People use computers for almost everything nowadays. However, when they don’t work as intended it can be endlessly frustrating. Whether you have hardware that isn’t properly connecting, or you have software that isn’t responding the way it normally does, many times before you call for assistance there are things you can do to try and fix the problem, or at the very least, understand what the issue is. This process is called troubleshooting. Today, we’ll take a look at what it means to properly troubleshoot computer issues, and when it is your responsibility to look to the professionals as to not cause more problems than when you started.
We’ve all done it: something is a little bit off, so naturally we try to fix the perceived problem, only to exacerbate things. The problem is that we are clutching at straws. The theory behind troubleshooting is that every problem has a solution, and by eliminating potential problems, you’ll be able to, at the very least, ascertain what is causing the issue so that you can resolve it.
In order to properly troubleshoot a problem, you should have an effective knowledge of the system you are investigating. Chefs don’t typically investigate crime, why should a salesman investigate why their computer isn’t functioning properly? Not to say that a salesperson (or a chef, for that matter) can’t fix a computer issue they have, but typically to go in blind and successfully troubleshoot an issue, you need to have the knowledge required to understand the system you are troubleshooting.
The first key to successfully troubleshooting a computer is to start simple. By starting at the beginning you can quickly rule out certain simple problems. With any luck, it will be some simple adjustment and you’ll get your system up and running quick. To give you a good example of what a successful troubleshoot looks like, we’ll take the simplest problem a user can run into and go through the scenario, and the potential problems you are facing:
You sit down to your computer and press the power button and the machine doesn’t power on.
If the machine isn’t powering on, you can quickly ascertain that it has a connection or hardware issue. First you will want to check the connections.
- Check the power cord on both ends to make sure the system is connected to the power strip or outlet.
- If you are using a power strip to make sure that it is plugged into an outlet.
- Once you’ve determined that the computer is properly connected you’ll need to consider new hardware. If the computer you are troubleshooting was working well previous to adding a piece of hardware onto your machine, you can bet that this piece of hardware has something to do with it.
- If you’ve checked both the connections and haven’t installed any new hardware on the machine, you’ll want to take the cord that powers your monitor and swap it for the one that powers your desktop. If it turns on, then you know you have a bad cord that can be easily replaced.
- If this doesn’t work it is likely a problem with the machine’s power supply.
That is just one example of a basic troubleshoot to a very basic problem. As situations get more complex, more variables are presented making working through advanced issues more time intensive. The IT professionals at Eckstrom Consulting are masters at troubleshooting IT-related problems, and can be of great value to organizations that seem to have a near-constant set of technology issues. We have well-documented procedures and processes in place to keep support effective and efficient. If your organization has technology problems that you can’t effectively troubleshoot, reach out to us at (406) 730-5105 today.