IT News

Reboot before you Troubleshoot

Have you ever had strange behavior on a computer or gadget but couldn’t explain why?  More times than not, odd problems can be resolved by simply restarting the device. This rule applies to most electronic devices, but is highly applicable to the more complicated devices like smart phones and computers. The only difference with a computer is that there is a safe and recommended way to properly shut down and restart. Restarting a computer is also a great way to proactively avoid problems before they happen. Getting into the habit of rebooting daily or even weekly will help ensure a smooth and problem-free experience with technology. 

Restarting is also necessary for preventing specific problems including security threats. At William Paterson, we take cyber security very seriously and use a multi-layered approach to protect our network, devices, and data from internal and external threats. University-imaged computers will receive security patches to the operating system on a monthly schedule, however unscheduled critical patches are sometimes deployed to protect against specific threats known to be exploited in the wild. To reduce interruptions, these patches are installed silently in the background.  A device restart is usually necessary for these patches to be fully applied because critical system files can only be replaced during computer reboot.  

In addition to patching the operating system, we also install 3rd-party endpoint security software to protect against malicious threats, both known and unknown.  The installation and maintenance of this software will also periodically require a system restart. From time to time you may see a restart dialog on university PCs.  We strive to give the greatest flexibility when it comes to rebooting so that work can continue uninterrupted.  To that end, no reboot is forced without at least a 12-hour countdown.  The best way to avoid an unwanted restart dialog is to restart proactively on a regular basis. 

If you have questions regarding computer security or the benefits of rebooting, please contact our Help Desk at 973-720-4357. 

November 18, 2019