Opinion: Just reboot it


I told her to hold down the power button on the PC until the screen shut off, then wait 30 seconds and press the power button again. — TNS

This column might seem silly, but the advice I’m about to give you is beautiful in its simplicity, and it fixes so many problems.

I’ve been an IT guy for more than 25 years. I’ve seen every type of issue, both in hardware and software.

And no matter where the problem lies, the first step in my troubleshooting is to “just reboot it.”

I’ll relate just a few times where this has worked in the last two weeks.

On my drive to work this morning, I received a call from a director at the clinic where I work.

She had returned from vacation to find her PC was showing a blue screen notifying her the PC ran into a problem.

She asked what to do.

I told her to hold down the power button on the PC until the screen shut off, then wait 30 seconds and press the power button again.

Five minutes later she reported back all was well.

Her PC had somehow entered an error state, and we’ll have to watch and see if it happens again. If it does happen repeatedly, then we have bigger issues to find.

Last week my wife called me into the living room to show me that Netflix was not working for her on our TV.

We have a TiVo box we use for watching and recording our local channels and also for watching our streaming services.

The Netflix app on the TiVo box had become unresponsive, but after a minute of looking at the issue, I ran a network test from the TiVo settings and saw the TiVo box was not talking to my home network.

I rebooted the TiVo and when it came back up, everything worked again.

Finally, another example from my house.

We were experiencing daily disconnects with our WiFi at home.

Rebooting the broadband modem fixed everything, but the entire situation was annoying.

I decided to plug the broadband modem into a smart outlet, which I can control from an app on my phone.

The app for the smart outlet allows scheduling, so I set it to turn off at 5am every day and then turn back on at 5.01am.

This reboots the modem every morning and we have not had a WiFi issue since.

We also took the “just reboot it” advice to heart at our office.

We like to push out software patches overnight and many of the patches need a reboot to fully install.

To facilitate the full installation, we have set up a policy on our PCs to reboot at 5am every day and it has really helped our software update implementation.

I realise there are bigger problems that are not fixed with a simple reboot, but rebooting fixes enough problems that I wanted to share it with you here. – Tribune News Service

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