I have been just closing the screen and I found that very convenient, but, is it better to turn off each night? Does this make any difference how long the laptop will last?
closed as not constructive by techie007, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, ChrisF, Tom Wijsman, Mokubai Jan 3 '12 at 20:34
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For the most part I would say no, it does not matter, as long as you have it on a hard surface where proper cooling can be achieved.
In my personal experience the hard drive of a laptop is typically the part most likely to fail, and after that the motherboard itself (usually due to a fried on board GPU). Almost all laptop failures I see are due to heat (leaving laptop on a bed, carpet, or other soft surface that does not permit good air flow). I used a laptop as a server for a while and didn't turn it off or even restart it for a year and eight months! That was several years ago and that laptop is still going strong (it was new in 2003). Most all solid state devices are pretty tough, as long as they are not abused (AKA improper cooling). And for the non-solid state part (your spinning hard drive) studies have shown (most notabley Google's massive hard drive failure study) that drives that are cooled then reheated actually fail more often than those that are just left heated/running.
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Theoretically yes, it matters. Practically, not really. Most computers nowadays are pretty solid in regards to quality, and it is a fair chance that you'll be sooner changing computers than that it is going to die out of wear and tear.
I put my home laptop into standby mode each night ... currently it is 28 days since it has last been restarted. It is a 6 and something year old machine.
The main reason I do that however, is not to save the laptop but to enable me to sleep better.
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If the environment is good enough to help preventing over-heating of the laptop, it should really not be a very big problem. In my experience, I have seen both people maintaining their laptop like a kid by turning it off even if they were away for half an hour and people who almost had it running the entire day. Well finally, the laptop which was overused or abused still works fine while the other one which was well used is now having serious problems with its battery.
Personally I do not like to work with a laptop that is fuming. So I give it a break when it gets hot. Otherwise it keeps running and when I go to sleep, I hibernate it. In that way it conserves power while all my programs are in the same state when I start my laptop again.