Power cycling is the act of turning a piece of equipment, usually a computer, off and then on again. Reasons for power cycling include having an electronic device reinitialize its configuration or recover from an unresponsive state of its mission critical functionality, such as in a crash or hang situation. Power cycling can also be used to reset network activity inside a modem.
Power cycling can be done manually, usually using a switch on the device to be cycled; automatically, through some type of device, system, or network management monitoring and control; or by remote control; through a communication channel.
In the data center environment, remote control power cycling can usually be done through a power distribution unit, over TCP/IP. In the home environment, this can be done through home automation powerline communications or IP protocols (wired or wireless) (Usually this is setup by a homeowner's A/V contractor or other specialty Installer). According to the company, NetReset LLC, power cycling can also be done through a hardware based device installed by the homeowner. Most Internet Service Providers publish a 'how-to' on their website showing their customers the correct procedure to power cycle their devices. Power Cycling is also referenced several times while listening to the 'on-hold' music when calling your Internet Service Provider for tech support. This theory does not apply to computers; only to network hardware.
Power cycling is a standard diagnostic procedure usually performed first when the computer freezes however, frequently power cycling a computer can cause thermal stress. Reset has an equal effect on the software but may be less problematic for the hardware as power is not interrupted.
- Scott Mueller (2003). "21: Power Cycling". Upgrading and Repairing PCs. Upgrading and Repairing Series. Que Publishing. p. 1195. ISBN 978-0-7897-2745-9. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
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