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02-10-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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simple question about computer in sleep mode

Have always turned off and unpluuged computer when not using it. Considering leaving it in sleep mode. If the power goes off while I am at work what happens to a computer left in sleep mode - anything?

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02-10-2010, 07:51 PM   #2
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It depends. Sometimes it can blow the power supply. Other times it just shuts the computer off, if you have that option set in the BIOS. What I mean is a setting you can put into use that allows the computer to shut down if a power failure happens. Some computers have this setting setup to return to original state. As in on again. I prefer the off option.

I've always turned mine off, not only for safety sake but for peace of mind, too. Knowing when I come home it will start up again. Another thing to keep in mind, if away at work all day, pull any phone or cables. Lightning hurts when it kills your computer.

My other hobby; building and repairing computers.
02-10-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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You might want to use a UPS. No. Not the shipping company. Uninterruptible Power Supply aka battery backup. Use it at all my computer stations. But I also never leave a computer on if I am not using it.
02-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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I have a ups, but it will only be handy to give me time to save my work if the power goes out.

I don't worry too much about lightening tho.

But at work I always left my computer on (lap top) it would go into sleep automatically. Our IT guys say that you will have less issues if its on all the time. BUT every once in a while its good to shut it off, and clear the memories. It seem to speed it up after.

BUT the long and short of it...whether its lightening, HD crash, whatever the many things that CAN and do happen..its the backups that save yer ass...yes backups. Right now...I have the whole computer backed up on a portable HD they are cheep...and I back up my accounting stuff also on a thumb drive.

When i go on vac the HD does in the safe (fire safe)...I've lost data once and man is THAT painful...

02-10-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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Littlejohn nailed it, backups are a must. I've built every computer I've had since '96 and never worried about shutting one off, they usually stay on for days at a time.
I invest in high quality surge protectors since public power is never perfect and don't worry about it. I've never had an issue due to a power failure.

That being said I do tend to unplug everything when I leave on vacation and during lightning storms. Better safe than sorry.
02-11-2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Littlejohn Quote
I have a ups, but it will only be handy to give me time to save my work if the power goes out.

I don't worry too much about lightening tho.

But at work I always left my computer on (lap top) it would go into sleep automatically. Our IT guys say that you will have less issues if its on all the time. BUT every once in a while its good to shut it off, and clear the memories. It seem to speed it up after.

BUT the long and short of it...whether its lightening, HD crash, whatever the many things that CAN and do happen..its the backups that save yer ass...yes backups. Right now...I have the whole computer backed up on a portable HD they are cheep...and I back up my accounting stuff also on a thumb drive.

When i go on vac the HD does in the safe (fire safe)...I've lost data once and man is THAT painful...
I never leave any of my systems on. I also never have issues with it. Thing is a few programs just refuse to let go of confiscated RAM and won't until a shutdown. Photoshop was notorious for it. Plus it's a lot harder to get hacked if it's off.

What's a backup?
02-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Not sure how you meant the question, but there is more than one type of "sleep mode". Sometimes, the computer is still depending on power to keep RAW active so that when it wakes up, everything is as you left it. Meaning if power fails, it's just as if it failed while using the computer. But there is a deeper sleep mode (sometimes called "hibernate" in which all RAM is saved to the disk and power is then shut off to the computer. Losing power in this state doens't hurt anything - when the computer wakes up, it restores RAW from disk, and all is as you left it.
02-12-2010, 12:45 AM   #8
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In PC-land, you have sleep and hibernate, and as Marc explained correctly - a power failure while in sleep mode will indeed result in whatever you had opened and unsaved to be lost.

When you power back up you will get a notification that Windows wasn't shut down properly and ultimately you could end up with some corrupted files.

Just want to point out that in some computers, the hibernation function isn't very stable at all. Some computers are known to have issues going into hibernation mode, hanging up on shut down or never waking up properly.

Considering how much faster PCs are today, it's really not worth using either mode. A shutdown is always much safer anyway.

02-12-2010, 06:25 AM   #9
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I'll stick my oar in here. I use Macs, if that makes a difference. I always shut down and unplug my laptop when not in residence, and shut down the desktop as well. Better safe than sorry, I feel. The desktop is plugged into a UPS, which has saved its bacon on several occasions. A UPS is really worth the money.

Shutting down (or restarting occasionally after a heavy work session) helps reset and refresh the operating system, as I understand it -- at least that's what I've read in Mac publications over the year. I find that there's no penalty to shutting down when I'm away.
02-12-2010, 10:23 PM   #10
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Marc is right - HIBERNATE is always restorable, while SLEEP is only good as long as power is on. IMHO a laptop without HIBERNATE is f**king useless, especially for traveling, because it'll flake out before the next time it's plugged in. (I hate my HP Vista machine for just that reason, and because it's Vista.) At home, everything plugs into a UPS but when the lines come down, I still have to shut off the non-hibernating machines. My Toshiba and Sony Vaio laptops all hibernate, and will hibernate automatically if external power fails, and I love them. Screw HP.
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