Help Desk
MSU-Northern students, faculty and staff - Use the ITS Help Desk as the first point of contact for your technology problems, questions & services!

Information Technology Services Help Desk
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  Power Cycling
A modest amount of turning equipment on and off will not harm the computer. The life of a monitor is related to the amount of time it is in use, not the number of start and stop cycles. Modern hard disks are also not affected by frequent shut downs. The equipment may actually last longer because mechanical wear and heat stress are reduced. When equipment powers down, it generates less heat, collects less dust, and reduces mechanical stress, promoting a longer and more reliable life for the computer and monitor.

Last Updated: 18-Jun-2009
Inside Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services: Energy Conservation

Personal computers represent one of the largest electrical loads on campus. Here are some tips to help save energy:

  • Turn off your computer at night, over weekends and when you are not using it for several hours. Turning your equipment on and off will not harm it.
  • After shutting down your computer, be sure to turn off all the associated devices (monitor, speakers, and any other devices) by turning off the surge protector so that all devices are off.
  • Wait until you are ready to use your computer before you turn it on.
  • Enable the Power Management feature for your monitor, and turn off your monitor when you are not using your computer for 15 minutes or longer. Enabling Power Management:
  • Try to plan your computer-related activities so you can do them all at once, keeping the computer off at other times.
  • Do not turn on the printer until you are ready to print. Printers consume energy even while they are idling.
  • Do not print out copies of documents and email unless necessary.
  • Review your document on the screen instead of printing a draft.

About Screen Savers... they don't save money. Often including complex images and graphics, screen savers generally do not save energy. Screen savers were originally developed to prevent the permanent etching of a pattern on older monochrome monitors. Screen savers would prevent this by either blanking out the screen entirely or by displaying a constantly moving image. Modern display screens do not suffer so much from this problem so screen savers are mostly used for entertainment. Enable the Power Management feature for your monitor: Windows 2000/XP, Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X.

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 Energy Star web site 

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Energy Tips
If you are leaving your office for several hours, please shut down your computer. It only takes a few minutes to start up again. If you are leaving your office for more than an hour and cannot adjust to shutting down your computer, please turn off the monitor by pressing its power button.

Never leave your computer on overnight! It is not good for the environment, the computer, or the server you have probably left yourself logged into.

If you are sitting in your office when the monitor goes to sleep, please leave it sleeping if you are not actively using your computer. It does not take long for the screen to come back to life when you touch the mouse or a key on the keyboard.

If no one in your area will be using a printer for more than a couple of hours, and always at the end of the day, turn off the printer. Hewlett-Packard, the manufacturer of almost all Northern printers, recommends printers be turned off when not used for more than a few hours. Turning off printers not only saves energy, but also increases the life of the printer by reducing wear on moving parts.
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