Byte Me Article 94 – A simple restart is possibly all that is needed to fix a problem

-A simple restart is possibly all that is needed to fix a problem

6 October, 2012

Let’s face it – a lot of people have a lot of trouble with their PC’s.  What do they do?  Unfortunately many go off searching the depths of their PC in amongst the control panel and system settings looking for something that must of ‘changed’.  Unless someone else is using the PC or they have a virus or have just installed different software then no settings will ever ‘change’ by themselves.  They then start to guess at what some of these settings should be.  This line of action often results in many things that are then wrong with the PC.

Obviously we get a large number of calls every day, from existing customers and new customers when they run into trouble.  What do we do?  In a surprising number of cases we simply ask if they have restarted the computer recently to which they reply – no.  Once again in a surprising number of these cases, a restart often fixes the original problem.  Why does a restart often fix things?  Well one of the working parts of a computer is it memory or ram.  These are simple electronic storage chips which house temporary information while the computer is running.  The information in these memory chips can become corrupted or ‘stale’ for want of a better word.

2012-10-06 Byte Me Article 94 - Self Help

Restarting the computer clears this information and allows it to be replaced with fresh data.  It could be likened to a person who gets a sore muscle through too much use and just needs a good sleep or a break – the restart is a very quick break but often all that is needed.  Some of you will be asking, why in today’s modern age do computers still need to be restarted?  The short answer in most cases is quality control.

This is where Apple often has an advantage.  Apple controls the manufacture and assembly of their PC’s – it is not outsourced to anyone that wants to build them.  As a result most Apple PC’s run very reliably.  We see the same reliable results with the business model Hewlett Packard PC’s and our own brand of computers that we sell.  The computer parts industry today is incredibly full of knock off and cheap no name brand components which even includes ram chips, power supplies and the like.  When a no name brand PC is assembled from these cheaper components it will always show instabilities and be unreliable.

Imagine if anyone was allowed to build a car from scratch and send it driving on our roads without the proper safety testing and compliance?  At the extreme end of the reliability scale we sell the Hewlett Packard servers which are designed to operate for months at a time without any user intervention.  However in these cases the servers have special memory called ECC ram which is able to correct its own errors.

It is amazing what rubbish is around today in the computer component world!  For instance we can buy a no name keyboard and mouse kit from our suppliers for less than $5 – seriously, can you imagine the associated quality of that product?  This is one of the reasons that we only stock and recommend either the Logitech or Microsoft ranges of these components.  Sometimes there is only a small difference in price between rubbish and good quality gear however, once again the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true.  Also remember, if your computer is doing something out of the ordinary try a restart before tampering any further. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.

We have developed a brilliant self-help troubleshooting section on our website – so if you are having computer problems, but can still browse the web, please check it out.  Click here to go to Kerr Solutions IT Troubleshooting

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