Quick Tip Tuesday: Troubleshooting

TroubleshootingLearning the basic principles of troubleshooting problems is a valuable skillset that can allow you to solve issues ranging from a lawn mower that won't start to Excel pivot tables that won't group by date.  Troubleshooting techniques empower you to solve problems independently - a critical consideration when an issue is time sensitive or customer service centers are unavailable.  Even if you are unable to solve the problem on your own, your troubleshooting efforts eliminate possible causes of the issue, narrowing down the diagnosis. Below are some basic computer-related troubleshooting tips:

  • Once you begin troubleshooting any problem, find a way to record your process.  This will prevent you from repeating any process, and will also be useful should you have to contact someone for further assistance. 
  • Record any error messages.  Many common error messages are easily searchable online, and frequently you can find the answer just by typing part of the error in to Google. Error messages are also essential for support teams to solve problems. 
  • Make a note of when the problem first started occurring.  What has changed since the problem started?  Has new software been installed?  Have settings been changed?  What is different now about the situation? 
  • Finally, restart the computer!  It may sound insulting or cliche, but restarting can solve many computer issues.  If there is only one program having a problem, it may suffice to just restart the program. 

Check out this site for more troubleshooting tips and tricks!

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