As a computer technician, a server administrator, or a network administrator, you will eventually have to deal with problems. Some problems will have obvious solutions and be easy to fix. Many problems will need to be figured out by following a troubleshooting methodology to efficiently resolve a problem.
There are two methods when troubleshooting and fixing a problem: specific approach and systematic approach. The specific approach is usually used when you have seen the exact problem before and you already know what to do. There is not much that needs to be done in investigating the scope of the problem and little research needs to be done. Of course, if you see the same problem frequently, you should investigate further to permanently fix the problem.
The systematic approach is a more formal approach. The whole reason for using an effective troubleshooting methodology is to reduce the amount of guesswork needed to troubleshoot and fix the problem in a timely manner.
Microsoft Product Support Service engineers use the “detect method,” which consists of the following six steps:
1. Discover the problem: Identify and document problem symptoms, and search technical
information resources including searching Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles to determine whether the problem is a known condition.
2. Evaluate system configuration: Ask the client or customer and check the system’s documentation to determine if any hardware, software, or network changes have been made including any new additions. Also check any available logs including looking in the Event Viewer.
3. List or track possible solutions and try to isolate the problem by removing or disabling hardware or software components: You may also consider turning on additional logging or running diagnostic programs to gather more information and test certain components.
4. Execute a plan: Test potential solutions and have a contingency plan if these solutions do not work or have a negative impact on the computer. Of course, you don’t want to make the problem worse, so if possible, back up any critical system or application files.
5. Check results: If the problem is not fixed, go back to track possible solutions.
6. Take a proactive approach: Document changes that you made along the way while troubleshooting the problem. Also notify the customer or client and document internal symptoms of the problem in case it happens in the future or in case those changes that fixed the problem affect other areas.
When troubleshooting problems, you do have several tools that can help isolate and fix the problems. These tools include:
• System Information
• Event Viewer
• Task Manager
• Resource Monitor
• Performance Monitor
• System Configuration
• Memory Diagnostics tool
• Troubleshooting Wizard
• Boot Menu including Safe mode
• Windows Repair
When troubleshooting issues within Windows and related programs, you will eventually deal with problems that you do not know how to fix. Therefore, you may have to ask coworkers and
do some research on the Internet. Good search engines such as Google and Bing are invaluable.
You will also need to check the vendor Web sites, including Microsoft’s (www.microsoft.com).
Microsoft also includes a Knowledge Base and several online forums (http://social.microsoft.
com/forums and http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums), which you can use to find help for a wide range of problems and that allow you to leave messages for others to answer.
The Microsoft Knowledge Base is a repository of thousands of articles made available to the public by Microsoft Corporation that contains information on problems encountered by users of Microsoft products. Each article bears an ID number, and articles are often referred to by their Knowledge Base (KB) ID. The Knowledge Base can be accessed by entering keywords or the ID at http://support.microsoft.com/search/.
This lesson is a part of Monitoring and Troubleshooting Servers chapter from 98-365 Windows Server Administration Fundamentals Prep course. More lessons in this chapter are
The Practice tests included in this course are: