Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was in Computer lab. I directly TURN-OFF the pc by TURN-OFF button, my teacher suggested you should first LOG-OFF then TURN-OFF.

but I think it doesn't make any difference, is it?

I am using WINDOWS-XP.

I want to know that what is the difference b/w both the ways to TURN-OFF?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I'm reading your question correctly, you want to know the difference between the "Shut down" button and the "Log off" button in Windows XP.

When the "Shut down" button is pressed, the system first logs off all users currently logged in, meaning that there is no difference between Logging off and then pressing shut down.

This is, of course, if you mean the shutdown button in windows, and not holding the hardware button to force a power off. The problems with forcing a power off are explained in goblinbox's answer.

share|improve this answer
1  
Ah, +1 for good point - could be a translation issue. Questioner may mean that the teacher wants Log Off first, followed by Shut Down, rather than just using Shut Down. Which would be weird, of course. –  goblinbox Feb 7 '11 at 11:28

If you are holding the power button in to force a shutdown then that's bad regardless of logging off or not.

If you have the power button set in BIOS to perform soft power off then the first thing Windows does is log off any users at which point it will either close any open programmes or prompt the user to close them (forcing them to close after a delay). It could be argued that by logging off first you are prompting the user to make sure that no programmes are forced to close by Windows which could lead to the loss of unsaved work.

share|improve this answer

If you are holding the power button in to force a shutdown then that's bad regardless of logging off or not.

...and the reason it's bad is because, when you do a shutdown like that, your operating system doesn't get the opportunity to clean up after itself and close programs and services in an orderly fashion. The result is that when Windows wakes up, it knows it's had a hard halt and runs all kinds of time-consuming diagnostics, which lengthen your boot time. Furthermore, you can, in some instances, do actual physical damage to your HDD by shutting down that way.

The ideal way to shut down Windows is to choose Shut Down from the Start menu; there's rarely any reason to have to use the hardware power button on modern computers.

share|improve this answer
    
"...there's rarely any reason to have to use the hardware power button on modern computers..." not necessarily true. While it is good practice to NOT shutdown a computer like this, if you are running a LiveCD without mounted partitions, there is no harm in just powering down the system. Also, if you hit the power button during the BIOs boot-up state, nothing bad will happen. This is often the case when you are trying to reach the bios 'setup' or boot menus but miss the timing to hit one of the necessary keys. –  g19fanatic Feb 7 '11 at 12:40
    
Both of your scenarios are edge cases (hence my choice of the term "rarely"), but indeed: they are true. –  goblinbox Feb 7 '11 at 19:12

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.