This clip from the BBC’s The IT Crowd exaggerates it a bit, but there really is something to be said for a shutdown / restart. It seems at times to have a magical ability to cure the strangest of computer equipment ills.
Mac users would love to tell you it’s a need exclusive to Windows, but they’re wrong. Truth is, even machines running neither Microsoft nor Apple operating systems occasionally just need to be reset.
A residential client of mine called me the other day, as three of his four computers had lost their Internet connection: an Acer netbook running Windows XP, an HP laptop running Ubuntu Linux, and another Windows laptop. The common thread between them, versus the PC which was still getting Internet, was that they were on wireless (WiFi).
So before dispatching anyone to the site, I gave him the IT Crowd directive (sans any condescension) to try turning the wireless router off and on again. And what do you know, wireless Internet was restored. Saved me a trip, saved him the cost of a service call, and made him and his family very happy.
So laugh at the IT Crowd. In fact, if you enjoy the idea of British humor meeting Seinfeld-type storylines with an IT flavor, I heartily endorse taking in the whole show. But laugh knowing that this little joke is rooted in a truth, one that occasionally can save you a headache.