It’s inevitable; sooner or later, every business will encounter some type of IT problem. These hiccups are usually small and usually fixed easily. However, when something big happens, it can be a challenge for your IT support team.
The good news is that whether it’s an application that keeps crashing or a printer that keeps spitting out an error code, there are four steps you can take to troubleshoot most IT issues.
Step 1: Identify the Problem
The first step in any IT problem-solving process is to identify the problem. Without knowing the specific issue you’re dealing with, it’s impossible to proceed with the rest of the troubleshooting process. There are several ways to identify the problem you’re dealing with:
Ask the User: If something is clearly broken, the first thing you should do is talk to the people who are directly impacted by the issue. Find out what’s wrong. Why is the problem occurring? How often does it occur? Get as much information as you can so that you can find a solution as quickly as possible. Can they reproduce the issue and if so, how?
Use Technology Tools: See if the problem can be identified by using a technology tool, such as a performance monitor or RMM tool. If a device isn’t working correctly or can’t be accessed, use a different device to isolate the problem and see if you can determine the root cause.
Examine the Event Logs: If a user reports a problem or if you notice that a device isn’t functioning correctly, open the event log for that device. Event logs can provide an incredible amount of information about what’s occurring on a network or device.
Step 2: Gather Information about the Problem
After you’ve identified the problem, start gathering more information about it. The more you know about an issue, the quicker you can fix it. There are several ways to gather information about a problem:
Ask the Users: Users know that a problem exists. They just may not be able to describe it well. It’s a good idea to ask the users directly about the issue. How often does it happen? What happens when it happens? What steps did they take when it occurred? Get as much information as you can.
Use Technology Tools: Technology tools can gather lots of information about a problem. There are many tools that can be used to collect information about a specific problem, such as log dumps, packet captures, or if you are remote, simply ask the user to take a video.
Check the Event Logs: As mentioned in the first step, event logs are a great way to gather information about a problem. They can also tell you what happened and when it happened.
Step 3: Try to Reproduce the Problem
If you’ve identified a problem and gathered information about the issue, you’re ready to try to reproduce the problem. This is where you try to create a situation that causes the problem.
You might be able to use the information you gathered to trigger the issue. If you can reproduce the problem, you’ve got a good chance of solving it.
You can troubleshoot the problem and fix it. This can be a tricky process, though. You may spend a lot of time trying to recreate the problem and not be able to do it. That’s normal.
Step 4: Find a Solution
After you’ve been able to identify the problem and reproduce it, you’re ready to find a solution. This is something of a trial-and-error process. You need to try a few different solutions until you find the one that works. There are several ways to find a solution:
Check the Device Manual: The device manual is filled with information, including troubleshooting guides and known issues. This can be a great place to start the troubleshooting process.
Research the Problem: You can find a lot of information online about a specific technology or issue. You can use search engines or online forums to find information on the problem.
Ask Other IT Professionals: You can also ask other IT professionals about the issue. There are lots of online forums where people discuss technology problems.
As you can see, there are a few different things you can do to troubleshoot most IT issues. By following through with each of these steps, you should be closer to resolving your problem.