*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).
How To Perform a Power Cycle
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
- If applicable Save your work and shut down the programs you are working on.
- Attempt to do what is known as a graceful shutdown, which is a shutdown initiated by the device itself. This only really applies to those which have direct user interaction.
- Locate the power cord going to the device itself.
- Locate the power button, if the device has one.
- Unplug the power cord from the back of the device and hold it out: Your Device should shut down immediately. If it does not it has an internal battery backup device and you should consult your IT firm.
- If there is a power button, press and hold the power button for 10 seconds while the device is unplugged, this drains the internal battery.
- Make sure that the device remains unplugged from power for a minimum of 30 seconds, which will allow for any internal battery to drain and all remaining power to discharge.
- Plug your device back into the power cord you removed before. The device should start powering on (if there is a power button, press it once after plugging in the power to begin the power on process)
- Give your device time to power on. Depending on what kind of device it is, the start up process can take anywhere from almost instant to several minutes to fully power on.
- After a few minutes, check the functionality of the device and see if your issue has been resolved or has been improve.
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.
About Darkhorse Tech
Whether you’re just starting out or a well-established organization, Darkhorse Tech has the experience and technology to help get you moving, cut costs, and streamline your operations via unlimited IT support. We are here to help you do what you do best: focus on providing top-notch care and service for patients – not dealing with IT problems, lag time spent talking with technical support, or complicated technological mishaps. Unlimited IT support services help the whole team work efficiently without worrying about significant system issues or constant interruptions.
Our additional security services include:
- Unlimited Remote and/or On-Site IT Support of All Your Hardware and Software
- Improved Network Performance and Security
- HIPAA Compliant Off-Site and Local Backup Service (Darkhorse Secure Backup)
- Managed Antivirus, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Ransomware (Darkhorse Security Products)
- Compliance & Security Laws Standards
- Microsoft Security Patch Management
- Vendor Management: We will be on the phone, not your employees
- Secure, Remote Access to Your Office
- Firewall Management
- Network Management
- Long Term Planning and Budgeting
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