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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?

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closed as not constructive by techie007, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, ChrisF, Tom Wijsman, Mokubai Jan 3 '12 at 20:34

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Most laptops go to sleep or hibernate when the lid is closed. Or the inactive keyboard and touchpad would cause a PC to sleep or hibernate. Have you disabled all of these power saving features? –  sawdust Jan 3 '12 at 1:29
    
No. I did not disable anything. I just checked and it says "sleep" when close lid on both battery and plugged in. So, is it ok to not to turn off for long stretch of time? –  Zeynel Jan 3 '12 at 1:49
    
    
If you are going to leave your machine on for extended periods, you might as well find something useful for it to do. There are a number of distributed computing projects that can make use of otherwise unused computer time; you might start here –  Brian Hooper Jan 3 '12 at 9:55
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Why, oh why does this have 3 close votes as "not constructive"? I find this an interesting (and relevant question). To all the close voters: It would be helpful to at least leave a comment why this is considered not constructive. –  sleske Jan 3 '12 at 10:14
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3 Answers

up vote 29 down vote accepted

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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great thanks, i did not realize that there were vents at the bottom of the laptop, I thought only the opening for the fan needed to be open. –  Zeynel Jan 3 '12 at 2:00
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I would add that this is very bad for the battery - leaving the battery at 100% charge with the temperature elevated for long periods of time will reduce the charge capacity to nearly zero. The rest of the laptop should be fine, though, if the cooling system does not get choked with dust. –  user55325 Jan 3 '12 at 2:10
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The battery will not be "damaged" as such, but high voltage and temperature accelerates battery wear. More details: batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/… –  user55325 Jan 3 '12 at 5:52
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You could just remove the battery, as you're going to have the laptop plugged into mains anyway. –  Joren Jan 3 '12 at 8:27
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Also, if your laptop draws air through the keyboard (As does mine), you will not want to close the laptop unless it's off. –  Ruirize Jan 3 '12 at 9:25
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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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thanks, so "standby" is "sleep"? Because mine goes to sleep when I close the lid. Is the hard drive inactive during sleep? –  Zeynel Jan 3 '12 at 1:50
    
@Zeynel - What operating system is that? –  ldigas Jan 3 '12 at 2:26
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There is no difference; whatever term or OS you use, the processor state will be S3. –  Tom Wijsman Jan 3 '12 at 2:31
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@TomWijsman - Ah, so sleep is always ... glad to hear there is a consensus on that (names). –  ldigas Jan 3 '12 at 2:48
    
@TomWijsman: Depending on your OS and settings, any amount of things can happen when you close the lid on a laptop. For example, mine goes to S4 if it happens to be unplugged, or stays in S0 if it was plugged in. So why do you say there is no difference? –  Joren Jan 3 '12 at 8:35
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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.

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