One of the last things that goes through my mind when fixing computer software issues (such as Windows or Microsoft Office not acting nicely) is if the user rebooted the computer before they called me. Since an issue is already This should really be one of the first questions that I ask if the user doesn’t tell me that they rebooted.

Now, I must admit that I am surprised when this age old advise fixes the problem. But in reality, should I be surprised? I really shouldn’t. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Windows Updates could have installed a software update and the user has not yet rebooted the computer even though they were prompted to do so.
  2. The user installed a new program which changed something in the OS and didn’t reboot the computer.
  3. A program was frozen in time and they tried to re-launch it even though it is still frozen.

These are only a few examples and there are hundreds more. Here is the point: When all else fails, reboot the computer.