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When I have a problem with my computer, why is it the first thing an IT tech tells me to do is reboot my computer?

 

When a computer program misbehaves, it causes system instability. It could be something you can feel, like a speed issue and the system has stopped responding correctly, or something you can see like a popup message. You might experience something weird with your system anywhere from immediately to some time later, after the fault occurred.

 

Because the issue can involve any part of your computer software, which could interact with any other part of the system, the stability of the system could reduce to an unworkable state and the original cause might not be related to the current symptom.

 

Bad software design, software tolerances, settings, version incompatibilities, product incompatibilities, user errors, faulty hardware, viruses, Spyware or many other of thousands of influences can cause the system to miss behave.

 

The old analogy of a snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger as it rolls, applies here. If an unstable system is left to run, and you continue to use it, more issues will occur. The issues will compound into further speed issues or instability.

 

You could start with an error in Microsoft Word Spell check, then later, a print job crashes and then your Internet Explorer starts crashing. Then you can't log out properly and your system becomes non responsive. All of this could have been the snow ball effect from the original Microsoft Word crash.

 

You certainly can't be expected to restart your workstation every time something little goes wrong. You also can't sit there trying to gauge if your system needs a reboot or not.

You need some guidance.

 

As a rule of thumb;

 

  • If a software program stops responding (Hanging), shutdown and reboot.
  • If you suddenly can't print or see network drives on a server, reboot.
  • If you get an error trying to alert Microsoft, reboot.
  • If your system is slow, reboot.

If it is a minor issue or glitch and you know what caused it (Likely something you just changed) then you do not need to reboot.

 

This might not fix the specific fault you had but it freshens up the system so that other programs will not suffer due to the error.

 

Specific errors might need specific software updates from Microsoft or even temporary files deleted. There are numerous solutions to individual issues.

 

Before calling on tech support, record any errors, undo any changes to your configuration, close all your programs, reboot and then restart the program that crashed. If you can reproduce the error, you need technical support.

 

If in doubt, a reboot might help. It helps solve many issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

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