Advised not to power off at wall

Discussion in 'iMac' started by syhr, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. syhr macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    I've been having a problem since I bought my first iMac a few days ago with the screen going black a couple of seconds after turning it on, meaning I have to switch it off and back on again to get it to boot properly. I phoned apple and they went through telling me to unplug the power cable and hold the power button for ten seconds, and then starting it holding four of the keys down, but they also said that I shouldn't switch the power off at the wall every night as apparently this can cause problems. I was just wondering if anyone else has been given this advice and whether it's true or not. It seems a bit silly that I can't unplug my iMac without apparently causing problems.
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    If you first shut it down, you can then unplug it. You can't just interrupt the power on any computer - it is not a lamp. If you treat it like a lamp, you will burn it out - just like a light bulb.
  3. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    That's a remarkably insightful statement. I approve of this metaphor.
  4. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    I approve of your approval of this metaphor! :D

    And OP, why do you need to physically unplug your iMac every night? Or is it connected to a wall outlet that is controlled by a switch that you turn off? Either way, doesn't seem like a necessary step.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Seems that you've damaged something.

    Run disk utility, verify disk
  6. syhr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    I know that you can't just turn a computer off at the plug, I do shut it down properly.

    I always turned off my computer at the wall (it's got a switch on the socket!) because I've got other things plugged into the same one and I wanted to turn them all off at one go, it's easier than going round switching everything off. It's not really a major problem not to turn it off, I was just thinking it's a bit stupid not to be able to unplug something without causing issues even when it's been shut down correctly
  7. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Sorry, I guess I jumped to a conclusion based on the advice you were given.

    As long as you have properly shut the system down, I don't see why this would be a problem, assuming that there are no problems with your wiring.

    Here are some thoughts on electricity:
    1) if the switch is a dimmer it may not be providing full voltage
    2) if your Mac is set to power back on after a power outage, it may be trying to start-up early (I don't think it should do this after a shutdown though)
    3) All components draw more power at start-up than during operation. All of your devices trying to power up at once may be causing a brown out on that circuit. This is especially true of printers.
    4) Most switched receptacles are set up so that the top outlet is switched while the bottom outlet is always-on. Plug the computer into the non-switched outlet.

    Personally, I use UPS for all for my electronics. This is as much because I am worried about dips in power on my 40 year old wiring as I am about lightning strikes or power outages.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "....but they also said that I shouldn't switch the power off at the wall every night as apparently this can cause problems."

    I've had my desktop Macs connected to the wall outlets via power strips since I began Mac'ing in 1987. I shut them down and power-off the power strips EVERY night, and have NEVER had any "problems" that might be related to such a thing.

    I can see where pulling the plug while the Mac was still _on_ could cause problems, of course.

    But not when you fully power-down before disconnecting from the "wall power".

    I'm a firm believer that regularly turning off the Mac OS, and then rebooting, takes care of numerous problems. I love the smell of a "fresh boot" in the morning!
  9. Prekesh macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2009
    I've had a lot of kernel panics since I bought mine on the 11th of May, annoying. Apple told me to do the same thing they told you to do, but I still got random panics. So they're sending me a new one now. :/
  10. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    No. It's a bit stupid to think that you could unplug something at the wall without properly shutting it down first. Take precautions if you want your iMac to last. If you don't want it to last, do whatever you want with it.
  11. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2006

    Read above the sentence you quoted. He did shut it down properly.

  12. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
  13. syhr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thanks for those replies that weren't assuming I'm an idiot :) Although it does seem that I may have a problem with my iMac. I'll admit that since I've been leaving the wall power on constantly I haven't had any issues, but I would rather be able to turn everything off at night (after a proper shut down of course). I know alot of you don't see the point in this but I think it's because from experience American wall sockets don't tend to have switches most of the time, whereas in the UK pretty much every one does, which is why I'm in the habit of switching things off.

    I'll just have to see if I get any more problems in the next few days.
  14. bpeeps macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2011
    We have switches, but we plug lights and lamps into them.
  15. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    You have a brand new imac. Don't live with the problem, make Apple fix it.
  16. Saphire macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
    Please don't laugh but how do you shut down the imac, I only bought my imac tonight and just realised I can't see a shutdown button on the taskbar. I don't want to press the button on the back to switch off as that seems wrong.

    PS. ignore the last request I have just found it under the apple logo to left of screen:eek::eek:
  17. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    How old is the wiring in your house? Most houses older than about 15 years seem to be a bit dodgie here in the UK :p
  18. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    where did you find a house thats only 15 years old in the UK :eek:
    my optimistic guess : most houses in the UK have still the wiring from 100 years ago

    but back to subject , i dont think its a good idea to even shut down a Mac as shutting down and booting are the most stressful thing you can do to your Mac
  19. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    My two cents (pence if you prefer): I might be missing something here, but I suggest getting a surge protector with an on/off switch. I have a Belkin that has 8 outlets - I properly shut everything down and then turn off power the the surge protector. I presume the quality of the electrical components in a surge protector are better than that of a wall outlet (for which I presume it is possible to accidentally flutter the power on and off - a disaster in the making for a computer if there ever was one - if the switch is in an intermediate position).
  20. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    What else is tapped into that same circuit you've got your computer plugged into? If you've got anything with a motor or large coil inside - lame example - a desk fan is also plugged in - when powering that off, those can cause an inductive ring or kick. It's a brief spike of voltage that happens when some electronic components (coils, motors, transformers, ect...) produce at the second you de-energize them. That can wreak havoc on switching power supplies (much like ones used in your computer). A really bad wiring job, or failing switch may also be contributing to this. Try a dedicated switch or power strip to your computer, something with a surge protector - that may help things.

    While I'm all for saving energy, and minimizing waste - I tend not to unplug a computer (or similar device) unless it's not going to be used for a long time. Each time you plug in a power supply that's been off - it takes a larger inrush current to charge up your caps, ect. That can actually cause quite the beating on some of those. I understand that people have gotten away with this for a while - and on well designed supplies it's never a problem - but Apple (like anyone out to make $) likely does not opt for the highest-feature designs, especially on equipment that the consumer will never see.

Share This Page