Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Simplest Fix for the Hardest Problems! Shut the computer OFF!

It seems like shutting a computer off is such a difficult thing to do!  However it could save you a lot of problems (headaches)!
Like the old saying, sometimes “the hardest problems have the simplest solutions!”  Well, that can be true with computers as well, and there is one simple fix that can solve a large number of problems.  Don’t worry everyone should know how to do this, and no complicated instructions are required!  The simplest fix is often to simply shut the computer off or reboot it!  Now of course shutting the computer off will not fix all problems, such as viruses; but it often fixes performance related problems and locked up programs.
There is actually some debate over whether or not you should regularly turn your computer off.  Some claim turning your computer off adds wear and tear to the hardware, plus the power saved would be like leaving a light bulb on all the time.  Well, just like leaving the light bulb on the time is nonsense so is the argument about leaving the computer on all the time.  Also, most modern computers will use more power than a light bulb, especially if you compare it to a CFL.
It is a good idea to shut the computer off when you are not using it.  If you are only gone for a short period, such as a break, you should put the computer to sleep (or standby).  Depending on how you use your computer, I recommend shutting the computer off nightly.  By regularly shutting your computer off, you can start with a “fresh slate.”  At the very least shutting the computer off (or rebooting it) will clear the memory. 
Windows Updates
Shutting a computer off will also allow Windows to install any updates that might be pending.  Failure to reboot the computer at some point will prevent Windows from installing updates!  This will also fix most of those annoying automatic restarts, which are usually cause by Windows Update.  You would not believe the number of people that complain to me about this problem and yet leave their computers on and continue to suffer with the problem of the computer restarting automatically (yes there is a way to prevent Windows from restarting for an update, but then the update will not get installed, and as such I never recommend it!).  At this point, I should also mention; if possible do not leave a computer unattended.  I realize of course that is not always possible, in which case never have unsaved work open!
Windows Shutdown Process
During the shutdown process, Windows will first close any running programs; it is possible for a running program to stop the shutdown process, in which event Windows should provide you an option to wait for the program to respond or end the running program.  Next Windows will save any system settings to the hard drive, clear paging file (virtual memory), and eventually clear the memory (RAM).  For laptops it is extremely important that you make sure the laptop is completely shutdown before storing the laptop, otherwise the laptop may overheat.
Why shut the computer off?
With all that being said there is no argument half as convincing for shutting a computer as the security risk!  Any computer that is on is a security risk, viruses, hacking, ect.!  So, if you do not want to shut your computer off for the the performance benefits, at least shut if off for the security risk!  Also, if possible NEVER leave a computer running while you are not present!
In Short – Shut the computer off, nightly or at least sleep when not in use!

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