Time to Restart

How often should I restart? Should I shutdown every day? I’ve restarted but it didn’t fix the issue!

These are some of the most common phrases we hear from our clients. Let’s break down these questions and provide a little insight as to why restarting is so important.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Have you turned it off and on again?” As trivial as it sounds, this simple process can resolve a lot of day to day issues. You’ve been working all day but now your application wont open. “What changed?” you may be asking yourself.

Let’s break down the system start-up process and why this can fix most of these issues. During a restarting your system undergoes 3 main processes:

  1. POST / Pre-boot
  2. System Initialisation
  3. User Session initialisation

POST / Pre-Boot

During the POST (Power On Self Test) your system is running a diagnostic sequence testing of all components to ensure your system is ready to begin.

System Iinitialisation

At this point in the start-up your computer is loading the Operating System, Drivers and Services into your RAM (Random Access Memory)

If part of the operating system or services has suffered an unrecoverable crash, this is where your system will restart these applications and services. Examples below of what you may have experienced that will resolve in this stage of the restart.

  • Printers all offline
  • Sound card no long working
  • Unable to access the internet

User session initialisation

When you log into your computer, your user session is created. This loads all your personal start-up applications, profile settings and configurations into your RAM.

Ever had an application crash that wouldn’t reopen? If an application doesn’t close correctly there may be parts of it still running inhibiting your program from opening again. Restarting flushes your RAM of all your running application allowing to have a fresh clean start.

With the complexities of your user session, applications starting and stopping, Windows Updates, application updates, driver updates you can start to understand the importance of the restart and why it’s the most common phrase you’ll hear from your IT person.

Windows 10 – sometimes a bit too smart for its own good

Windows 10 has tried to make our lives better by making it faster and introduced a feature called Fast Boot.

Fast Boot does cause some issues, as when you “shutdown” your system it isn’t getting the refresh it needs. It saves your session, instead of closing everything down, and then just reloads your session, errors and all. To get around this its important to choose Restart and not Shutdown.