How often do you shut down your computer?

So how often do you all shut down your computers? I almost never shut mine down, and some people seem shocked by this. I have a really good friend in Canada who is my computer whiz, and he has told me it’s not really necessary to shut down your computer. I respect his viewpoint, but I have come across a few people who seem shocked by this. So what’s the deal? Should I shut down every night?

Depends on the system. One of my servers has been up 275 days straight currently, and my personal record is around 500 days. Desktops tend to be shutdown more often because they run Windows, but I can often go through a couple of weeks without shutting down there. By the way, some people claim that turning off and on your computer every day is stressful to the parts. There’s no real evidence that is true though. With modern hardware you can turn on the power management features and it’ll turn off your disks and video card and slow down the CPU when you aren’t doing anything, and save electricity. If you just don’t want to wait so long for the bootup, try the standby feature which will shut down everything except the memory, so you can turn it back on and it’ll come back almost immediately.

Yeah, but you’re running Linux, right? :smiley:

With Windows, you can usually leave it going for a couple of days before the system bogs itself down too much to function any further. At least that’s my experience on Win2K. On Win98, I could never get the damn OS to keep going for more than a few hours before it would spontaneously lock up, crash, or reboot.

Depends on your electricity bill I guess.
I don’t need to shut down my windows machines, they can keep running for month. The older Macintosh commuters had the option where you could install the entire OS in the RAM. OS X does not have that feature yet.
The possible uptime depends on your configuration, not on the OS.

Me, I usually shut down every night, simply because the noise of the computer keeps me awake if I don’t. But I’ve left mine overnight when making a big download or whatever, or over a few days when starting a big download and heading out for the weekend. Don’t know my record, but I’ve hit three or four days with no noticable problems under Win2K and WinXP on several occasions. Only reason I usually didn’t go longer was the first reason I mentioned in this post.

Mine’s on all the time. XP seems to be a lot more stable than the earlier versions. I reboot every couple of weeks or so.

My environmental sensibilities lead me to think that it’s not nice to be burning up electricity if you don’t need to, so I wouldn’t leave the computer on all night if I’m sleeping (unless I’ve got a big download going, which is sometimes the case).

Lately, I’ve become very interested in low-power machines. The mini-ITX boards look particularly good for this: … /mini-itx/

I’m not just interested in low-power because I want to save the whales, but also because some mini-ITX boards accept 12-volt power input (that is, a car battery would work) so I’d be OK during a prolonged power outage. Actually, a “deep-cycle” battery would be better than a standard automotive battery. Great info about batteries can be found here:

I’m concerned about power outages because we get a lot of them where I live (rural Taitung County). Anyone running a server also has to worry about power backup - commercial ISPs rely on backup generators (I actually did have a generator, but it’s gone kaput and I’d rather not buy a new one).


I leave mine on 24/7 unless I am leaving for an extended period of a week or more. Because I use windows, however, I end up rebooted once every one to two weeks.

I do believe that turning your PC and off constantly could increase the risk of frying something. When you turn on your computer you surge all the power into your system at once, regardless of your paper set up you really cannot alter this. New hardware and software may be more adaptable to such a situation nowadays, but I don’t trust it, I know I am extending the life of my system by not shutting it down daily. Regardless of hard evidence on the subject, most people I have talked to who have run into problems with their computer occur after shutting down for the night and restarting in the morning.

I shut-down my laptop every day. As well the “server” in our office (just a PC really that acts as a file sharing “server”) is shut-down on a daily basis.

I work with a notebook on 24 hours a day with power management telling it to sleep with monitor off after 10 minutes of no activity. Noise is no problem as it turns its fans off when not working hard.

My power saving girlfriend used to turn it off much to my annoyance until one day it refused to reboot. The pained expression and trip to the computer doctor were enough.

It stays on now.

Anyone who leaves their system turned on 24/7 and remains connected to the Internet all that time is going to be quite an attraction to hackers. You could just simply turn your modem off or pull the Ethernet cable. Otherwise, it would be wise to have all services turned off and a rock-solid firewall in place (and I don’t mean ZoneAlarm).


What would you recommend as a rock solid firewall?

Robert_Storey, depends on your firewall, if you do not have a firewall installed indeed I would be wary about leaving your PC connected to the internet. My PC stays on all the time, but I disconnect from the internet despite having a firewall installed, I don’t want to take any chances.

I use sygate firewall, I have been quite happy with them for years, but not sure this would be considered a rock solid firewall, honestly I am not sure if such a thing exists because hackers are always coming up with new ways of getting into your system.

Close. I run Solaris on my servers.

I run XP on my windows boxes, and have no trouble keeping them up a couple of weeks at a time. When I was running 98, I had trouble keeping them up more than a couple of days, and there were times I had to reboot multiple times a day.

As for the risk of hackers, these days there is so much crap going on over the net that you need a good firewall even if you are on the net for 5 minutes a day. Most of the threats are automated now, so it only takes seconds for them to own your box.

Ben Hur II

I use Sygate and it seems to work well for me. You can test your security at their ‘SOS’ page. There are various types of scan available.

I have a question for the experts. Almost as soon as I log on I get the following message from my Sygate firewall:
NDIS User mod I/O Driver (ndisuio.sys) has receive a packet from the remote machine. Do you want to allow this protocol to access the network?
[Note the Chinese English ‘has receive’ and ‘the remote machine’.]

Should I click yes or no? I’ve been clicking yes most of the time because I figured it had something to do with logging on. I hope I haven’t been letting a hacker into my computer.

I remember that win98 had a bug that it would crash or shut down after 37 days of uptime.

[quote=“Spack”]I have a question for the experts. Almost as soon as I log on I get the following message from my Sygate firewall:
NDIS User mod I/O Driver (ndisuio.sys) has receive a packet from the remote machine. Do you want to allow this protocol to access the network?
[Note the Chinese English ‘has receive’ and ‘the remote machine’.]

Should I click yes or no? I’ve been clicking yes most of the time because I figured it had something to do with logging on. I hope I haven’t been letting a hacker into my computer.[/quote]
from,4149,771890,00.asp :

FILENAME: Ndisuio.sys.
DESCRIPTION: Internal Windows driver; performs internal communications tasks within Windows.


I get the same message in Sygate, sometimes I click no and sometimes I click yes. It doesn’t really seem to effect anything though. I am still wondering what exactly it’s for also.

Ideally, a separate hardware device - a router that you can configure with your web browser. These aren’t real expensive, I’ve seen good ones for sale for around NT$1200. They are easy to buy here in Taiwan, but the biggest problem is finding one where the interface is in English.

As Spack suggested…

This is not a thorough test, but it’s reasonable. It should give the result that every port is blocked. If it’s not, hackers are sure to find you. If your firewall comes back and asks permission to allow some nasty file to come through, I would say that’s a very bad sign.

All services should be turned off. I don’t use Windows so I don’t really know what services are turned on by default, nor do I know how to turn them off. In Linux or FreeBSD, you can use this command to see what services are running:

netstat -an | more

Any Internet services with the word “LISTEN” in all caps would be listening on a port, and would be an attractive target for hackers.

In Linux I’m using Guarddog. In FreeBSD, I use PF. Very good firewalls as long as they are configured properly. But a hardware firewall (in combination with a software firewall) would be best.

I’ve seen these messages on the rare occasions I’ve borrowed a Windows machine. I’m appalled - it’s a security hole big enough to drive a truck through. I would never grant access to such an unknown file - it’s a sign of a retarded firewall, in my opinion. Never saw anything like this on Linux or *BSD.

One final thing - only log onto the Internet with an unprivileged account, and be sure that accounts with Administrator (“root” for Linux users) privileges have a good password set. The easiest way to get hacked is to have no Administrator password - anybody can simply log onto your machine, and then you’re done for. All users should have passwords, even non-privileged users, even if there is only one user (yourself).