Will leaving your PC on last longer?

Will leaving your computer on last longer, Because, e.g your not turning it on and off all the time (Hard Drives will last longer?)

I would be interested to know.


Probaby not read this
forth post down

Originally posted by Firefalcon:

…This myth has its roots from two scenarios from the early '80s, and neither one of them has very much basis in logic. The very first version of this came about from the thought that the weakest link in an electronic computer was the mechanical power switch, because this was the main non-solidstate device in the computer. While it is true that a mechanical switch will wear with use, it is also the least expensive component in the system.

The second version of this came about after hard drives were added to computers. The thought was that the amperage in the hard drive motor would be higher during start-up than during running, so you didn’t want to continually restart the motor. While it is true that frequent restarting of the motor is bad, so is leaving it running for extended periods of time. Heat is the killer to the winding insulation of a motor, and it doesn’t matter if this heat is coming from start-up amperage or running amperage.

As for electronics, it is the exact opposite of the myth. At one time, it was assumed that solid state electronics had an infinite life so long as they operated within normal parameters. We have since learned that electronics that aren’t even powered up still have a limited shelf life because the dopant atoms will slowly migrate, or diffuse, over time. This migration is accelerated with heat. So the warmer an integrated circuit is, the quicker it will decay.

The bottom line is that the longer you leave your computer running, the quicker it will fail. Leaving it running does not serve a purpose, except to let you get working faster in the morning.


you will actually loose money in my opinion because leaving it on all of the time will use tons of energy and cause your electric bill to increase. The money you pay for leaving it on all of the time is much more that it would be if a component failure happens a little quicker. If you don’t want to wait for it to restart all of the time do what I do and hibernate it, everything shuts off and when you restart I can get to my desktop in about 30 seconds.

Thanks for the responses guys. :slight_smile: After investigation, best to leave it off when inactive for hours.


I don’t believe leaving a computer on does any major harm or has much of an impact on longevity of components, after all, do companies, even small ones without cooling facilities turn their computers off at night!

Providing the computer is not subject to extremes of temperature it’ll be fine. I’ve had a my linux media server running for more than a year 24/7 and it’s fine.