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I have a 2-months-old Sony Vaio VPCCW21FX. It has a wired connection and I use it for downloading purposes generally. I leave it open most of the time but I really wonder if there's a break-point that the laptop starts to get harm. How long should I leave it open at maximum before I shut it down for a while for some rest? I need an answer like this:

You can leave your Vaio open for ... days, and then give it a rest for ... hours. Because ...

I've never had overheating problems with my Vaio within 2 months, but I don't know if I'll have in the long run. Does it shorten its lifespan to leave it open?

Mostly I leave it open for 3 days, and then I give it a rest since I don't want to do harm to it. Hibernation and sleeping modes are all off. I just turn the display off. Running programs are Firefox with DownThemAll! addon, uTorrent, MS Security Essentials and the routine system files. My OS is Win7 x64.

P.S.: I've seen some questions like "Leaving laptop plugged all the time" on SU. Since my question is totally different from them, please don't vote to delete.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In the old days, they used to say that there was more stress involved in letting electronics cool down and heat back up than there was in just letting them live at the same temperature all the time.

Prop it up on something, like a slim book, so that it has adequate airflow and let it run.

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I've never thought of the slim book thing. Good idea! –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 28 '10 at 7:52
    
+1 for mentioning airflow –  David Z Jun 28 '10 at 8:21

I've left all kinds of laptops running 24/7 in the past (with SetiAtHome on them, so they were stressing the CPU the whole time). No harm came to any of them. I was sure to make sure they had good airflow though, as that made them run warm the whole time.

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Note: If you have a Lenovo (T, X, W series), you can run it 0-24 for years. You will have NO problem, tested (by me also, but several other people, company). | About the HDD: It's dirt cheap, but when it dies you can also upgrade to SSD, Hybrid (which is experimental now).

First: Check for temperatures. If a laptop overheats, that's an epic fail. It SHOULD work 0-24. Even my friend's Acer which goes always full vent, no vent, full vent, no vent. The cooling is the worst on those laptops. Anyway, he's been using it for years and no problem. Check if your temp goes up when you leave your laptop (You can do that with SpeedFan).
Second: HDD. It'll reduce its lifetime of course. But the cooler you keep it, the better result you can get. If it's a "desktop-laptop", I'd go for an external HDD. (And you can buy a cooler stand for your laptop.)
Third: The charger may or may not like this (okay it won't like it, but won't cause harm).

Basically if all of these OK then you can leave it open for.. uhm ... 1095 days. Then turn it off, clean it, and turn it on again. (Well its not a Thinkpad but should last this much). Also, Windows updates will be more frequent than you can worry about uptime and such. =D

On major note: Charge/drain your battery to be about 60%. Put it in a perfect place where it can't get a damage and so on. And sometimes, you should use your laptop from this battery, use it for some time.. just a short period and put it back to the place. (Check if its ni-mh or Li-ion. One of them needs total drain sometimes and then full recharge. If I remember clearly its the Ni-mh.)

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I'm using a utility that came with my Vaio which keeps the battery always 50% charged. It uses the electrical power and keeps the battery uncharged unless there is a power failure. This is a good way for me to protect my battery. I don't want to remove the battery since power failures are common around the block. BTW, thanks for your suggestions. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 28 '10 at 7:59

You can leave your Vaio open for ... to the infinity and beyond :) It does not affect it at all (except for the dust buildup on the keyboard). Mine is sitting on my desk with an unplugged battery, running from mains 24/7 for months without being turned off.

If by 'closing the lid' you mean that your laptop shuts down or goes to sleep when you close it - you can disable that action in power options in control panel.

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Thanks for the answer. I've already disabled sleeping action from power options, so when I close the lid it continues working as usual, and that's good for preventing dust buildup as you said :) –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 28 '10 at 7:48

i do something like that i left my laptop open for 3 months but i close my may be one time in a month for 3-6 hours because of ram usage increased to much (i use torrent, firefox, msn and games at the same time) and to normalize ram usage i close laptop ... but also my laptop hdd working too long i and i want to make a short rest to hdd if not possibly its life will be short :S ...(but if you cooling it always i think it wont be a problem ;) )

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