Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Hard drives -- on/off
Name: Wildman Jackson
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995


Question:
Is it better to leave computers with hard drives on all the time (if I were looking for maximum life of the hard drive/machine)? I have heard that is it, because the hard drive floats on a cushion of air when turned on, and when turned off settles into place. What is the theory behind hard drives?



Replies:
Basically there is a trade-off between how much you use the machine and the best way to make things last, which is to keep everything turned off and stuck in a box somewhere... As long as you are using the computer basically every day, it is probably better to leave it turned on. If you are going out of town for a week or two, you probably want to turn it off (this also reduces the likelihood of lightning damage, etc while you are gone). But there is really no hard data on what the best trade-off is... this is basically just hearsay from other computer operators. In other words, it does not make all that much difference either way, but there is always some chance of something going wrong.

A Smith


Click here to return to the Computer Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory