If there’s one piece of practical advice I plan to offer up above all else it’s this simple statement, “Just hit restart.” It’s a piece of advice that I almost never abide by but never fails to come full circle on me when ignored. By nature I’m just inquisitive so any time I run into a bug or system error or whatever I will put on my detective hat and dive in until I’ve found the root cause and corrected it. Problem is, and if you’re like me, I’m honestly only mildly successful. Truthfully only about 50% of the time. So why take advice from me then? Don’t, just take it from nearly every IT guy I’ve ever bugged on far too many occasions. Just restart your computer or other device. For years I would get so irritated when they asked me “Did you try restarting?” Honestly what does that solve?! How does that help me the next time this happens? One day I had an epiphany, I spent 2 hours trying to get my desktop to talk to a router (Routers…Grrr!) and finally gave up and shut the computer down. A couple minutes later I thought of something I had not tried so I restarted it and wouldn’t you know, network problem magically resolved! To this day I don’t know what the problem was, no matter because I still have network access. Time is precious, do yourself and your IT people or that buddy you call for a favor and just restart your system…first. I promise there’s a better than 50/50 chance of success. Note this advice extends to many of today’s mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In case of such a device I recommend you perform a hard restart (sometimes called hard reset), look up in your manual or online for advice on how to do that. Just be careful not to perform a factory reset in the process; you’ll lose all data and settings if you do.
-Bonus Tip– If you perform a shutdown instead of a restart wait about 15-20 seconds before restarting if you have a spinning hard drive (most common type). These types of hard drives take a few seconds to stop spinning and it’s much healthier for them if you allow them to spin down before restarting.
“Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do & die, ” – Alfred Lord Tennyson