MSP Tools: Have You Rebooted Your Computer Yet?

October 9, 2015 The TNS Group

When you call into your Managed Service Provider’s or your company’s support team for a computer issue, you may have heard your help desk tech ask a simple question, “Have you rebooted your computer yet?” I know this, because before I was in this industry, I was asked this many times. It is a question I, as a help desk technician, ask time in and time out.

I have even heard people joke at this simple request. I know there is some value in this humor because if you hear the same response every time you call your help desk, it may seem like that is their only answer or solution is to try to solve every issue they get with a reboot. But, I am here to tell you that there is value in the “Have you rebooted your computer?” question.

Depending on the issue, rebooting can be helpful. A common issue from a business class user is they cannot access their mapped network drives. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to access that important document that your supervisor is requesting, just prior to a meeting, and being unable to do so because you stored it on the server and your map drive will not open.

How can I get this document if I don’t have access to my network drives? Well, have you rebooted your computer? That would be the first question I would ask and here is the reason. Depending on the environment, drives are mapped by something called Group Policy or by a Logon Script. Both of these methods are carried out when a user logs into the computer. This makes rebooting the fastest way an end user can fix an issue themselves especially when they’re on a time crunch.

That is just one example. But, why would a tech use this method so often?  A number of issues can get fixed within an operating system after a reboot such as the slowing of your computer due to over utilization, drivers crashing within the operating system, and hung processes. A reboot will reset the CPU and RAM of the computer, which will allow your computer to run faster and reestablish all network connections.  So, by performing a reboot, the user is refreshing all of the services of the computer which will allow all of the software and drivers to run.

So, essentially, with one simple reboot, the end user can effectively solve many issues that the end user is experiencing at that time. Obviously, this reboot will not solve all issues that end users might experience, but it is not a step to be overlooked. Now, next time your help desk technician asks, “Have you rebooted your computer?” you will know not to dismiss it.

Have a computer question that needs solving? Contact The TNS Group and we will troubleshoot the problem with you.

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