When you shut down for the night you should turn the computer off first, followed by the peripherals for exactly the same reason.
Hard disk errors are often caused by turning off the machine while the drive light is on, a process which is also designed to blow the mind of floppy disks.
I you are a Microsoft Windows user you should never turn the machine off without without fully exiting from the program. Windows, the graphical system for PC-compatible machines, keeps files open and stores data in the main memory even when it is not doing anything. These files can become corrupted by a casual attitude to shutting down your computer.
Apple Macintosh users don't have it all their own way either. Look for the 'Special/Shutdown' option in the main menu bar at the top right of the screen and click on 'Shut Down' before switching off. Simply turning what appears to be a dormant Mac is asking for large amounts of trouble. Acorn computers have a similar routine.
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