Does computer losing power cause damage?

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  1. Delly10's Avatar
    Posts : 256
    Windows 10
       #1

    Does computer losing power cause damage?


    In the old days if you turned off your computer's power with the power button, or unplugged it, or took out the laptop's battery, you'd get a "Windows did not shut down properly" message when you turned it back on. The implication seemed to be that what you did was improper. We never see that message anymore, but there is still a proper way to turn off your computer. I assume it's for good reason.

    I've had a few instances, including once today, where the power was disconnected by accident. I accidently bumped the switch on the power strip my laptop is connected to while it was in sleep mode.

    Anyway, does this do any harm at all? If not, why is there the Shutdown option in the start menu rather than just having people simply press the power button to turn the computer off?
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  2. Posts : 1,302
    X
       #2

    Power failures happen ... and no harm is done (except for any work you forgot to save).
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  3. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,796
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.985 (x64) [21H1]
       #3

    Delly10 said:
    In the old days if you turned off your computer's power with the power button, or unplugged it, or took out the laptop's battery, you'd get a "Windows did not shut down properly" message when you turned it back on. The implication seemed to be that what you did was improper. We never see that message anymore, but there is still a proper way to turn off your computer. I assume it's for good reason.

    I've had a few instances, including once today, where the power was disconnected by accident. I accidently bumped the switch on the power strip my laptop is connected to while it was in sleep mode.

    Anyway, does this do any harm at all? If not, why is there the Shutdown option in the start menu rather than just having people simply press the power button to turn the computer off?


    Occasionally, losing power like that (or for other reasons), confuses the BIOS.
    This will generate a message on the BIOS flash screen like: Hit F1 to enter setup.

    Then you could just enter the BIOS, not change anything, and hit F10 to save and exit, and all would be well.

    I can only assume this is to make the BIOS accessible IF... something in the BIOS did change, that would prevent boot, or possibly corrupt Windows.

    During say... overclocking attempts, most of us discover that one or two BIOS settings, out of whack, can easily corrupt Windows.



    SO... as others have mentioned... always shut down a computer, properly. Far less heartache ensues.
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  4. FreeBooter's Avatar
    Posts : 4,028
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #4

    Soft power shutdown option is the safest way to power down a computer this way all data worked on can be saved on a storage drive.

    If you hold down the power button that will force the computer to power off which is the same as you disconnecting the power source.

    You can use the Power Option applet to configure the power button to shut down your computer.
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,167
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Delly10 said:
    ... I accidently bumped the switch on the power strip my laptop is connected to while it was in sleep mode. ...
    If it was in sleep then it wouldn't have noticed, the battery was enough to sustain sleep. Only if you left it unplugged for enough days to drain the battery would it be an 'unexpected shutdown'.

    ...why is there the Shutdown option in the start menu rather than just having people simply press the power button to turn the computer off?

    Usually the default action if you press the power button on a laptop is to initiate a shutdown. Look at your Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Power Options > Choose what the power buttons do.

    Only by pressing and holding down the power button can you force a hard shutdown (an abrupt loss of power).
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  6. Delly10's Avatar
    Posts : 256
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Bree said:
    If it was in sleep then it wouldn't have noticed, the battery was enough to sustain sleep. Only if you left it unplugged for enough days to drain the battery would it be an 'unexpected shutdown'.
    In this case, I didn't have the battery installed.
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  7. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,796
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.985 (x64) [21H1]
       #7

    Delly10 said:
    In this case, I didn't have the battery installed.


    Accidental shutdowns don't harm the hardware... 99% of the time.
    But they can and do corrupt Windows and driver files occasionally. This is the main reason we have a proper shutdown method.

    As I said above... improper shutdowns can glitch the BIOS, which can it turn, corrupt files.
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  8. Delly10's Avatar
    Posts : 256
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Ghot said:
    Accidental shutdowns don't harm the hardware... 99% of the time.
    But they can and do corrupt Windows and driver files occasionally. This is the main reason we have a proper shutdown method.

    As I said above... improper shutdowns can glitch the BIOS, which can it turn, corrupt files.
    If that happened in this case, would shutting down and restarting (properly) restore whatever may have been corrupted?
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  9. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 9,796
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.985 (x64) [21H1]
       #9

    Delly10 said:
    If that happened in this case, would shutting down and restarting (properly) restore whatever may have been corrupted?

    Once Windows files are corrupted... they are corrupted. Things like sfc /scannow or DISM might help, but just a restart won't fix corrupted files.

    Keep in mind I'm not saying we get file corruption every time or even most of the time.
    I'm just trying to explain why we have "proper" shut down methods.

    File corruption, if it happens, can easily be fixed by restoring from a backup.
    This is the main reason, most of us use backup software. Namely Macrium Reflect.

    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free

    And... with Macrium's bootable rescue media, we can even access our backups when Windows won't boot.
      My Computer

  10. Delly10's Avatar
    Posts : 256
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Ghot said:
    Once Windows files are corrupted... they are corrupted. Things like sfc /scannow or DISM might help, but just a restart won't fix corrupted files.

    Keep in mind I'm not saying we get file corruption every time or even most of the time.
    I'm just trying to explain why we have "proper" shut down methods.

    File corruption, if it happens, can easily be fixed by restoring from a backup.
    This is the main reason, most of us use backup software. Namely Macrium Reflect.

    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free

    And... with Macrium's bootable rescue media, we can even access our backups when Windows won't boot.
    Thankfully I have Macrium and I backed up my hard drive to an external hard drive. I did that a little over a year ago in case something were to happen.
      My Computer


 
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