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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by SonicEvo, Aug 13, 2010.

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  1. SonicEvo


    Aug 13, 2010
    Ok so, I know everyone has had a peice of electronic equipment that has at one time or another needed to be reset rebooted restarted. I guess I'm curious, but can anyone give a scientific reason as to why electronic devices need to be reset from time to time? What is actually happening when things go wrong? Are bits of info being lost or misinterpreted? Just curious??
  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm no expert, you'll probably be get better answers from other people on this site.
    I've been told, rebooting resets your default settings, clears out stuff in RAM (random Access Memory), and basically should clear out whatever is screwing up your system at the time. I'm sure there are other reasons why one would reboot, and I assume you'll be hearing from others about it soon.
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I appear not to have posted my original reply. :-(

    The short reason is, bugs.

    Software can have bugs, but so can hardware. The cause can also be unexpected conditions. Any of these things can force the device into a state the designer didn't intend. If this state cannot be exited, then powering off in the hope that the power on conditions will reset the device may be your only option.

    Increasingly, with devices having memory that retains state over power cycles (von-volatile storage of some form), a power on reset may not work.

    An example of a hardware issue caused by unexpected conditions is SCR lockup in a CMOS device. If the designer has taken steps to ensure that this won't destroy the device, the only option is removing power from the affected component, and this is typically done by turning everything off and back on again.

    For logic circuits, there may be an undesired state which latches in some way that can't be executed.

    For software, some error may cause the program to stop accepting input, to simply stop, or any one of billions of other obscure and nasty things.
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