How long can you leave a computer unplugged?


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Hey, I am going away for a week and i was thinking of unplugging my computer from the electrical socket while i was gone incase we get a thunder storm and it hits our house or the like. But i heard that if li leave it unplugged i may lose all my information and such and would have to start over, is this true?

How long can you leave a computer unplugged from the wall before it starts effecting the computer it self?

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Hey, I am going away for a week and i was thinking of unplugging my computer from the electrical socket while i was gone incase we get a thunder storm and it hits our house or the like. But i heard that if li leave it unplugged i may lose all my information and such and would have to start over, is this true?

How long can you leave a computer unplugged from the wall before it starts effecting the computer it self?

None of true because it has no power to it . now it can happen if someone breaks in to your home and turns it on and destroys all you Data

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The only thing you risk losing is the settings in your BIOS. There is a coin battery on the motherboard that retains these settings when the computer is unplugged. If the battery runs out while the computer is unplugged then the BIOS settings will revert to defaults. No big deal really, unless your PC is more that 10 years old.

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Hard drives are what store your data. All other computer components are just tools. So you only have to worry about your hard drive.

The way they store data is not affected by the loss of power, it will not be lost. So no worries there.

Your BIOS information is stored on flash memory inside your computer. This is maintained by a small battery backup. This can last a few months I believe. But any longer and yes it may be lost. HOWEVER, this is not a big deal - go back into your BIOS when you power on and it will reload defaults - which serve 99% of the world.

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I believe that the battery on the motherboard can last for several years without being charged. It charges itself whenever your computer is on, so at worst you'd go back to default BIOS settings (which you probably have anyway) and the battery would recharge itself when you to turn the machine back on.

It's possible that the battery would just die, that could happen anytime, and then you'd probably end up with default BIOS settings everytime you killed the power and restarted. You'd probably just need a new one and it would be fine.

You'd only have to worry if it was a laptop, leaving it unplugged excessively will shorten the battery life.

.....

Where did you get that from? I don't know whether you mean leaving the laptop in a cupboard for 6 months with no use, or using it how it's designed to be used..but either way, that is very unlikely, especially with the usual Lithium Ion ones.

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we had this old server sitting in the store room at work. We know it was atleast 10-12 years old by the amount of dust it collected plus it looks. When i tried it on, everything still worked however it ran very very slow because the early pentium1 processors and only a 32mb of ram :o

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You'd only have to worry if it was a laptop, leaving it unplugged excessively will shorten the battery life.

Apart from that, it wont matter, desktop or laptop :)

routinely unplugging your laptop will extend the battery life if anything. Leaving your laptop perennially plugged in and only unplugging it for short periods at a time will have a very noticeable (negative) effect on its battery life.

Edit: I seem to have forgotten how to spell perennially...(!)

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routinely unplugging your laptop will extend the battery life if anything. Leaving your laptop perennially plugged in and only unplugging it for short periods at a time will have a very noticeable (negative) effect on its battery life.

Edit: I seem to have forgotten how to spell perennially...(!)

Not true either, unless you still have a nickel cadmium battery. Nickel metal hydride and lithium ion batteries don't suffer from the "memory affect" that they had.

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I believe that the battery on the motherboard can last for several years without being charged. It charges itself whenever your computer is on, so at worst you'd go back to default BIOS settings (which you probably have anyway) and the battery would recharge itself when you to turn the machine back on.

It's possible that the battery would just die, that could happen anytime, and then you'd probably end up with default BIOS settings everytime you killed the power and restarted. You'd probably just need a new one and it would be fine.

Where did you get that from? I don't know whether you mean leaving the laptop in a cupboard for 6 months with no use, or using it how it's designed to be used..but either way, that is very unlikely, especially with the usual Lithium Ion ones.

I don't think this is correct. It is just like a watch battery and therefore not rechargeable.

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I thought it was just a well known thing that they are rechargeable... I'd heard it from several reliable people.

Anyway, from Googling, I think we're both right...

Most laptop bios & resume batteries come in a very few versions

* Non rechargeable Lithium coin cells often start with the code CR BR or DL followed by the size CR1216 is 12mm in diameter and 1.6mm thick

* Rechargeable Lithium coin cells often start with the code VL or ML followed by the size VL1216 is 12mm in diameter and 1.6mm thick

You cannot exchange rechargeable for chargeable, or visa versa, but you can substitute the version of one non rechargeable for another non rechargeable

Source

and..

Rechargeable CMOS/BIOS batteries

Some new CMOS batteries are rechargeable and therefore shouldn't need to be replaced. The motherboard's manual would specify that the battery is rechargeable if it is. The battery is charged while the computer is running. So, if the computer hasn't been used for a while, and the system loads with the BIOS defaults settings, it would be because the CMOS battery has run down. Keeping the system running for a while should recharge it and allow you to customise the settings so that they remain every time the computer boots.

Source 2!

(Those links may also be helpful to the OP).

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I thought it was just a well known thing that they are rechargeable... I'd heard it from several reliable people.

Anyway, from Googling, I think we're both right...

Source

and..

Source 2!

(Those links may also be helpful to the OP).

I have never heard of a re-chargeable CMOS battery, and never encountered one. It's a new one on me, but then what do I know, I ain't an MVC.

Sorry, had to do it, :laugh: , no offense intended.

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I don't think my encylopedia like hardware knowledge got this badge..

I think you meant "encyclopedic like hardware knowledge". ;)

Anyway, back on topic, you won't lose any data unless some data mining company comes by while your away and drops a shaft down to your drive.

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I think you meant "encyclopedic like hardware knowledge". ;)

.....

I know what I meant to say ;)

(if you must know my words were chosen because I couldn't be bothered to check spellings for "encyclopedic")

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Just using the logic that a pc probably sits in a box for well over two weeks from manufacturing to shipping, to warehouse, to shipping, to receiving, to the shelf, your cart, to your home

should have answered your question.

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There won't be anything wrong with the computer if there is no power except the BIOs battery will die over a few years of retaining the settings. It is no really big deal since the bios will revert to default and you can buy a new battery and reset all the settings to your liking. Computer problems are always happens when it is on. With power off it just sit there waiting for you to hit the power back on. All your data will be intact when you come back.

I didn't use my computer for 3 weeks (since I was in hospital). When I came back to the computer, my sister jokely said "Your computer must have forgotten you". Unfortunately, she was wrong. The computer was left the same way it was when I left it.

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The only thing you risk losing is the settings in your BIOS. There is a coin battery on the motherboard that retains these settings when the computer is unplugged. If the battery runs out while the computer is unplugged then the BIOS settings will revert to defaults. No big deal really, unless your PC is more that 10 years old.

not much big deal there either. i had an old windows 3x.. ibm 265 laptop that up upped to windows 95. and i didnt use it for 3 years. and it still booted up without a bsod

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Nothing to fear. I recently booted up a 386 DX machine that had seen its days in 1988-1993 and it actually booted into Windows's. All data intact! Impressive.

Have a fun trip and dont worry about such an issue.

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