Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again? | What does it mean?
‘Have you tried turning it off..’ was the title of a blog we published in January 2017. The blog post explained why rebooting your computer is generally the first thing an IT Engineer would urge you to perform when reporting a problem.
Indeed, we recommend doing this before contacting assistance if at all possible. If the problem persists, we’ll need to look into it further, but a simple shut down and restart can resolve an isolated occurrence.
It’s worth repeating because the lesson is still essential and applies to tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, servers, routers, and firewalls.
Have you attempted to turn it off and on again?
The phrase made famous by Channel 4’s ‘The IT Crowd’ should be repeated whenever you claim you work for an IT support company! ‘Are you able to restart?’ ‘Could you turn the machine off?’ Some examples include, “Have you tried reconfiguring the primary power coupling?” and “Have you tried rearranging the primary power coupling?” It’s the same thing they’re all talking about!
It usually works, so an IT Support specialist can advise you to “try turning it off and on again.”
But why is that? What exactly does it do?
The solution is straightforward. In simple terms, a reboot erases the computer’s temporarily saved data. Typically, this will include whatever is creating the issue. Shutting down and restarting the laptop restores it to its original state.
Would you like to become a little more technical? Here’s where the science comes in
Electronic devices are state machines, meaning they begin in one state and progress to the next in stages. Programs function similarly (code is sequential and logic-based). Restarting an electronic device restores it to its original condition by giving it a “new state” and re-initializing it.
You could watch this YouTube introduction to finite state machines if you can’t sleep, although I wouldn’t recommend it.
Many programs can be executed simultaneously on electronic devices, especially software. It can produce “problems” if a program becomes “buggy” or if two conflicting commands are sent to a device simultaneously. It would require a pro to troubleshoot these difficulties without resetting the device. Rebooting the gadget is something anyone can perform, and an expert would likely do it first.
Unplug it and let it alone
You’ve undoubtedly also heard that you should unplug your computer and wait a few minutes before restarting it. There’s also a valid explanation behind it.
Essentially, this guarantees that the machine is completely turned off, as electricity may still be cycling from the capacitor after you’ve flipped the switch (the component that regulates the flow of power from the outlet). Things don’t reset until the battery is entirely exhausted. It’s still not working.
A reset, of course, can only go so far. It may alleviate your immediate issue, but it will not address the root cause. That’s why, if the situation recurs, we’ll always ask for a callback. We’re not going to ask if you’ve tried turning it off and on again this time! We’ll investigate the underlying issue causing the computer to slow down or freeze.
A variety of factors causes equipment breakdowns.
The most prevalent reason for failure is a lack of maintenance if you don’t have a preventive maintenance plan backed by contemporary inspection management software. Even the most excellent PMs, however, cannot catch everything. Unplanned breakdowns are a feature of life for various reasons, the majority of which are beyond your control.
An error by the operator
It doesn’t matter how well you maintain a car; it will fail if someone drives it into a wall. It doesn’t have to be anything theatrical. Even if the driver pushes it down the highway in the wrong gear, the automobile will eventually fail.
Unexpected good fortune
You can constantly make the most significant possible moves in a chess game and still lose the game. The upkeep is the same.
In late April, for example, you have a PM scheduled to fix your rooftop A/C units, but a sudden snowstorm undoes all of your hard work. Alternatively, techs may meticulously follow work order instructions and perform all checklists, but the equipment will fail if the MRO inventory is from a defective batch.
Preventive maintenance software helps you detect and correct faults before they become major ones, but over-maintaining your equipment wastes time and money. Worse, you’re increasing the chances of someone making a mistake and causing damage to your equipment.
As an example, consider an oil check. When a technician checks the oil, they must open the hood, which increases the likelihood of damaging the latch. There’s also the possibility that they’ll use the dipstick to introduce foreign stuff into the engine. When they close the hood, the rod that holds it up may bend or break, allowing it to rattle loose and into the machine.
The dangers increase enormously when professionals work on complicated equipment that requires complex maintenance procedures. The advantages of preventative maintenance outweigh the hazards, but only when preventive care is needed. The risk-reward ratio works against you if you start doing too much.
Steps and Advice for troubleshooting equipment
Because equipment failures are unavoidable, you must devise a strategy for coping with them, the finest of which is systematic troubleshooting aided by contemporary EAM software. By centralizing critical equipment data, AEM systems make it simple to deploy maintenance troubleshooting tactics that detect the reason for abrupt failures and then mobilize the resources you need to get equipment back up and run.
The good news is that you don’t have to start initially. Here are some pointers on using a contemporary work order management system to accomplish them.
- Recognize the system.
- Recognize the issue and its context.
- Get rid of the apparent.
- Make a list of plausible reasons and theories.
- Start with the most accessible or most likely factors to eliminate.
- Validate the solution and keep a record of it.