Unplug Computers at Rollover???

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Today I received an internal memo stating that ALL computerized equipment should be physically unplugged on December 30, and would be plugged back in on January 3 (assuming any power problems are solved).

My question: Is it really necessary to UNPLUG devices, or is it sufficient to simply turn them off?? What about device "protected" by surge suppressors or UPS systems??


-- No Polly (nopolly@hotmail.com), December 15, 1999


I've heard several sources, including IBM, saying to UNplug.

-- Dan G (thepcguru@hotmail.com), December 15, 1999.

1) Turning them off should protect them from "Dirty" electricity.

2) I would not trust surge suppressors as your "Dirty" electricity may consist of low voltage and surge suppressors would not protect you.

3) UPS systems "should" protect you. I use them and will use them on that "special" night and further out into the future.....

-- Vernon Hale (create@premiernet.net), December 15, 1999.

Yes, unplug ALL computerized equipment. Most modern computerized equipment is still somewhat on even when off. The only true way to turn them off is to unplug the device.

Surge suppressors are fine for minor spikes in the line but a lightning strike even a mile away could arc accross the protective electronics of the finest surge suppressor and destroy valuable equipment.

UPS systems are also a good idea but if you are not able to intervene in short order to gracefully shut-down the equipment you better have one big honkin UPS. Software is available to control the process but this solution is still very short term and getting expensive. Dips in the voltage are very harmful to electronic equipment as well. I found out the hard way what a stupid idea it is to plug the vacuum cleaner into the same outlet as the computer system. The vacuum cleaner draws way too many amperes. That was a fun night of rebuilding the system. Luckly it was only a Win95 box and I only lost a few documents.


-- zapmaster (noway@notachanceinheck.com), December 15, 1999.

By the way, even a top of the range UPS isn't totally safe from the induction effects of huge spikes. And if the input from the grid goes off, and you're running off of their stored power, you'd better unplug anyway because they start to get dirty in the last few seconds before they finally shut down.


-- Servant (public_service@yahoo.com), December 16, 1999.

Y'know, if everyone unplugs, the resultant drop in demand will instantly cause massive outages.

Damned if ya do, damned if ya don't.

-- Always glad (to@help.out), December 16, 1999.

what about the real-time clock? will this need to be reset if you unplug it or does it have an internal battery?

-- non-tech-head (i@dont.know), December 16, 1999.

If I unplug our computers, will I need to back-up my files, please?

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), December 16, 1999.

A couple of points: yes, you should unplug all computerized stuff. Not only PC's, but VCR's and newer televisions, too. Just about anything that has a memory (like TV's active channels).

You will have to reset the date/time/other stuff on your televisions and VCR's once the juice is on and stable. Takes me all of ten minutes at each device, I'd say that's worth it.

Your PC does have a battery backup for its real time clock. Your files will be fine stored on the hard drive or diskettes no matter how long the machine is without power.

Once the PC is turned back on, check the date and time. You may have to reset the date if it reads something strange.

-- Gary S. (garys_2k@yahoo.com), December 16, 1999.

I'm unplugging everything in both my labs at work and in my house. Wouldn't want one them "exploding microwave ovens".

-- Dave (aaa@aaa.com), December 16, 1999.

Switching off at the wall socket will make sure equipment is switched off, regardless of whether switching off the device itself really switches it off or merely "puts it to sleep" (a possibilty with some equipment). Unplugging is excessive, unless you're wanting to isolate yourself from lightning strikes on the power lines.

-- Hjiufw (hdfqo@jkfopw.nfiwo), December 16, 1999.

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