Why do I always have to reboot everything?

That is an excellent question… I will be more than happy to assist you with your equipment.

Does this sound familiar?  You try to do something on the computer and it’s frozen or the internet isn’t working or even your cable box is stuck and the first thing you hear when you ask for help is “Did you try turning off and on again?”

Well I know you have because I must say that a hundred times a day. I bet you are asking yourself- Why do we make you do this and does it actually do anything or is it just a time waster? The answer is, it does a lot and amazingly enough it fixes so many problems, that it is a waste of time not to do it. Many times, even if we do everything we can to fix an issue it won’t work until we reboot the computer or the router.

Here is why, inside all those devices are two important things that cause these issues. The first is something called cache memory. Lets say you are trying to go on the internet, your computer connects to the router and then out to the internet. Now there are a lot of moving parts that allow that to happen. Including the router needing to get an IP address from your service provider and knowing how to route your request to the correct website.


Now in normal processing that might take a few seconds for all that to come together. Well, we live in an immediate gratification society and can’t be bothered to wait a few seconds for all that information to be transmitted. So your computer, router, and even the web browser all have cache memory. That is information need to complete these requested stored into the device so that it does not need to request the information every time you want to visit a website. It just looks up the information in the stored cache memory.


Cache memory like all computer language is stored as binary. Binary is written as ones and zeros. It only takes one of them to be out of place to mess up the whole system. That means if the cache memory gets corrupted, not by a virus or anything just normal use, that memory needs to be cleared out to allow it to make a new request and get the information back from the servers.

How do we clear out the cache memory? I think you know where this is going, by turning off the device and turning it back on again.

So why do we tell you to turn it off for at least 10 seconds before turning it back on. Well this is a little simpler. Inside all electronic devices is a circuit board that passing along the electricity to power the device. In a normal electrical circuit there are things called resistors. Resistors regulate electrical flow through out the circuit. A byproduct of these resistors is that they tend to store a small charge. This charge remains in a resistor for about 10 seconds once a device has been turned off. So in theory if you unplug a device, the resistor will keep it powered for 10 seconds stopping the cache memory from being cleared and negating the entire purpose of rebooting the device.


Most of the time you are having an issue with a device not working correctly it is because one little piece of the cache memory has malfunctioned and rebooting the device will clear it up. It is more important for internet use since rebooting the device will force it to request all the networking information again from the service provider and will clear up any bad routes or changes that may have taken place. Things on the internet are changing constantly and some times the cache memory is not corrupted just outdated and needs to be refreshed.

If you have a technology question would like answered please E-mail speakslowerblog@gmail.com and I will be happy to look into for you.


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