Now if you use this methodology you can learn to be a

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problem and already know how to fix it without having to go through the entire troubleshooting process again. Now, if you use this methodology, you can learn to be a very effective troubleshooter as you gain hands-on experience in the real world. Summary 6:50-6:55 That's it for this lesson. In this lesson, we emphasized the importance of using a standardized troubleshooting model when troubleshooting system problems. Good troubleshooting is a process that combines knowledge, experience, and intuition. As you practice service and support in a work environment, you will add to your experience and develop intuition that will help you to quickly solve a variety of problems. Regardless of your current troubleshooting abilities, you will benefit from following a systematic approach to problem solving. The following process has proven effective in a variety of situations: Step Description 1. Identify the problem When identifying the problem, resist the urge to start fixing things at this point. To identify the problem: Ask the user to describe the problem, check for error messages, or recreate the problem. Establish what has changed. Most often, problems are caused by new hardware, software, or changes to the configuration. If necessary, carefully ask users to discover what might have changed that could have caused the problem. 2. Back up the system Before making changes to the system, back up user and system data (or make sure a recent backup exists). While some changes can be made without affecting user data, you should back up data to protect against unintentional data loss caused by making changes. 3. Identify possible causes and identify a theory of probable cause Check for simple, obvious, and common problems first. For example, check power cords, connectors, and common user errors. 4. Test your theory Test your theory to verify the cause of the problem. If your theory is not correct, examine other possible causes (return to the previous step). At this point, if the problem is caused by simple things like an unplugged system, you can
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safely take actions to resolve the problem. If the cause is not a simple one, identify the necessary steps to correct the problem. If you cannot identify the cause of the problem, or if the problem is beyond your ability or responsibility to fix, escalate the problem. Escalation means turning the problem over to someone more capable of handling the problem. When escalating the problem, be sure to detail the actions you took and the information you have discovered up to this point. 5. Create an action plan To create an action plan, address the most likely problem and account for side effects of the proposed plan. For example, Will the fix result in significant system downtime? Is the resolution best left for other times of the day? Is there a temporary solution that should be implemented immediately? When side effects have been weighed against the fix and all concerns have been addressed, fix the problem.
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