Are the predictions on what percentage of the questions in superuser the solution would be to reboot?

I'm going to guess about 5%.

  • 1
    +1 for the IT crowd reference :)
    – fretje
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 13:01
  • 1
    My guess is that it is around 50% too few answers!! ;) Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 23:56
  • Phil Collins reference, I thought
    – smci
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 23:05

7 Answers 7


You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.

Tom Knight

  • 5
    If you're on a helpdesk, far, FAR too many solutions are "reboot and shut up".
    – Stephen Jennings
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 9:44
  • 4
    The rest are usually "Plug the computer in and press the on switch" :p
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 10:45
  • 3
    Before rebooting you have to waste at least two and a half hours figuring it out. Then you reboot. Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 19:27
  • I just spent 3-4 hours over a few days troubleshooting a problem, including some Google results of my exact problem in which no less than 4 solutions were provided, one of which seemed to have worked for every other user, but none of them worked for me. Then I rebooted, and the problem went away. Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 18:45
  • 1
    This is completely incorrect for routers, modems and most smartphones. And even if power-cycling them doesn't solve the problem outright, it at least returns them to a known state where diagnosing the root-cause is much easier.
    – smci
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 23:07
  • "Turn it off and on again" is easier than trying to walk a user through doing things like clearing OS level caches and renewing their DHCP lease... As others have noticed, power cycling is often really effective just because it can quickly rid the system a corrupted in memory state.
    – Kaithar
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 0:09

can we add an auto bot to add that as the first answer to any question containing keywords such as 'frozen', 'stuck', 'blue screen', etc.


  • 11
    Won't be surprised if this Bot achieves Skeet-esque reputation and celebrity in no time
    – Assaf
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 11:25

I'm predicting

Sounds like a virus...my mom had that, I think.


Try control, alt, and delete maybe?

  • Yes!! The "virus" thing. How it bothers me. "My computer is slow even if I purchased and installed AVG, Avast, Kaspersky and SuperAntivirusPlus2013, it must be that Cornflickr thing that's been in the news!" Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 19:31

You can get some insight into providing true helpdesk-quality answers online by reading Roy's tech support on Twitter.


Suggest there is just an automatically posted answer after a 10 second delay suggesting this...


The first two things I ask before anything else are: - Are you in front of the computer? - Is it plugged in?

Once I tried to help a user by phone and after half an hour dictating several proceedings, he kindly mentioned he was talking from a public phone in the middle of nowhere.

  • 1
    You forgot "Is there electricity to the room?" and "Is it smoking, on fire or immersed in water?" ... cause those are both things that happen and don't seem important enough to mention ¬_¬
    – Kaithar
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 0:02

Try Tales from the Techs for some true inspiration.

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