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Is it ok to leave a computer in a freezing cold room?


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#1 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:55 AM

I have have had some music equipment setup permanently in my outdoor garage for years now, I go in there to hang out and do whatever every saturday and would mainly play music from my laptop which I take with me. Since there is absolutely no damage to my music electronics in there over the years [knock on wood], I am thinking of leaving one of my desktop pc's in there permanently with my music system preloaded so no need to take my laptop to and from. I simply go in there and power up my desktop pc and that's it. Can anyone tell me if I leave my desktop pc in the garage permanently would the winter months do any damage to any of the internal components or would affect the pc's performance in any way please?



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#2 Darktune

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

If you still have it, try taking a look in your PC's manufacturer's guide to temperatures if you cannot find it see if you can find it online using a search engine.

 

One concern is condensation.(using temps from where i'm from) If you live in a country that goes from cold in the night  (-3) to mild (12) in the day then condensation may appear in your PC.


It's very hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like. 

Electrons act like waves.. no they don't exactly, they act like particles.. no they don't exactly.

Words and ideas can change the world.


#3 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

I'm in New York where the weather is normally constant for the four seasons so I should not have that issue I think.


Edited by mystic12, 09 December 2013 - 11:45 AM.


#4 Darktune

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:48 AM

That should be okay then. But always be cautious.

 

PC's do work better in the cold apposed to in the heat so I shouldn't see a problem. 

 

Good luck.


It's very hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like. 

Electrons act like waves.. no they don't exactly, they act like particles.. no they don't exactly.

Words and ideas can change the world.


#5 Roodo

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

I would worry about condensation. As long as the pc is dry internally before you turn it on I see no problem.



#6 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:14 PM

ok, thanks for the advice guys!



#7 techwizard

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:26 PM

The one thing to worry about with a desktop computer is the hard drive. If the hard drive is left in below freezing temperatures it may cause it to not spin up properly when the computer is turned on and possibly damage the hard drive. If you have an LCD monitor in below freezing temperatures some say the Liquid Crystal will freeze, I am not so sure about that but as Darktune and Roodo stated condensation is going to be the worse enemy. Taking a cold PC or Screen and running power through it is going to heat it up at a fast rate which will increase the chance of condensation issues circuits open that shouldn't be and so on plus the other possible issues like the Hard Drive's internal parts being slugish during the initial spin up...



#8 Darktune

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:28 PM

I would worry about condensation. As long as the pc is dry internally before you turn it on I see no problem.

 

Condensation can appear without the PC being wet in the first place. It occurs because there is moisture in the air. That moisture would freeze onto metals etc.. (or if you have a car, your car window) and then if heated up would melt and turn into water. 


It's very hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like. 

Electrons act like waves.. no they don't exactly, they act like particles.. no they don't exactly.

Words and ideas can change the world.


#9 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:04 PM

I don't see that I would have condensation problems but the hard drive issue now concerns me.



#10 Darktune

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:11 PM

I think with the hard drive you should only be concerned if the temp goes under -5 i'd say.


It's very hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like. 

Electrons act like waves.. no they don't exactly, they act like particles.. no they don't exactly.

Words and ideas can change the world.


#11 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:26 PM

Well, I am pretty sure there will be some days when the temp will drop even below that since it's a Brick non-insulated garage. I have also had a pc monitor in there for years with no issue.



#12 techwizard

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:40 PM

One little piece of advise if I may. Most of our conclusions are based on statistical hardware information. After 25 years I have come to know not to always depend on industry standards or what should be. With that said then what Darktune has said is great advice, but again under normal circumstances.

 

Pushing things even near to their limits or putting them in less than optimal conditons a lot of times will inform us of manufactured defects or a Monday computer if you will :smash:

 

Not to much different than us going to the Heart doctor for a stress test everything testing fine and then being rushed to the hospital with a heart attack within the week afterwards.



#13 Kilroy

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:27 PM

I'll second on the hard drive issue.  I've actually seen this when a laptop user left their machine in their car over night.  The drive would not spin up.  After coming to room temp the machine booted normally.

 

I'm unsure about the condensation issues.  Normally you'll see issues if you move the machine from the cold to a warmer room, but I'm unsure of how going from cold to operating temp will work.  If you hear a pop and the smoke comes out (all computers run on smoke, when it comes out they stop working :devil: ) then you know it was a bad idea.

 

In general you should be fine, but I'd recommend experimenting with a machine you won't cry about if it does have to be replaced.


Edited by RKilroy, 09 December 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#14 Roodo

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:37 PM

the hard drive will be fine, that wont be an issue.



#15 mystic12

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:38 PM

I think this is more great advice [thanks] and is what I have in mind, to leave a cheap computer in there. My main reason for thinking about this is because no damage has been done to any of my other electronics in there but none of them contains a hard drive.






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