Reboot

It’s no secret that restarting your computer fixes a lot of problems, but have you ever wondered why? Read on to reveal the magic behind the reboot.

 

For all issues: Reboot first

This might come off as too-easy-of-a-solution, but go ahead and restart your computer. Yes, let’s flush out the ubiquitous eye-rolling that is associated to restarting one’s computer as a fix-all. But this suggestion isn’t meant to insult – it actually works!  And aren’t we always looking for the easiest way to solve problems anyway? Rebooting a computer is a good thing to try first.

In order for you to become familiar with the concept of a “reboot, ” let’s first understand what happens to a computer when it “boots.”

In a computer, a “bootloader” is a tiny program that is the only program physically built into the computer hardware. When you start up the computer, this program boots another, much larger, program. This is called your operating system, and examples are Unix, Mac OS, Android and Windows.

Think of your operating system as parents of a newborn. It organizes the allocation of resources, fetches things and puts them away, and controls what the programs can and can’t do. However, there are times that your operating system can get into a state – similar to when the parents need more diapers and at the same time there’s no gas in the car and the washing machine stops working and a door-to-door salesman is ringing the doorbell.

A Fresh start

If we request too many tasks to run on our computers, then tasks can get “stuck” in memory. In addition, as tasks run, they fetch and use memory and, over time, the organization of the memory becomes fragmented and harder to manage.  This is similar to parents trying to find their keys in a messy nursery.

Spotting and removing stuck processes – or keeping things tidy, is what operating systems are good at.  But, there are those times a computer can reach that state of static. The best thing to do is start again from scratch.

When you reboot your computer, every single program and process ends as the power leaves your computer during the restart process. Once your computer starts back up, you have a clean slate, and more often than not, a faster, better working computer.

Now, it’s important to regularly check for operating system for updates. Forgetting to do so could significantly impair your computer’s performance. Just like parents –  they also need a bit of TLC on a recurring basis to be their best for their newborn.

If rebooting your computer still hasn’t fixed the issue, why not read our Online Owls blog, Need computer support? Try these techniques first. These troubleshooting techniques include some of the most common problems IT professionals fix – and how you can do it yourself.

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