If computers play a even a small role in your job you will no doubt have experienced the frustration caused when a PC refuses to do what it is supposed to. This is often the time most people resort to calling “the IT guy”. Just as you prepare yourself to begin relaying a detailed account of exactly what has gone wrong you get given that line that is all too often associated with calling someone for IT support- “have you turned it off then turned it back on again?”
Understandably many people may feel a little let down upon being told to simply turn it off and back on again. Surely the problem that has caused you so much trouble must warrant some kind of investigation. The fact of the matter is that it most cases rebooting your PC is all that is required.
Modern PCs are incredibly powerful and complex. They run a huge range of software programs each made up of hundreds or even thousands of files and processes. What is even more incredible is that modern PCs can even run multiple complex programs all at the same time. From time to time, unfortunately but understandably, sometimes they can trip eachother up. By rebooting your PC you effectively set everything back on its feet and ready to go again.
Now if the problem was caused by a one off unlucky collision it is unlikely any IT person will be able to do anything about it. Rebooting your PC will have sorted the problem and off you go till the next time something falls over. If it is something an IT person can do anything about the problem will appear again (and probably in the near future).
As a rule, always try saving any work you have open and reboot your PC before calling your IT support. If this sorts the problem you will be back up and running far quicker than waiting for an IT person. If the problem happens again note down what you were doing at the time, what programs you had open, what you were doing on those programs and any error messages that show up. To solve most IT problems it can be important to recreate the error, this will give the person investigating the problem a starting point.