How to Reboot a Laptop

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Laptops are computer systems considered as lightweight, portable, and virtual offices for people on the go. Just like their desktop counterparts, it is possible that these mobile machines may encounter problems with the installed programs or Operating Systems which may cause various errors including freezing of the system. For desktop computers, when a system freezes, the reset button is usually hit to prompt a reset. For laptops however, there is no reset button that will reboot the machine. In computing terms, there are two types of reboot methods, the soft reboot (software-based) which is more preferred because it allows for the complete termination of all running processes and the hard reboot (hardware-based).

Materials Needed:
- Laptop machine
- power cord
- battery
Step 1
To initiate a soft reboot, it is important to identify the type of Operating System installed. This is because every platform implements its own way of triggering a reboot process. To use a hard reboot, proceed to Step 7.
Step 2
For the Microsoft Windows Operating System, go to Step 3. Users of Linux Operating Systems should proceed to Step 4. Laptops running on the Mac OS platform should proceed to Step 5.
Step 3
Click on the 'Start' Menu, select the 'Turn off Computer' and click on the 'Restart' option. An alternative is to simultaneously press and hold the CTRL, ALT, and Del keys on the keyboard which bring up the Windows Task Manager window. Choose the 'Shutdown' Menu and click the 'Restart' option.
Step 4
For Linux systems, the reboot can be implemented from the graphical user interface or the command shell. Depending on the GUI used, the reboot option is normally placed in the Main Menu or the object bar at the side of the window. Under a command shell, simply type the text reboot or the shutdown –r to restart the machine.
Step 5
In Mac OS-based laptops, the easiest way to reboot the system is by clicking on the Apple Menu at the upper left corner and choosing the 'Restart' option. This normally displays a message box waiting for a user action prior to the reboot process. Pressing the 'Control' and 'Eject' key combination will also display the 'Restart' menu that will reboot the machine.
Step 6
Steps 3 to 6 are preferred because they prevent possible damage to the Operating System components. These processes may also take some time because all actively running processes will be closed correctly.
Step 7
In instances wherein an Operating System-based restart is impossible because the machine has frozen, a hard reboot is resorted to. Simply press and hold the power button of the laptop for about 10 seconds until the machine turns off. Wait for another 10 seconds before attempting to power up the system.
Step 8
When a soft or hard reboot process is not possible due to any reason, the last resort is to remove the power source of the laptop. This can be done by unplugging the laptop or removing its battery. Refer to the laptop’s documentation on how to remove the battery because this process differs depending on the brand.


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