*IMPORTANT NOTE: The more important a device on your network the more important it is to involve your IT firm. A power cycle should never be attempted on a server, switch, router, or other critical system without involving your it firm. Power cycles on devices that store and transmit data (like your server, router, etc.) that are unexpected can cause damage and should only be attempted in extreme cases and with the supervision of your IT firm. Did we mention you should involve your IT firm? You should.
Everyone is aware of the importance of a good night's sleep and the memory restoring nature of a REM cycle. Computers (the brains of your office's tech operations) need rest too and their memory can also benefit from a cycle, a power cycle.
Often your hardware (i.e. a computer, modem, scanner etc.) will get an error that cannot be dealt with (as it manifests behind the scenes) or completely degrades and stops normal operation. Not knowing what to do you reach out to your IT partner and they give you some seemingly generic advice "Did you try turning it off and on again?". Is this a running joke in the IT world, sort of, but it is also an effective solution in many cases. If a device is experiencing problems, one of the first things an IT firm will perform is a power cycle. Power cycling a computer clears out the internal memory and puts the device back into a ready state without losing any internal configuration. So, what is it? A power cycle is the removal of the device from any power, draining of any internal battery, and allowing for the device to restart in a controlled manner as it was designed to do.
Each device benefitting from a power cycle has two key cables:
Power Cord: Every device needs power, usually this power cord is either a thick black cable going to a wall or a battery backup or a smaller black cable with a round end. They are made round as to be standardized within the industry.
Device Connection Cable: Every device needs to communicate with the network, whether it is a printer over a network that each computer can access or a Topaz Signature pad that allows for customers to sign their names on a singular computer, each one requires a connection with another device to function. The cables can be either ethernet/network cables and/or USB cables (with some being older serial connectors).
During a power cycle we are concerned with only one cable, the power cable. Most devices have power through an independent cord. The device connection cable is usually not involved in the power cycle process however, if you come across a device on your network that ONLY has a network cable, please reach out to your IT provider to identify it and assist you with your troubleshooting.
Power Cycling Steps
Ideally power resets should be supervised by your IT provider. Devices like Cable Modems and network devices take longer to return to an operational state due to the internal steps and communication that it needs to take place with the other devices on your network. Please be patient with your devices, as they are doing the best that they can.
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