Leaving a Computer Running ?

Anthony Atkielski atkielski.anthony at wanadoo.fr
Sun Feb 6 02:59:47 PST 2005

Kenneth Jennings writes:

KJ> Ah. I bet there are more than a few people here who can repeat a
KJ> horror story about what happened when a long running server was shut
KJ> down.

Yes, I'm one of them.  Many people believe that if a fan or disk drive
is showing signs of impending failure, it should be left running
continuously, as continuous running is much less stressful than a
stop/start cycle, and the stress of stopping and starting the drive
might be more than it can take, whereas the lower stress of just running
might still be within its tolerance.

Of course, you have to replace the drive or fan eventually, but
sometimes that cannot be done instantly.

KJ> I remember several years ago we had a HP server at work that had
KJ> been running nonstop for about three years. One day, due to a major
KJ> electrical upgrade in the computer room, the sysadmin had to cold
KJ> start it. Three hard drives would not come back up. Everyone except
KJ> the sysadmins had a four-day weekend.

I have a crusty old server here that has drives that occasionally make
noise.  I'm afraid to turn it off.  They don't make the kind of drives
it uses anymore.  I'd like to move legacy stuff off the machine and
install another FreeBSD, but the floppy drive stopped working as well
and the machine refuses to boot directly from CD, even though it's
equipped to do so.

KJ> I have a file server in the house that runs continuously. It sits on
KJ> an UPS. Everything else is shut down at night.

My FreeBSD server runs continuously because it has to: it holds my Web
site, my e-mail server, my DNS server, my NTP server, etc.  The other
machines run continuously because it's more convenient and because I
worry about machines not coming back up again if I power-cycle them.

Fortunately, I built this latest FreeBSD server myself from quality
components and hopefully it has many years of reliable 24/7 service
ahead of it.  Budget constraints forced me to buy a cheapo predecessor
and it failed abruptly when the CPU fan gave out.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list