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Leaving the Computer On

Last response: in Storage
April 7, 2011 7:30:44 PM

I am getting my SSD tomorrow.

With an SSD as OS drive, are there any consequences to leaving the computer on for a long time? I ask this because with my HDD, I sometimes see it flashing the drive indicator when I've been away for a while. Is it defragmenting the HDD? (I know that I have to disable defrag when I install my SSD)

Also, I have to disable hibernation right? Does that still let me put the computer on sleep (to the memory)?

Lastly, if I am downloading something with firefox or downloading different flavors of Linux through a torrent, or unzipping a file, but I specify the destination of the file to be on the secondary drive (the hdd), then the SSD will not get anything written on it in the process, right? In other words, will files get written straight to their specified hdd location without temporarily going to the SSD? Or is this one of the things I have to set up for the SSD.


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a c 415 G Storage
April 8, 2011 4:30:32 AM

Windows has background processes such as firewalls, virus scanners, network listeners, etc. etc. which run constantly while the system is up. Those processes will generate writes to your SSD, which will go some way towards using up it's write endurance.

IMHO, aside from the power usage, leaving the power on for a computer that has hard drives isn't that big a deal, but for one with an SSD you'll probably want to monitor it over the first month to find out how much writing is going on so you can decide if it's something you're willing to live with.

You want to leave hibernation enabled if you plan to leave the computer in a low-power mode without actually turning it off. When the computer is hibernating none of the processes I mentioned above are running so there is no extra "wear" to the SSD, aside from initially dumping the memory contents to the drive so that recovery is possible in case power is lost. In hibernation mode the system is basically shut down but still consuming enough power to maintain the memory contents. No internet downloads or torrent transfers can happen in sleep mode.

Sleep mode is more like a screensaver - the computer shuts down but can wake itself back up again to do work if necessary.

Control over where downloads go is dependent on what program you're using. A lot of programs will write to the "temporary internet files" folder which is part of your profile. If you don't want that stuff going to the SSD then the safest thing to do is to move your profile to some other drive.
April 8, 2011 7:43:11 AM

So to make sure I understood you, sleep mode still dumps the memory content to the main drive right before sleeping? (I always thought that it just sort of froze processes and shut everything except the memory; no dumping to HDD.)

You mentioned moving the profile to the HDD. Does this link sort of outline what you are talking about? (it's a hefty read)
Do you know of any other particular tutorial that I could follow for moving my user folder out of my SSD?

Thanks for your help!
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a c 415 G Storage
April 8, 2011 10:18:05 AM

> So to make sure I understood you, sleep mode still dumps the memory content to the main drive right before sleeping?

No, it's "hibernation" that does that. The reason for dumping memory to the hard drive is so that the system can just reload the entire state of all programs back into memory again - that's a lot faster than if it had to individually initialize every program when it wakes back up. This is what a laptop is normally configured to do when you close the cover on it. Since the important data is on the hard drive, the laptop can shut off completely so that it doesn't drain the battery when you're not using it. A desktop machine can be set to "hybrid sleep" mode which is the same as hibernation except that just enough power is left on to keep the memory contents alive, which means that you don't have to wait for memory to be reloaded and startup extremely fast. But "hybrid sleep" mode still saves memory to disk so that it can restart correctly even if there's a power failure.

In both "hibernation" and "hybrid sleep" modes the machine is off and there's no way for it to do anything until you come along and turn it back on again.

In "sleep" mode the machine is idle, but it can wake itself back up again if it needs to.

Desktop machines are normally set to "sleep" when the screen saver kicks in, while laptops are normally set to "hibernate" so as not to run down the battery.

> Do you know of any other particular tutorial that I could follow for moving my user folder out of my SSD?

Here's one:
a b G Storage
April 8, 2011 2:59:19 PM

I've run my work computers 24/7 (mechanical hard drives) for the past 10 years (about 4 years per computer) and can't tell that it has caused any problems. Our monitors will turn off after awhile so they stop consuming electricity. I've done this with my home computers before and had fans and hard drive bearings fail, but today's components seem to be a little better.
April 8, 2011 8:09:44 PM

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