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Old 19-10-13, 00:27   #1
 
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Computers Why Rebooting a Computer Fixes Many Problems?

HTG Explains: Why Does Rebooting a Computer Fix So Many Problems?




Ask a geek how to fix a problem you’ve having with your Windows computer and they’ll likely ask “Have you tried rebooting it?” This seems like a flippant response, but rebooting a computer can actually solve many problems.

So what’s going on here? Why does resetting a device or restarting a program fix so many problems? And why don’t geeks try to identify and fix problems rather than use the blunt hammer of “reset it”?


This Isn’t Just About Windows

Bear in mind that this soltion isn’t just limited to Windows computers, but applies to all types of computing devices. You’ll find the advice “try resetting it” applied to wireless routers, iPads, Android phones, and more. This same advice even applies to software — is Firefox acting slow and consuming a lot of memory? Try closing it and reopening it!


Some Problems Require a Restart

To illustrate why rebooting can fix so many problems, let’s take a look at the ultimate software problem a Windows computer can face: Windows halts, showing a blue screen of death. The blue screen was caused by a low-level error, likely a problem with a hardware driver or a hardware malfunction. Windows reaches a state where it doesn’t know how to recover, so it halts, shows a blue-screen of death, gathers information about the problem, and automatically restarts the computer for you . This restart fixes the blue screen of death.

Windows has gotten better at dealing with errors — for example, if your graphics driver crashes, Windows XP would have frozen. In Windows Vista and newer versions of Windows, the Windows desktop will lose its fancy graphical effects for a few moments before regaining them. Behind the scenes, Windows is restarting the malfunctioning graphics driver.

But why doesn’t Windows simply fix the problem rather than restarting the driver or the computer itself? Well, because it can’t — the code has encountered a problem and stopped working completely, so there’s no way for it to continue. By restarting, the code can start from square one and hopefully it won’t encounter the same problem again.





Examples of Restarting Fixing Problems

While certain problems require a complete restart because the operating system or a hardware driver has stopped working, not every problem does. Some problems may be fixable without a restart, though a restart may be the easiest option.


  • Windows is Slow: Let’s say Windows is running very slowly. It’s possible that a misbehaving program is using 99% CPU and draining the computer’s resources. A geek could head to the task manager and look around, hoping to locate the misbehaving process an end it. If an average user encountered this same problem, they could simply reboot their computer to fix it rather than dig through their running processes.
  • Firefox or Another Program is Using Too Much Memory: In the past, Firefox has been the poster child for memory leaks on average PCs. Over time, Firefox would often consume more and more memory, getting larger and larger and slowing down. Closing Firefox will cause it to relinquish all of its memory. When it starts again, it will start from a clean state without any leaked memory. This doesn’t just apply to Firefox, but applies to any software with memory leaks.
  • Internet or Wi-Fi Network Problems: If you have a problem with your Wi-Fi or Internet connection, the software on your router or modem may have encountered a problem. Resetting the router — just by unplugging it from its power socket and then plugging it back in — is a common solution for connection problems.
In all cases, a restart wipes away the current state of the software . Any code that’s stuck in a misbehaving state will be swept away, too. When you restart, the computer or device will bring the system up from scratch, restarting all the software from square one so it will work just as well as it was working before.





“Soft Resets” vs. “Hard Resets”


In the mobile device world, there are two types of “resets” you can perform. A “soft reset” is simply restarting a device normally — turning it off and then on again. A “hard reset” is resetting its software state back to its factory default state.
When you think about it, both types of resets fix problems for a similar reason. For example, let’s say your Windows computer refuses to boot or becomes completely infected with malware. Simply restarting the computer won’t fix the problem, as the problem is with the files on the computer’s hard drive — it has corrupted files or malware that loads at startup on its hard drive. However, reinstalling Windows (performing a “Refresh or Reset your PC” operation in Windows 8 terms) will wipe away everything on the computer’s hard drive, restoring it to its formerly clean state.
This is simpler than looking through the computer’s hard drive, trying to identify the exact reason for the problems or trying to ensure you’ve obliterated every last trace of malware. It’s much faster to simply start over from a known-good, clean state instead of trying to locate every possible problem and fix it.





Ultimately, the answer is that “resetting a computer wipes away the current state of the software, including any problems that have developed, and allows it to start over from square one.” It’s easier and faster to start from a clean state than identify and fix any problems that may be occurring — in fact, in some cases, it may be impossible to fix problems without beginning from that clean state.

continued..... What to Do When Windows Won't Boot.....
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Old 19-10-13, 00:48   #2
 
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Computers Re: Why Rebooting a Computer Fixes Many Problems?

What to Do When Windows Won't Boot

By HTG



You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot — what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

Modern versions of Windows are better at recovering from this sort of thing. Where Windows XP might have stopped in its tracks when faced with this problem, modern versions of Windows will try to automatically run Startup Repair.


First Things First

Be sure to think about changes you’ve made recently — did you recently install a new hardware driver, connect a new hardware component to your computer, or open your computer’s case and do something? It’s possible the hardware driver is buggy, the new hardware is incompatible, or that you accidentally unplugged something while working inside your computer.


The Computer Won’t Power On At All

If your computer won’t power on at all, ensure it’s plugged into a power outlet and that the power connector isn’t loose. If it’s a desktop PC, ensure the power switch on the back of its case — on the power supply — is set to the On position. If it still won’t power on at all, it’s possible you disconnected a power cable inside its case. If you haven’t been messing around inside the case, it’s possible the power supply is dead. In this case, you’ll have to get your computer’s hardware fixed or get a new computer.
Be sure to check your computer monitor — if your computer seems to power on but your screen stays black, ensure your monitor is powered on and that the cable connecting it to your computer’s case is plugged in securely at both ends.





The Computer Powers On And Says No Bootable Device

If your computer is powering on but you get a black screen that says something like “no bootable device” or another sort of “disk error” message, your computer can’t seem to boot from the hard drive that Windows was installed on. Enter your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware setup screen and check its boot order setting, ensuring that it’s set to boot from its hard drive.

If the hard drive doesn’t appear in the list at all, it’s possible your hard drive has failed and can no longer be booted from.

In this case, you may want to insert Windows installation or recovery media and run the Startup Repair operation. This will attempt to make Windows bootable again. For example, if something overwrote your Windows drive’s boot sector, this will repair the boot sector. If the recovery environment won’t load or doesn’t see your hard drive, you likely have a hardware problem. Be sure to check your BIOS or UEFI’s boot order first if the recovery environment won’t load.

You can also attempt to manually fix Windows boot loader problems using the fixmbr and fixboot commands. Modern versions of Windows should be able to fix this problem for you with the Startup Repair wizard, so you shouldn’t actually have to run these commands yourself.





Windows Freezes or Crashes During Boot


If Windows seems to start booting but fails partway through, you may be facing either a software or hardware problem. If it’s a software problem, you may be able to fix it by performing a Startup Repair operation. If you can’t do this from the boot menu, insert a Windows installation disc or recovery disk and use the startup repair tool from there. If this doesn’t help at all, you may want to reinstall Windows or perform a Refresh or Reset on Windows 8.

If the computer encounters errors while attempting to perform startup repair or reinstall Windows, or the reinstall process works properly and you encounter the same errors afterwards, you likely have a hardware problem.





Windows Starts and Blue Screens or Freezes

If Windows crashes or blue-screens on you every time it boots, you may be facing a hardware or software problem. For example, malware or a buggy driver may be loading at boot and causing the crash, or your computer’s hardware may be malfunctioning.

To test this, boot your Windows computer in safe mode. In safe mode, Windows won’t load typical hardware drivers or any software that starts automatically at startup. If the computer is stable in safe mode, try uninstalling any recently installed hardware drivers, performing a system restore, and scanning for malware. If you’re lucky, one of these steps may fix your software problem and allow you to boot Windows normally.

If your problem isn’t fixed, try reinstalling Windows or performing a Refresh or Reset on Windows 8. This will reset your computer back to its clean, factory-default state. If you’re still experiencing crashes, your computer likely has a hardware problem.






Recover Files When Windows Won’t Boot

If you have important files that will be lost and want to back them up before reinstalling Windows, you can use a Windows installer disc or Linux live media to recover the files. These run entirely from a CD, DVD, or USB drive and allow you to copy your files to another external media, such as another USB stick or an external hard drive.

If you’re incapable of booting a Windows installer disc or Linux live CD, you may need to go into your BIOS or UEFI and change the boot order setting.

If even this doesn’t work — or if you can boot from the devices and your computer freezes or you can’t access your hard drive — you likely have a hardware problem. You can try pulling the computer’s hard drive, inserting it into another computer, and recovering your files that way.

.



Following these steps should fix the vast majority of Windows boot issues — at least the ones that are actually fixable. The dark cloud that always hangs over such issues is the possibility that the hard drive or another component in the computer may be failing.
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