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For the last 1.5 years I've tended to put my laptop in sleep mode rather than turn it off. Recently I started to feel it's not as fast as it was when I bought it, even if I restore a fresh Windows 7 image (I made it 1 week after installing the system for the first time).

Maybe it's just an impression, I'm not sure...

  • Can it be a result of putting my laptop in sleep mode?
  • What computer parts get worn down over time?
  • Is there software to test if these parts are worn?
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It's possible that your laptop is getting sluggish because it's heating up more easily. This is usually due to dust which can be removed with compressed air. But most likely, it just feels slower because your expectations have changed. – David Schwartz Jul 16 '12 at 18:51
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sleep mode is not damaging to the computer and in fact this article claims it should be used.Of course it uses more electricity than a fully shutdown computer; power still needs to be supplied to some circuits. Since RAM is volatile memory, RAM always needs to be supplied with electricity, otherwise it's contents is lost.

Mechanical parts with moving pieces are the fastest to wear out. Hard drives typically go first. The rest slowly degrades due to electrostatic damage and heat that gradually takes a toll. Have a read over this article, it has some good information regarding tests for hard drives.

So it may not be just your impression that the computer is slowing down. It is unlikely related to the fact you put it to sleep.

EDIT: I got the info about electrostatic damage and heat from here.

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Slowing down over time is a common complaint on Windows. Many times this is due to large numbers of applications being installed, updated, and uninstalled. There are utilities like CCleaner that can help remove the "cruf" the accumulates. Many recommend a periodic fresh install of the OS and all applications, but that's pretty radical, can result in data loss, and is generally a lot of work. – martineau Jul 16 '12 at 23:11
  • Sleeping your computer cannot damage your computer.
  • Parts will wear out over time, but this has nothing to do with sleep
  • You can just run the microsoft experience index (or any other benchmark) and see if the numbers are stable.
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