My Pages

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The Art of Troubleshooting...

You bought a new Laptop and have been using it without any hitches. Weeks have passed and suddenly you feel your new baby is not performing as it used to.

Your computer has been running fine for months, when

Dealing with machines in general leads to frustration and often is time consuming. However, following a few guideline can help you to become proficient in Troubleshooting problems. From my little experience with Computers, I have found out that the best way to approach a computer related problem(s), you have to think like a Doctor.

A good Doctor will proceed with his/her patient with an open mind. Meaning he will not come to conclusions
without a diagnosis, first. The same process can be applied for a Computer or a Laptop which is not doing what it is supposed to be doing best.

I will be introducing you to a  Troubleshooting Theory Model which is just a set of mental steps to help us fix the problem. This Model includes talking to yourself (no, I am not asking you to become mad.) to determine how and when the problem took place, determining a cause, verification, and documentation.

  • Identify the problem
 If you are reading this, that means your computer is not working properly in the first place. Look out for the symptoms of the problem.

Is it a degradation in the performance of the computer/laptop in question?
Is it an error message that popped up?
Is something not accessible?

I should add, that at this stage it is recommended, if not critical, to backup! Get those important documents, project works on a thumb drive or an external hard disk.
  • Establish a theory of probable cause (question the obvious)
 Time to analyse the issue in question and come up with a theory as to what might be wrong. In simple terms, at this stage you are playing a "Guessing" game! And keep it simple.

Do not overlook the obvious things that might have cause the problem. Things such as a loose power cord, preventing the machine to power up properly. A dimmed monitor may cause a person to think that his monitor is dead.
  • Test the theory to determine the cause
 At this stage you already have an idea of what is causing the problem and you need to confirme this idea.
Sometimes the theroy you have formed and the fix for the theory, pretty much prove themselves at the same time.

For instance, lets say the power plug is not plugged in properly in. You notice no life from the PC when the power button is pressed
  • Once theory is confirmed determine next steps to resolve problem

  • If theory is not confirmed re-establish new theory or escalate

  • Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution

  • Verify full  system functionality and if applicable implement preventive mesaures

  • Document findings, actions and outcomes.

No comments:

Post a Comment