Midnight Kitty wrote:
"OK, her brain probably hurt, too. I don't think she had an answer as to how rebooting fixes problems, only that it usually works."
If you want an answer as to why rebooting often fixes problems with computers, it's both simple and complex. Computers store the data they need for running programs in RAM (random access memory, in case you care about the acronyms). RAM only works when it's powered, which is why a computer forgets everything you were doing when the power goes out. Many problems that computers develop are because something in RAM went wrong, like a program getting scrambled or loading into the wrong section of memory or whatever. Rebooting a machine clears the RAM and forces the computer to reload it all, which will sort out a pretty big variety of errors and get things working as expected again. The reason for turning it off and back on is that sometimes a computer will reboot without properly powering down the RAM, which means that the (messed up) data can still be there when the system restarts, and power-cycling the machine prevents that. How memory gets messed up can be a very complex issue, but the simple answer is that a lot of computer problems are related to messed up programs in memory and rebooting is a simple and usually effective fix for it, so most technicians will suggest it as a first resort to try to clear up a problem.