We monitor and manage all of our customer’s computers and our monitoring dashboard reveals all kinds of information about their general health. One of the key indicators is ‘Last Boot Time’ which tells us when the computer was last powered on after a shutdown. The record currently stands at 27 days since the last reboot. This means that every night the computer is being put into sleep mode and not being shut down. Is that a problem? Well before I answer that, I should explain the difference between the two:
- Sleep Mode – Sleep places your computer into a low power mode. All the key components have power cut to them and your desktop status including open files, application data, settings etc are stored in the RAM of the computer. This enables you to instantly carry on from where you left off when you next restart your computer. Sleep mode is great for laptops when you are moving between locations and don’t want to wait for your computer to start up again.
- Shutdown – This completely shutdowns your computer. When you select ‘Shutdown’ you are prompted to save your files and close any applications. Your computer then switches off. When you next switch it on and you have a fresh desktop with no applications or files open.
So sleep mode sounds pretty awesome as you can put your computer to sleep at the end of the day and then just pick up where you left off the next morning. However, it is not quite so simple. If you have a laptop and it runs out of battery whilst sleeping, then you will lose any unsaved changes to your work.
Another disadvantage of sleep mode is it does not give your computer a chance to apply any security updates. Many updates are installed and applied automatically, but require a full reboot to take effect. If you keep putting your computer to sleep and not rebooting on a regular basis then you may be vulnerable despite patches being applied.
Finally, it is good for a computer to be restarted on a regular basis. Despite modern operating systems such as Windows 10 and MacOSX being very good at managing the applications that run on them, you still need to restart your computer to clear out the cobwebs. The restart resets everything and gives you a clean slate to start from.
Coming back to that customer computer that hasn’t been rebooted for 27 days. Well we have contacted them and advised them to restart their computer as there are patches that our Patch Management service has installed, but require a reboot to apply. We have also advised them that although sleep mode is a great feature to use, they should get into the good practice of rebooting on a regular basis.
Our Managed Support and Monitoring Services provides your business with peace of mind that your computer systems are being maintained. If you require further information, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01767 360 006.