth is, there's no way to know for sure what caused the issue, or if it "just happened". However, to answer your main question, there are two schools of thought, and neither are wrong. Today's systems can handle being on 24x7, especially with various sleep/suspend modes and SSD drives. Others, like me, choose not to run our systems all the time. I would suggest picking one of the two. If you find yourself powering the computer on several times a day, I would consider leaving it on all the time. If you don't use it that often, then there's no harm shutting it down, especially at night.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #37
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Goji73 View Post

Anyways for anyone who was looking for anything specific. Here are some photos I took of the problem that would occur with my computer before the old hard drive bit the dust:
Nothing unusual there. The drive appears to be failing for reasons unknown, with no known correlation to how often you shut down. I wouldn't draw any conclusions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #38
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Only correlation I can see detrimental to HD life and running 24/7 would be heat dissipation. I don't recall the PC manufacturer but a few years back there was a particular model kept killing hard drives. Turns out the turbulence inside the case or the proximity of the HD to the power supply resulted in heat from the power supply being channeled directly onto the drive. But in that case you'd probably notice due to replacing a HD every 3 months.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #39
Goji73

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Others, like me, choose not to run our systems all the time. I would suggest picking one of the two. If you find yourself powering the computer on several times a day, I would consider leaving it on all the time. If you don't use it that often, then there's no harm shutting it down, especially at night.
This is what I do too. Usually I turn on my computer once a day and leave it on all day until I have to go to sleep, which is then that I turn off my computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2012   #40
intel 4004

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

What about forcing it to be off by holding the power button? Will it shortens my hard drive life?
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 Is leaving your computer on all the time (24/7) better for hard drive?




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