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View Full Version : Is it bad to leave ibook on 24/7?


WillMak
Sep 11, 2005, 05:12 PM
I heard this greatly reduces the harddrive life.

Ashapalan
Sep 11, 2005, 05:14 PM
It would be bad yes, but if you've set your hard drive to sleep whenever it isnt being used (in system preferences - energy saver) then your hard drive will be old and wise before it perishes.

WillMak
Sep 11, 2005, 05:20 PM
It would be bad yes, but if you've set your hard drive to sleep whenever it isnt being used (in system preferences - energy saver) then your hard drive will be old and wise before it perishes.

uh oh. but I leave it on 24/7 to download torrents...that mmeans my hardddrive will always be spinning then right?

buryyourbrideau
Sep 11, 2005, 05:30 PM
not necessarily.

mad jew
Sep 11, 2005, 05:33 PM
Yes necessarily. It is bad for your hard drive to be spinning all the time in a notebook however as buryyourbrideau implies, the main issue is whether there is sufficient ventilation for the iBook.

A hard drive spinning all the time will not last as long as one that is given a rest at night. However, a hard drive that isn't kept cool will last for even less time.

jiv3turkey748
Sep 11, 2005, 05:34 PM
i leave mine on 24/7 i usually restart it about once a week but thats about the only time i turn it off

WillMak
Sep 11, 2005, 05:36 PM
ah alright. well i have my ibook on a icurve so i think that gives it proper ventilation

buryyourbrideau
Sep 11, 2005, 05:46 PM
Yes necessarily. It is bad for your hard drive to be spinning all the time in a notebook however as buryyourbrideau implies, the main issue is whether there is sufficient ventilation for the iBook.

A hard drive spinning all the time will not last as long as one that is given a rest at night. However, a hard drive that isn't kept cool will last for even less time.

yea i did not mean that there is not a problem. really there is, running your hard disk all the time will significantly shorten the lifespan of it, but if there is not proper ventilation then the hard disk could go out at any time.

mad jew
Sep 11, 2005, 06:03 PM
ah alright. well i have my ibook on a icurve so i think that gives it proper ventilation


But do you really need to use BitTorrent 24/7? I mean, is there really that much legal stuff for you to download?

For the sake of your iBook, let it sleep when you do. :)

WillMak
Sep 11, 2005, 06:09 PM
I mean, is there really that much legal stuff for you to download?


uhh.... :D

WillMak
Sep 11, 2005, 06:38 PM
whats the average lifespan of an ibook harddrive anyways?

alex_ant
Sep 11, 2005, 07:42 PM
Letting your hard drive spin all the time is bad for it, but having it spin up and down all the time is even worse. The best thing for a hard drive is never to use it, but even that's not guaranteed. Just make regular backups and you'll be OK.

HiRez
Sep 11, 2005, 08:21 PM
It's also very bad for the display, if you're talking about running it with the cover open. This will seriously reduce its useful life by making brightness and color accuracy degrade faster. Make sure the backlight is turned off when you're not actively using it (IOW, not just a screensaver, which doesn't do much for LCDs anyway).

mad jew
Sep 11, 2005, 08:26 PM
Good point HiRez. Turn the brightness right down (as far as it goes) to preserve display life-span if you don't already. :)

Lazyhound
Sep 11, 2005, 09:06 PM
Or just tell it to put the display to sleep after fifteen minutes.

buryyourbrideau
Sep 11, 2005, 09:07 PM
Or just tell it to put the display to sleep after fifteen minutes.

i have mine set to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity

G5Unit
Sep 11, 2005, 09:07 PM
The longest I had my powermac running was probably a week. Is that bad without sleeping?

buryyourbrideau
Sep 11, 2005, 09:10 PM
The longest I had my powermac running was probably a week. Is that bad without sleeping?

i never sleep my ibook, i have the screensaver set to go on at 5 mins of inactivity and display sleeps at 10. i have it running all the time, but the hd is never running all the time as that point was hammered in this thread. its set to sleep.

Josh2022
Sep 11, 2005, 09:11 PM
The longest I had my powermac running was probably a week. Is that bad without sleeping?

My powermac uptime is 24 days... Go Figure. LOL

mad jew
Sep 11, 2005, 09:16 PM
My powermac uptime is 24 days... Go Figure. LOL


That's just the time between restarts though. Not letting your display nor your hard drive sleep for a week is not a good idea.

Erendiox
Sep 11, 2005, 09:17 PM
My 12 inch ibook stays on all the time. Granted, at night its either on with the screen off or sleeping, but it rarely gets restarted more than once every week or so. I don't think i've actually turned it off since I got it 2 months ago :eek: :D

And while a hard drive spinning 24/7 will indeed wear it out in a very bad way, having it spin up and down all the time is worse. I think someone allready mentioned that, but I second the notion. A HD consistently spinning and then resting for a period of time is a very healthy way to run your lappy.

Josh2022
Sep 11, 2005, 09:18 PM
I dont really see what the big deal is, i mean servers for example, there never turned off, and they dont blow often.

mad jew
Sep 11, 2005, 09:20 PM
I dont really see what the big deal is, i mean servers for example, there never turned off, and they dont blow often.


They don't generally run on 2.5 inch laptop hard drives. ;)

jtown
Sep 12, 2005, 01:27 PM
They don't generally run on 2.5 inch laptop hard drives. ;)

Actually, there are server-rated 2.5" hard drives coming out. They're intended for 1U rack servers and other applications where small physical size and low power requirements are important.

And I'm surprised by the posts that imply a quick and painful death is coming for a laptop drive that's left spinning 24/7. That just isn't true as long as the system has proper ventilation (sitting on a hard surface with the lid open and nothing covering the vents). It's a hard drive. It's meant to spin. It may reduce the overal lifespan a little bit over the long term but, I'm assuming anyone who leaves their computer on 24/7 is a bit of a computer junky. The drive (and probably the whole comuter) will be replaced long before it wears out from "overuse".

My ibook's been running pretty much non-stop for a year and a half. Probably closer to two years. The display shuts off after 15 minutes but the drive never stops spinning. Uptime us usually measured in months (real uptime, not sleeping for weeks at a time). Still works as well as the day I got it.

WillMak
Sep 12, 2005, 10:17 PM
my ibook has been running 24/7 nonstop without harddrive sleep for about a month now. How much of it's life span did i realistically killed? :eek:

jtown
Sep 12, 2005, 10:36 PM
my ibook has been running 24/7 nonstop without harddrive sleep for about a month now. How much of it's life span did i realistically killed? :eek:

The amount you've realistically killed is so small as to be unmeasurable. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!! You'll replace it long before it becomes an issue. If the drive dies before the warranty is up, it must have been defective from the start. There is no way a non-defective drive will fail if it spends a few years running 24/7 sitting on a desk. If you're really that concerned, get Applecare and you're covered for normal use for 3 years.

shadowmoses
Sep 13, 2005, 08:43 AM
I agree your HD will be fine don't worry about the fact it has been spinning 24/7 for a month...No harm done hard drives these days are tough and last dog's years if they are not defective from the start,

SHadOW

Dagless
Sep 13, 2005, 10:04 AM
oh dear. my PowerBook has pretty much been turned on since February. longest off period was... 2 days? nevermind :P getting one of those Mactels when they're out :D

wdlove
Sep 13, 2005, 10:19 AM
I have a iBook G3 500 MHz October 2001. It has been on 24/7 for over a year with no problems.

emotion
Sep 13, 2005, 10:35 AM
Interesting thread.

My powerbook (1.33GHz 12") has just had the drive fail (Toshiba 5400). I use the machine for audio so don't really use a lot of the powersaving fatures as much as I should (so I don't get interuption to audio streams) and the machine has been left on all day a lot of the time (always on hard surfaces and with good ventilation) and sometimes duing the night.

It was one of the models that makes rthe light-saber noise when you move it....which got a lot worse before the failure.

If you machine makes this noise then you might wannt to expect short lifespan on the drive.

DarkNetworks
Sep 13, 2005, 12:33 PM
But do you really need to use BitTorrent 24/7? I mean, is there really that much legal stuff for you to download?

For the sake of your iBook, let it sleep when you do. :)

I'm smelling some illegal torrents... :D

yg17
Sep 13, 2005, 12:39 PM
I have a iBook G3 500 MHz October 2001. It has been on 24/7 for over a year with no problems.

jesus, do you guys not actually take your laptop with you anywhere? :D

DarkNetworks
Sep 13, 2005, 06:27 PM
probally he just leaves it or uses it as a desktop...or he leaves it at his desk to download "legal" torrents...

WillMak
Sep 14, 2005, 12:13 AM
probally he just leaves it or uses it as a desktop...or he leaves it at his desk to download "legal" torrents...

Yes Yes my ibook is my desktop. I take it with me on the road occasionally. And yes all my torrents are legal (really they are!).

proverbs
Sep 14, 2005, 12:37 AM
so would it be better for the hard drive to turn my PB on and off 5 times a day, or should i just keep it in sleep mode?

my usual daily routine is to -turn on my PB in the morning and check my email, -turn it off, then go to school and -turn it back on for notes, -then turn it back off after class, then go to work and -turn it back on, -turn it off when i get off work, and then -turn it back on at home, and -then turn it off when i go to sleep.

i don't know why, but i have an eery feeling when i carry around my pb too long without turning it off.

mad jew
Sep 14, 2005, 12:39 AM
Don't bother shutting it down. Simply sleeping it is just fine. During sleep, your hard drive doesn't spin anyway, so it is effectively shut down. The only thing getting power during sleep is the RAM AFAIK. :)

proverbs
Sep 14, 2005, 12:43 AM
Don't bother shutting it down. Simply sleeping it is just fine. During sleep, your hard drive doesn't spin anyway, so it is effectively shut down. The only thing getting power during sleep is the RAM AFAIK. :)

ic. but is it bad for the HD if i always shut down and turn it back on?

mad jew
Sep 14, 2005, 12:45 AM
Nope. From the hard drive perspective it's irrelevant whether you make it start spinning after being shut down or asleep. It's the same thing. :)

proverbs
Sep 14, 2005, 12:45 AM
Nope. From the hard drive perspective it's irrelevant whether you make it start spinning after being shut down or asleep. It's the same thing. :)

Sweet! Thanks.

mad jew
Sep 14, 2005, 12:47 AM
No problem. :)

For simple ease-of-use though, I recommend sleeping rather than shutting down the Mac each time.

proverbs
Sep 14, 2005, 01:01 AM
No problem. :)

For simple ease-of-use though, I recommend sleeping rather than shutting down the Mac each time.

Got it :)

HiRez
Sep 14, 2005, 04:29 PM
The only times I actually use the Shut Down command is when I'm going away for several days or more and know I won't be using my machine (or when I see the occasional lightning storm, in which case I unplug everything too). That goes for both my PowerBook and my PowerMacs.

spellflower
Sep 15, 2005, 08:06 PM
So what's the verdict? My machine isn't doing much traveling, except from room to room. Should I turn it off at night and during the day while I'm at school, or just put it to sleep? If I sleep it on a hard surface, do I have to leave it open for ventilation? I'm concerned because today it got really hot while after sleeping all day on a pile of phone books and then wouldn't wake up. It's done this before when manually put to sleep, so I'm posting a question about that elsewhere, but I just want to be sure what the best modus operandi is for the future.

mad jew
Sep 15, 2005, 08:51 PM
Just let it sleep. It won't overheat while sleeping. It may have got a little warm if the battery was charging but generally the adaptor (little white box it plugs into) is the real source of heat. :)

tuqqer
Sep 16, 2005, 06:32 AM
I think we're asking the wrong question, and it's based on the question we needed to ask maybe 3 years ago.

Instead of worrying about how to make a drive last, I think the better question is: given the incalculable value of the contents of our drives, how often should we replace them?

Think about that. A replacement drive for a powerbook is something on the order of $100. If what's on your drive matters, that is nothing but chump change. Even a college student spends more than that on coffee.

While we can argue forever what makes a drive last, I think we're focused on the wrong area: regardless of what keeps a drive going, I upgrade to brand new clean and oily and perfectly running drives every 2 years, whether I've run the damn thing 24/7, or barely turned it on. That works out to about .14 per day.

mad jew
Sep 16, 2005, 06:38 AM
Buying a new hard drive is one thing, but installing it can double or sometimes, if you go to the wrong spot, triple the end cost. Rather than replacing hard drives every two years, irrespective of their capabilities, I recommend getting an external hard drive to keep a back up of your boot disk on. It'll be cheaper to buy. :)

Having said that, I don't personally have one since I use two Macs with pretty well synced data.

nomad01
Sep 16, 2005, 07:21 AM
My powerbook (1.33GHz 12") has just had the drive fail (Toshiba 5400).
<snip>
It was one of the models that makes rthe light-saber noise when you move it....which got a lot worse before the failure.


Light saber noise?? :-s Care to elaborate? I have a 12" 1.33 Powerbook too.

It's not on 24/7 very often though. Usually only iMovie/iDVD is processing stuff for ages.

On the flip side I have a Dell XP machine that's now just used as a server (mainly an audio server for an Audiotron) and that's switched on 24/7 with a very occasional reboot. No sleeptime.

I'm suddenly feeling the urge to run home and check my last backups. :eek:

Steve

Lacero
Sep 16, 2005, 07:27 AM
The longest I had my powermac running was probably a week. Is that bad without sleeping?
I've had mine on for 3 months continuous. You see, I was in a gaming room and I had room 1. I didn't want to lose room 1 because it was really hard to get, so I just left my computer on and I was able to hold onto the room for a very long time.

ibook30
Sep 16, 2005, 09:12 AM
my ibook has been running 24/7 nonstop without harddrive sleep for about a month now. How much of it's life span did i realistically killed? :eek:


Does your hard drive keep a mirror and a straw near by? It might need to go to rehab....

reberto
Sep 16, 2005, 09:34 AM
no worse than leaving a regular CPU