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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Why is rebooting bad for the computer? How does it affect performance?


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Strider

 
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I start-up at the beginning of the day and shut-down at the end of the day. This happens daily. I reboot maybe 2 or 3 times daily to get more RAM and stuff, and to improve performance. Is this the wrong way to look at things?

I can definately leave it on my desk on stand-by, but does this have any advantage over shutting it down? How bad is it to keep rebooting the computer? Any input appreciated. Thanks
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lzasitko
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I very seldom turn mine off only when I am packing it to go somewhere and even then sometimes I just let it sleep. So far no problems. My wifes iMac is never off and only reboots if we udates a file that needs a reboot or the power kicks off, other then that it sleeps.

Don't think there is much that can go wrong except you will wear out the power switch

Not sure why you are rebooting to get more memory. I have 768 meg of ram and have never had a problem with it running low or anything so not sure why you feel the need. Are you running a program that moitors the system? I use iPulse and it gives a lot of information on the system and what is tieing up memory and page swapping etc. I have not had any problems on the Mac only on a PC desktop with Windoze
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witeshark

 
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Certainly for desktops sleep is best. Rebooting shouldn't recover RAM that can't be reallocated through normal app switching and results in a bit more drive use reloading RAM and such, and save little if any power over sleep. Mine is never off
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TylerMoney
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I hardly ever shut mine down...I did like you at first..but decided there was no reason....I have had my computer up and running for almost six days now...w/o rebooting....I just sleep it when I'm not using it...I also sometimes take out the battery if I'm going to be plugged in for a long period of time...I just started doing that though...don't know how necessary that is...and it's actually quite a pain...and I'd rather not do it...but it sounds like it might be a good way to prolong my battery life...anyone have opinions on this?
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Sita
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If anything you're actually slowing down your machine by rebooting it so often. The reason is that the OS caches frequently used files throughout the day, to speed up the computer. Each time you reboot, those files get flushed out of memory and it has to read them back from the hard drive again.

So while you're not hurting your computer, there's no reason at all to reboot it. Just let it sleep when not in use and that prevents excessive wear and tear of the screen, fans, hard drive, etc etc. The only time I reboot is when I install an update.

Lastly, by turning it off at night, the crons (automatic maintainence scripts) never get the chance to run, and thus your system doesn't maintain itself.
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Absolute Zero

 
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I have to shut down or my hard drive will start to fail.
Not like it never does that when its on...
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TheDesignShop
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I don't have my Powerbook yet, (this week!!). As for my G5 1.8, I don't shut it down. I turn on my itunes, have a guitar amp plugged in, crank up the music and turn on my visualizer and let it ride!

I bought the input for a guitar and use it also for output directly to my amp, pretty cool!
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dtx3000
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i used to reboot to get more ram; but it does have no effect really - it's important to know that "inactive ram" in system monitor is basically no different than free ram. my imac sleeps a lot, though.
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TheDesignShop
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Since I'm new to OSX, I'm thinking it's probably not different than any other of the Apple OS's in regard to the way it handles RAM.

If you had open applications, even closing them does not reset the RAM unless you close all of your applications. Once you close everyone, then it frees up the RAM and once you start a new program, you should be OK. Like I said, that is my experience up to OSX. I've only been using it since November, so I'm not entirely familiar with the interworkings.
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Osiris22x

 
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No, that's incorrect.

When you close an application, the RAM is returned to the "inactive" state which is essentially the same as "Free" RAM. Closing all applications does nothing. OS X always gives back memory once apps are done with it, it's just that sometimes it goes into "inactive memory" instead of "free memory" and thus people think they need to use these "memory freeing" programs that actually slow them down, or they feel the need to reboot every five minutes.


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Originally Posted by TheDesignShop
Since I'm new to OSX, I'm thinking it's probably not different than any other of the Apple OS's in regard to the way it handles RAM.

If you had open applications, even closing them does not reset the RAM unless you close all of your applications. Once you close everyone, then it frees up the RAM and once you start a new program, you should be OK. Like I said, that is my experience up to OSX. I've only been using it since November, so I'm not entirely familiar with the interworkings.
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