Switch it off and on again - Wardour Secure Networks Grantham explains
11th October 2011
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Have you heard the saying from IT Support, 'Switch it off and on again'? Does this annoy you and make you want to just kick your PC/laptop or throw it out of the window?

It's not your average IT magic, it will actually work most of the time to cure numerous IT problems, including the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) - more of that excitment later.

Firstly you need to understand that the workings of a Windows computer contains micro- chips, infact multiple mini computers, controlling the graphics, hard drive, software and output functions of the computer.

As with all types of processes they can get stuck in a loop and just stop working, this can be anything from simple things such as not printing or mouse not working, to more major issues such as completely frozen systems or again the dreaded BSOD (there it is again!).

Switching it off and on again will in most cases clear the stuck processes and allow you to continue on your merry way in your computing bliss.

However sometimes this does not resolve anything and within minutes you can have your computing bliss shattered again. Why I hear you ask!!!

There is no simple answer to this. Sometimes it is due to a software error or update that has not been tested correctly, which affects other software elements such as device drivers. Then you can get the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

The BSOD looks like something of the Matrix to most people but it does contain a huge amount of information which your IT specialist should be able to use to diagnose the problem. It is essentially split into sections:

Error message.

Modules that have loaded.

Modules that were about to load.

Kernal Debugger

Again so far this is sounding quite complicated. However there is an easier way of looking at things, right at the end of the blue screen there is usually a message saying 'Dumping to memory' This saves all log information to a file, this is a text file that your IT specialist might ask for to determine the error that occurred and determine a fix. There is commonly an error code similar to 0x00000000 which again can be used to determine the error.

If all else fails and you are stuck - you can always load a previously working version of windows, called 'Last known Good' Press F8 on boot up and it will appear in a menu with other options such as 'Safe Mode'

This might not always work as it will boot to a version that successfully started, this may still include the error.

Before you dive for your windows discs and tissues because you think you have lost all your data and need to rebuild from scratch there is a 'System Restore' point available if you can get into windows, again your IT Specialist can talk you through this.

After all this, there is sometimes no choice but to reload Windows to factory defaults, if you think you have lost all your data then think again. Don't panic, in 99% of cases this should not be the case. If in doubt call someone who knows what they are doing and not your friend from down the road who says they know what they are doing.

If you need any more advice give me a call on Grantham 01476 573599


About the Author

Simon p

Member since: 21st May 2012

Wardour Secure Networks in Grantham provides protection for new business start-ups and businesses with existing IT systems.

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