Basic laptop operation questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Stan, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Lots of experience with laptops/notebook computers, but just a few things I've always gotten conflicting answers about.
    Just got a new HP Pavilion laptop for myself and want it to last as long as possible.
    I've always been under the impression it's good to completely drain the battery to let it reset/recalibrate occasionally which I've read will help the battery last longer and keep running longer between charges. Along with the obvious like don't knock the machine around while it's running, not block the ventilation to prevent overheating, etc.
    But I've never known if it's better to shutdown and reboot the machine 7-8 times a day when you need it (I'm going to school so not sitting in a cube where it needs to be on all the time), or is it better to let it go into sleep/hibernate mode, even overnight and just keep it semi-powered up?
    Does the hard drive wear out faster if you are powering off then rebooting or is the hibernate mode better for it?
    If I'm not going to use it for a day or two, is it best to keep it plugged into the power supply or unplug it once fully charged?
    Very minor questions, just things I've been curious about for a while.
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Hibernating versus powering makes no difference to the hard drive. They both spin the drive down and off, then back on.
    Don't bother shutting down during the day. Just close the lid and let it go to sleep. That's what it is designed to do. Theoretically, you can wait for confirmation that the drive has stopped spinning, but people generally don't bother.
    Leaving it plugged in while full for a day or two should not have an appreciable bad effect. What you want to avoid is having it plugged in for weeks; you want to exercise the battery.
    Running it all the way down to recalibrate is not worth it, unless you find yourself watching the battery meter and expecting to get at least the amount of time it says you have left. The only way to find out that's wrong is if it then runs out anyway, and then you've now brought it all the way to zero. If you want to do this as a preventative measure, you could do it maybe once a month.
    If you're going to leave the machine unused for a while, it's better to turn the machine off with the battery somewhere in the middle; neither full nor empty.
     
  3. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Thanks for the response Ken. I like the advice about letting it hibernate and run as designed. Even though it reboots and it can be up and running in about 30-40 seconds, it's definitely much quicker to bring it out of hibernation mode.
     

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