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Will restarting the computer a lot (about 10 times in 2 minutes) damage the motherboard?

I'm always installing new programs and testing new operating systems on my computer. (I know you can do the same in virtual machines, but they do not have the same hardware as the host.)

For this reason I need to restart my computer all the time (pressing the reset button), either because of a virus or crash.

I heard that the hard disk may become damaged and I could lose important information, but I'm worried about the other components, like the processor, RAM or motherboard.

Can these components also be damaged if continuously restart my computer?

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marked as duplicate by slhck, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tom Wijsman, Nifle, random Mar 14 '12 at 16:35

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> I heard that the hard disk may become damaged Correct, but that means actually turning the system on and off, not simply rebooting. –  Synetech Mar 10 '12 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

It probably won't damage any of the hardware. Technically restarting shouldn't damage the hard disk either, but it may damage the filesystem (software on the hard disk). However if you have to reboot constantly due to viruses and crashes, you should probably change your online passwords immediately (especially banking) and enlist someone to clean up/zero the drive/ reinstall system ASAP. See some of these pages for info on secure banking with a live cd:

http://www.google.com/search?q=banking%20linux%20live%20cd

It may eventually damage the hardware doing so many reboots, but it probably not for a long time (years).

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The reset button doesn't interrupt power to any connected devices (except possibly USB-attached devices) so I don't believe it would stress any components.

Turning off and then on your computer stresses it more, but I believe the hard drive would be the component you need to worry about failing prematurely due to that rather than the CPU or motherboard.

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Hard disks go out most frequently due to having moving parts. Fans come in 2nd (moving parts), and PSUs are 3rd (lots of electricity and whatnot). –  conspiritech Mar 10 '12 at 16:29
    
The initial spin up of hard drives stresses them a lot. –  ultrasawblade Mar 10 '12 at 16:46
    
techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=84&pgno=7#myth-32 Myth #32 : Constantly rebooting the computer will damage the hard disk drive. Truth : "..It is conceivable that constant rebooting could shorten the spindle motor's lifespan. However, it is unlikely to significantly impact the hard disk drive's lifespan..." ... Even if you start and stop the hard disk drive 8 times a day...Newer hard disk drives are rated for at least 50,000 start-stops, in which case, they would last at least 17 years at the rate of 8 daily start-stops." Ellipses & Elided text mine, the rest from site –  conspiritech Mar 11 '12 at 18:06
    
Still superstitious about it. –  ultrasawblade Mar 11 '12 at 20:45

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