To reboot or not reboot…..

So, you have a weird issue with your PC and you call our helpdesk. The engineer asks if you have rebooted the PC.  You think to yourself “what’s that got to do with it??”.  So, you reboot the PC and wow, the PC is all better!  What is this miracle all about?  Read on…..

When a computer is working, it is running hundreds of tasks in the background. Sometimes, these tasks are related to a piece of software that you regularly use, such as Microsoft office.  If one of these tasks become corrupted, they can result in an error being displayed, a button not functioning or weird behaviour.

Windows updates can be another problem.

Windows downloads an update in the background and applies it to the system.  Some of these updates require a reboot to apply them correctly, so if the PC is in ‘limbo’ the PC can perform in a manner not expected.

Other applications update themselves too.  Java, Adobe reader, flash (to name three) are third party applications that also need updating.  They may prompt you for updates or you may have selected the ‘just update and don’t darken my virtual doorstep again’ option so updates are downloaded and auto applied.  Again, this software may not work as expected without the reboot to apply the update correctly.

Software installed on a PC interacts with other installed software, so if there is a malfunction with one piece of software, it does have the ability to bring down it’s installed companions.

Although this is just a glimpse into the workings of Windows, you can see why we suggest a reboot and start from a clean slate.  Next time you encounter a problem, give the PC a restart and you just might fix it yourself.