A procedure whereby all data is cleared out of an electronic device’s memory and it is returned to the same state it was in the first time it was ever turned on. Hard resets are sometimes required to bring a malfunctioning device back to a state where it can be used again. When electronic equipment is turned off there are often certain parameters that get stored in temporary memory so when power is reapplied the equipment can turn on in more or less the same state it was when it was turned off before. Sometimes errors can occur in the device that may manifest themselves as erroneous operation, or simply a cessation of all operations. Often turning the device off and back on again will clear out the memory and the boot process will reload the operation software and solve the problem. However, it is possible for data in these stored registers to become corrupt and cause problems, and since they are used as part of the booting process to return the instrument to its previous state they actually cause the device to fail (crash) again each time it is turned on. A hard reset is an operation that goes in and clears out all such registers so the equipment can boot up from scratch and hopefully return to normal operation. Hard resets will vary from device to device both in terms of what it takes to initiate them and in terms of what they actually do to the machine. Some really do clear out everything in the machine to the extent that the operating system software has to be reloaded from scratch. Others just clear out specific registers that hold information used by the OS during booting. You should consult with a technician before initiating a hard reset to make sure you have a way of returning the machine to working order afterwards.