Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/181295/yes-its-okay-to-shut-down-your-computer-with-the-power-button/
Many computer users were trained never to turn their PCs off by pressing the power button on their desktop PC’s case. This used to cause problems in the previous millennium, but it’s now perfectly safe to shut down with the power button.
I set the power button to hibernate my laptop; much more convenient than right-clicking the Start button and stuff...
What I would like to know is if it's safe to shut down by the Power button then why when I reboot do I still get the message tha Windows did not shut down properly. My Computer is an Acer 8943g and is Nov 2010 to now old, so it is not an antique yet and should still fall under the ok to use button to shutdown group.. Please reply if you have a legit answer to my question. When I do choose to "turn on Normal" 9 out of 10 times everything is good. Your article never really explained that part of the shutdown and reboot.
Do you press the power button, or hold it down? @randyboy99
I must have been holding it down too long because as soon as I read your reply I decided to test it and see and the results were like the article and you said. Press it normal and it shuts dow properly and boots properly. Hold it down till it shuts off and then you get the warning. I'm glad I asked and thanks Stickman803 for your input.
Why wouldn't you set the Press Power Button action to be "Do Nothing"? The problem with telling it to do anything other than that is that when you accidentally hit the power button, your mistake is instantly compounded by having to wait for it to (shut down/hibernate/sleep) and then wait for it to reboot or restore itself. Most annoying.
Choosing "Do Nothing" still allows you to click the desired action normally, still allows you to hold the power button in in case of a freeze, and avoids punishing you for being tired or distracted.
Holding / pressing the power button in most cases causes the machine to....just shut down, when you reboot you will get that excellent Windows did not shut down properly...sometimes that is good, select start windows normally and all should be good.
However you can allocate the power button on a single short press to shutdown your machine, most useful. And you still have the option, press and hold and get a hard shutdown, start windows normally, enter repair or safe mode.
Sleep and hibernation have always been a problem in windows so on my machines are not enabled. Hibernation can and will take up some space but it can be disabled quite easily;
As admin, open CMD and type the following command:
powercfg.exe /hibernate off
To reverse that the powercfg.exe /hibernate on
In my experience sleep and hibernation do cause problems in everyday computing and these options should not be used
I am looking for confirmation (rather than just assuming) that this controlled shut down includes flushing the USB Flash drive cache to prevent file corruption on Flash drives.
Knowing that I would modify the advice I give to people.
Yes it does. Using the ACPI power button to shut down fires off the Windows "shut down normally" command. (I don't remember the exact name of the API call.)
This is the same API that's called when you click Start -> Shut Down
So yes, shutting down with the power button does flush the cache on all of your drives.
And actually, USB Flash drives have less of an issue than with your internal hard drives. By default, Flash drives are classified as removable media, and the system does write-through caching: data is written to the drive as soon as possible. Internal hard drives are classified as internal storage, and Windows runs them on a write-back cache. A write-back cache stores data in the cache and writes it to disk when there's no other activity (or when its turn comes up in the transaction queue.)
So your Flash drives are completely safe.
Thanks for the update. I expected that the shutdown would clear the cache, but it is nice to have confirmation.
BUT, I know from experience that the Flash drive cache is not regularly flushed. We still see many people having file corruption problems with MS Word files being truncated when the Flash drives are not shut down properly. Granted many of the cases are a result of the drive being pulled immediately after work finished on the file, leaving no wait time for a possible flush.
On the contrary, it is my understanding the Flash cache is only flushed when there is a full "block" (or what ever the full write unit is called) to be written in order to minimize wear on the flash memory. The only exception is when the device is manually shut down, or the shut down is triggered due to power down.
I don't know for sure how often the file system driver writes out the cache... you could very well be right. I would definitely never pull a drive within a few seconds of writing a file.
Might I humbly suggest that your case is terrible?
I've set my power/sleep button on my keyboard to do nothing. I've accidentally hit that key a few times by mistake, while trying to push the Esc key (both keys on next to each other).
Yeah, having a power button on the keyboard pretty much sucks... that has only every gotten me in to trouble, and I always end up disabling them.
I remember one computer that would crash 100% of the time if I hit that key. And since the key was just above the arrow keys and right underneath the Page Down key... I accidentally hit it more than once. (Keyboard, meet trash can.)
You haven't had to worry about that since Vista I think, maybe even earlier. Write caching is off by default. That means even though there's the "Safely remove hardware" icon you actually don't have to do it. Put in a USB flash drive and in Device Manager its properties should look like this:
Even though the setting says "better performance" it seems it's negligible:
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