Sometimes those of us in IT professions can come off sounding like a broken record, and that’s because the first step in solving computer issues is often the reboot. Here’s a quick compilation from The IT Crowd where the staff are constantly asking their users to reboot:
The reason for a reboot is that A.) sometimes programs or processes have crashed and are bogging down the system, B.) a flaw in a program can result in memory leaks that slowly ties up all the available RAM which also bogs down the system, or C.) the system or programs have updated and to finish properly setting up they need to run processes during boot or startup.
Of course some problems won’t be fixed at startup, and there are a few rare issues that will get worse during a reboot (certain viruses/malware); but for the most part a desktop or laptop computer should ideally have a chance to reboot every day. Servers are a different story, if configured correctly they should be able to stay up for months at a time (especially Linux/Unix servers).
If you are encountering problems that aren’t solvable by a reboot, the next step is to Google for a fix, especially if there is an error message you can use to narrow the search. Of course some issues are best left to those with more experience in troubleshooting and repairing computers and networks; if you find yourself in that scenario, feel free to contact us for help with your issue.