Does it matter if you turn off the power strip to your computer?

In the matter of saving electricity, I have a friend whom says you have to leave the pore strip on to your computer.  Will this wear the battery down and is it "harmful" to the computer? thanks

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Your PC's PSU will continue to draw a very small amount of power even when the PC is turned off. More if you have USB devices plugged in and it allows power to the USB ports while the system is off. So turning off the power strip will help to reduce your power bill.

There is a battery on your motherboard that keeps the internal clock on the motherboard running when there is no power to the system. The battery will last for at least 4 years of constant use before needing to be replaced. So you don't need to worry about it dieing on you and causing problems because you shut off the power to the PSU.

Some people believe turning the system on and off all the time will wear down the PSU. They believe its better to just leave the PC on 24/7. I've never seen any data to back this up. But there is no harm done unplugging your PC or cutting the power at the power strip.
Actually, that CMOS battery is always being used, whether or not the computer is plugged in. I can't tell you how many times family members that always leave their computers plugged in calls me to look at an old computer that is giving BIOS errors during POST, I get there, and ask them if they changed the batteries. They always look at me like I grew horns on my head, but sure enough, it fixes it! :)
It is not always used. If you look at a motherboard's schematic, both Vbat and Vstandby are routed to the CMOS RAM/RTC. Vstandby is a higher voltage and will power the CMOS RAM/RTC when the power supply is plugged in. When the power supply is unplugged, Vbat powers the CMOS RAM/RTC.

It's not a big deal if the coin cell lasts 4 years rather than 8 years if you know how to replace it yourself, and you know what all the possible symptoms are (they go beyond the loss of date/time or CMOS setup information). But for the non-technical user, a flat coin cell will probably end up costing them a considerable amount of money in diagnosis, repair, or computer replacement.

The bottom line is to NOT disconnect the power supply from the AC line. There'[s no reason to do so.
harrydevlin4 years ago
Starting with the ATX power supplies, the supply provides +5V standby to the motherboard, even when the system is turned off, as long as the system is plugged in.

One place that the +5V standby is routed is to the CMOS RAM and RTC. When the power supply is plugged in the +5V standby powers the CMOS RAM and RTC. When the system is unplugged, or there is a power failure, the 2032 coin cell powers the CMOS RAM and RTC.

The 2032 coin cell will last much longer if the system is left plugged in when it's off. It's not a big deal for those that know how to change the battery themselves, those 2032 coin cells cost less than $1, but for many people the failure of the battery will actually end up costing them a considerable amount of money for diagnosis and repair, along with plenty of intentional and unintentional misdiagnosis, And of course many users will just buy a new computer rather than spend any money on diagnosis and repair with the excuse, "well it's old."

Also, the failure of the battery can have symptoms that go well beyond the loss of date and time. Corrupted CMOS RAM can prevent the system from booting at all, leading some users to believe that the motherboard or power supply is defective.
iceng5 years ago
Not At All.

For over 20 years. 
I also use a drop-out relay to take the computers off-line
at the first momentary of any many interruptions that occur
for a variety of reasons.

randomray5 years ago
Turning off your power strip will save a little power and will not hurt your computer . IMPORTANT ! IMPORTANT ! IMPORTANT ! Make sure that it is a good quality power strip/ surge protector .We had a lightning strike in our area , not even close to us that made a substation surge so bad that it started fires in some peoples houses in a wide area . It tripped all the breakers in our house and burnt out our TV cable and various things in our house . We had to replace our surge protector's but our computer's were fine . We use good quality surge protectors . I know people who use two protectors in tandem . " Plug one into the outlet and plug another into that one and then plug their computer into the second one . " Your safest bet is to unplug from your power outlet and turn off your access to the web " so nobody hacks in either ". Just a little more info and first hand experience . " mpilchfamily " gives a great explanation .
Ninzerbean5 years ago
I'm not answering your question, I'm just suggesting that you always have your computer plugged into a surge protector (if is it plugged in), unless you don't have anything important on it that you don't mind losing. I learned that the easy way - from my neighbor's fried computer after a lightning strike.
bwrussell5 years ago
What battery? Are you talking about a laptop? I very much doubt leaving a laptop plugged in damages the battery but it does use a little power even if the computer is off. Turing off the power strip will save you a little energy but you can save a little more by unplugging the power strip entirely.