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Random Thought for Friday, August 26th, 2016: Don’t Lie to an IT Person

IMG_20140505_085058Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

Many of my fellows in IT have been in this situation before.  They get a call from a user reporting an issue.  They explain what is happening and we invariably ask the question, “When was the last time you rebooted the computer?”

Now I know this annoys people to no end when we ask this question. It annoys a lot of people as their computers can take a long time to start up and that’s a hassle.

Believe me, IT people know how long your computer takes to start up.  We know and we will still ask you to reboot.

This is why in an enterprise environment, and now at home as well, you should reboot your computer at least once a week. You see, in the background, the software on your computer is being updated. Whether the tools are Windows Update, SCCM, batch files or scripts that run checks, your computer is constantly being updated.  These updates include things like security patches, improvements for various applications, etc.

Many times, those updates can’t complete their installations until the computer is powered off and back on.  This is usually due to a file that needs to be updated is in use and can only be updated during a boot up.

So, to ensure that you are not subjected to a bludgeoning from an angry IT person wielding a “clue by four”, please do the following before you call any help desk.

  • Follow the correct process for powering your computer off and then power it back on.
  • Do not log out of the computer, actually power it off.  Logging out is not rebooting the computer, it’s only rebooting your session.
  • Power the computer off, count to 5 and then power it back on.

This one thing alone will resolve most issues.

One more thing.  Don’t lie about rebooting.

Yes, we can tell very quickly if you rebooted or if the system up time clock shows the last power on was 19 days ago.

Seriously, don’t lie to us, I am getting tired of helping my colleagues hide the bodies.


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