A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Troubleshooting

Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer at an IT department or a small business owner who has just started to use a new sales software, it can be very useful to know how to carry out a basic troubleshooting session. Simply put, troubleshooting is a methodical approach to identifying and solving a problem. It isn’t rocket science and it’s not something that only tech support geniuses can pull off.

1. Make Preparations

Troubleshooting can often be a frustrating ordeal pushing even the most patient individual to his/her limit. Make preparations to combat stress by adopting the right attitude or approaching it as a team effort. Of course, there are times when an issue is way too complicated and you have to call in the professionals – your trusted IT services Melbourne-based agency to see to it. Otherwise, if you have some time and are willing to do a bit of research, then there is no reason at all that you would have trouble following the steps below to perform your own troubleshooting.

2. Have a Recovery Procedure in Place

Before you attempt to troubleshoot make sure you have recovery procedures set in place for each component of your IT system in case anything goes wrong. For instance, they can detail instructions on the backup procedures for important databases and the Operating Systems. If your IT system includes supporting technologies like additional software, then make sure the recovery procedures cover those too.

3. Identify the Nature of the Problem

When you’re trying to identify the problem by looking at the symptoms, here’s something to remember: software issues are constant and repetitive unlike hardware issues, which are often erratic and unpredictable. Once you’ve narrowed it down to either a software or hardware problem, it is time to move on to the next step.

4. Pay Attention the Preceding Events

Consider what happened right before the error occurred. Was a new update or fix rolled out? Was a certain hardware component upgraded or replaced? Was a new piece of software installed? Usually, asking questions like this can point you to the problem right away.

If you’re unsure about what events preceded the error, check your Operating System’s event log. If you’re using Windows, all events are logged in an application called Event Viewer with date and time stamps.

5. Record Evidence of the Error

Whether you’re troubleshooting your own systems or someone else’s, it’s best to record evidence of the error and the events preceding the error.  You can do this by taking a screenshot of the error message or the relevant section of an event log file.

6. Google it

Now that you’ve collected important details about the error, it’s time to Google a relevant solution. The best place to look for answers would be forums and if you’re lucky you may find one that’s solely dedicated to the type of software or hardware that you’ve narrowed the error down to.

If you can’t find any solutions on the internet, consider posting your problem on a relevant forum. Make sure that you give specific details about the issue so that the forums users are better informed when they try to diagnose the error. If you still can’t find an appropriate fix, then contact a professional IT Technician.

7. Record Your Steps

If you manage to fix the problem, make sure that you record all the steps you took so either you or someone else can reproduce them if faced with the same error in the future.

With the increased dependency on technology, basic troubleshooting knowledge is something that everyone should have. While complex issues may require experts in the field, there is no reason that you can’t handle the more straightforward ones yourself.

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