When experiencing a computer problem, what is the first thing you do to troubleshoot it? If you are an experienced PC user, then you will try turning your machine on and off again. Your computer’s restart button can feel like a magic wand that takes care of any issue, but do you know how this fix-it wizardry works?One big reason a restart will fix so many PC problems is because it will clear your Random Access Memory (RAM). Your computer’s RAM is utilized by your PC’s operating system along with all the open applications. Sometimes, you will use enough programs at once to fill your RAM’s capacity, causing your PC to slow down or freeze up. A simple restart will take care of this issue, and if you experience this issue frequently, then you will want to upgrade your RAM.
Before you restart your computer in an attempt to improve performance, you can try closing out the extra programs you are not using. This should free up space on your RAM, but simply closing programs is not a fix-all solution because a memory leak could have occurred when your RAM was full. A memory leak occurs when the memory allocation of a computer program gets distributed incorrectly, which will drag down a computer’s performance as it attempts to access the needed memory in places where it’s not supposed to be.
A full RAM can cause a memory leak because it will create extra swap files on the hard drive to act as extra, but less efficient, “RAM.” The beautiful thing about a PC restart is that it resets the memory and gives your RAM a fresh start. This will essentially clean up the memory leak and help your computer run better by making sure the memory it needs to access is where it’s supposed to be.
A full RAM is the most common problem fixed by restarting a PC, but there are other computer issues that a restart will take care of, like taking resources away from a greedy program and giving it back to the processor. A restart will achieve this by unconditionally giving the control of the processor to the bootloader, which will then hand it off to the OS, which will then start it from scratch.
Another issue that a restart will solve is overheating. A computer that’s overheating will see a drag in performance and even be in danger of damaging the hardware. When your PC gets too hot, you can turn it off and let it sit for a little while, giving it time to cool. Restarting with a cooled off machine will boost your performance.
Of course, restarting your computer won’t fix every problem, but any time you experience an issue, it’s worth it to restart your PC before putting in a call to Setton Consulting’s Help Desk. While a restart will take care of a lot of PC issues, it will not fix major problems; and if you find yourself having to restart your computer more and more often, then you will want to upgrade your PC’s RAM, improve your cooling system, or find alternative programs that don’t eat up too many resources. If you would like assistance in upgrading your workstation to improve performance so you won’t have to rely on the magic restart fix in order to keep your company’s operations going, then give Setton Consulting a call at 212-796-6061.