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Laptop lifetime

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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December 12, 2003 8:45:48 PM

Hi!! I have a Toshiba Satellite Laptop (got it in summer 2000). It is pentiun 3 (650 Mhz), 192 MB ram.

Anyways, ever since I got it, I have been using it almost on a daily basis (I'd usually turn it on for only an hour or two a day and use it and then I'd turn it off)

However now, I'm in university and I use my laptop several times a day (whevever I come back to my dormitory room.)
My question is: Is it better to turn my computer off and on whenever I want to use it or is it better to just leave it running all day? I mean, which would prolong the lifetime of my computer more? I don't plan to change my computer anytime soon so I would like to preserve it as long as possible...

Of course, it would be a lot more convinient to just leave it running all day.

So I guess in other words I'm asking: Does leaving a laptop running all day (let's say 15 hours a day), shorten its life? If yes, by how much? I mean, does it shorten it considerably?
I would really appreciate any info on the subject.

Thank you!!!

More about : laptop lifetime

December 13, 2003 5:30:27 AM

Leaving it running all day does affect the notebook's (or any computer for that matter) life span. But it affects it so marginally that you would probably never notice. If you leave it running all day everyday, it will last about another decade or so (provided it doesn't overheat etc.). It is, in fact, better for the wear and tear of a lot of the components if you don't switch on and off the notebook. The only component I would be slighly concerned about, is the Hard Drive. Make sure that in your Power Properties, the HDD switches off if it has not been used in a while - this will save power, and prolong the life of your Disk.

Trust me, there should be no problems at all leaving your notebook running all day - My sister has a very old Compaq Armada notebook (made in 1994), that has basically not switched off in the last 9 years. And it is still going strong...

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
December 13, 2003 2:26:35 PM

Thank you for your valuable information :) 
I just have a few questions: You see, when I first got my computer I tried adjusting the settings so that my hard disk will automatically stop after a set period of inactivity, but I have noticed that it is never off for more than 1 minute or so!!! So I have always just left the settings at : Never turn the hard disk off.

Let me give you an example: Today after reading your response, I tried experimenting again: I put the settings to: 1 minute (just so that it would turn off right away, and I wouldn't have to wait all day to see if it is working).. Anyways, after about a minute the disk went off, but then came back on about 45 seconds later... Then it went off again after a minute but came right back on in about a minute or so.... And this pattern kept repeating itself... (note the only thing that was running on my computer was a firewall and my virus scanner (It was just monitoring in the background.... not doing a scan or anything...). I also tried putting the setting to 5 minutes. But then the hard disk didn't ever stop (I waited for 15 minutes and it didn't stop)..

Two questions: 1) It seems like there is something that uses the hard disk every few minutes, right? That is why it is behaving this way, right?
2) Since this is the case, wouldn't the constant stoping and starting wear the hard disk out faster than just letting it run all the time? I mean, wouldn't it be just better to put the setting to: Never stop hard disk?
I mean, I have heard that hard disks have a pretty long lifetime, so if let's say I have my computer on every day for 10-12 hours, shouldn't my hard disk still last a long time even if I keep it running the whole time?

I would really appreciate your feedback.
Thanks!!!
December 13, 2003 10:41:40 PM

Quote:
It seems like there is something that uses the hard disk every few minutes, right? That is why it is behaving this way, right?


That's the conclusion I came to, also.

Quote:
Since this is the case, wouldn't the constant stoping and starting wear the hard disk out faster than just letting it run all the time? I mean, wouldn't it be just better to put the setting to: Never stop hard disk?
I mean, I have heard that hard disks have a pretty long lifetime, so if let's say I have my computer on every day for 10-12 hours, shouldn't my hard disk still last a long time even if I keep it running the whole time?


I think it is better to keep it running than to keep spinning it up and down. But bare in mind that HDDs are the most 'failure-prone' devices on pcs, so whether or not you keep your notebook on all day, make sure you have regular backups.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
!