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I'm planning to work abroad for several years and I can't bring my trusty PC along. I'm gonna buy a laptop and I'll possibly only come back home after 5 years. So my question is:

Is it OK to leave my computer turned off for several years?

Or should I ask a friend to turn it on from time to time? I'm thinking about sealing it off in plastic and leaving it turned off the whole time.

For specifics, my PC is a desktop computer, Intel processor (Core i7) and Motherboard (DP55WB), has regular internal and external HDDs and an Nvidia graphic card. I usually use it a few hours a day. The only problem I can think of so far is the battery of the motherboard (for the BIOS) dying out, but this is cheap to replace.

  • But there might be a misunderstanding: my question is whether I can leave the power turned off the whole time, so powering it down is what I want to know if is safe – flen Aug 12 '18 at 4:15
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    Oh! Sorry then. Yes, if that is the case the worst that would happen is your PC’s CMOS battery (what you are calling the motherboard battery) might die but that’s about it. Just put it in a plastic bag, put it in a closet or storage and don’t worry. Maybe even get some desiccant packs and toss them in that bag to avoid any inadvertent moisture issues. That said, the only issue that might come up is bit rot which is the spontaneous loss of data due to physical media dying. This can happen to hard disk drives and even SSDs. So I recommend you backup all your data in some way. Storage is cheap! – JakeGould Aug 12 '18 at 4:17
  • This might be random, but still I have generally noticed that when I leave my PC off for a long time, I almost certainly need to re-seat some components like RAM sticks or reconnect SATA connectors before everything would perfectly power on again. – rajeev Aug 12 '18 at 4:27
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    Putting in a bunch of silica gel packs (in your PC's case and the bag the PC will be in) sounds like a very good idea. – confetti Aug 12 '18 at 5:56
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    An SSD is quite possibly goig to loose data if continuously powered down for 5 years. This ("spec related" link) is an unrealistically bad scenario - but you are talking about 5 years - which is a very long time. Have you considered backing up your hard drive and selling your PC - in 5 years time it will be considered pretty old and not of much value - especially as your motherboard dates back to 2009. – davidgo Aug 12 '18 at 21:06

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