The Lost Art of Computer Troubleshooting 101

 The Lost Art of Computer Troubleshooting 101

For many people, troubleshooting computer issues is mysterious and confusing. It doesn’t have to be. I have been in the computer field for about 18 years and learned Narbonne  something a long time ago that has saved me countless hours of frustration. I call it “DIP-CD” to help me remember the steps in order. Picture dipping a CD into chocolate!

This information is useful to anyone, computer savvy or not. However, the more that you understand computers, the better you will be able to fix the issue. Either way, this should point you in the right direction. So read on and enjoy the extra free time!

Step 1: Define the Problem

You have to understand what the real issue is. So ask yourself, what exactly is happening. Can it be reproduced or is it intermittent? Are you getting an error message? Computer reboots every time I open Internet Explorer. Etc…

Step 2: Isolate the Cause

Now that you know what the issue is, you need to figure out the cause. First and foremost, ask: Did it ever work? If so, what changed and when? If it did work and then broke, SOMETHING changed. It’s your job to find out what that something is. For example, a computer all of a sudden starts to give you an error when you open Word. Ask, when is the last time that you used Word without an error? (Yesterday) Did anything change since yesterday? (Yes, we loaded a new service pack or update last night). There is your starting point.

If you can isolate WHEN things changed or at least a date range, you have something to work with. If the user can’t help determine this, check event logs for errors related to this issue and find out when they started. Once you find the culprit, move on to the next step “Perform the Repair”.

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