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IT troubleshooting

IT troubleshooting

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Published by Smite
basic IT troubleshooting
basic IT troubleshooting

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Published by: Smite on Apr 10, 2009
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06/17/2009

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Created by Network ServicesLast Modified 11/8/2004 by Jeff Knuckle
- 1 -
Effective Troubleshooting Methodology
Solving Computer System problems effectively and in a timely manner requiresfollowing a systematic troubleshooting methodology. The benefit of applying thefollowing troubleshooting process is that it helps to systematically resolve problemsquicker and with less confusion.General troubleshooting of Computer Systems consist of three (3) stages.1.
 
GATHER SYMPTOMS.2.
 
ISOLATE THE PROBLEM.3.
 
CORRECT THE PROBLEM
GATHER SYMPTOMS
During this first stage of the troubleshooting process, you gather symptoms of theproblem from the user and End Systems to help to define the problem. Tools to aid ingathering symptoms include
Ping
,
ipconfig
and
traceroute
.Three questions that are typically asked during this first stage are;
1. Did it ever worked ?2. When was the last time it worked ?3. Do you know what changed ?
.
ISOLATE PROBLEM
Base on the symptoms gathered in the first stage, possibilities are rules out and otherremain viable culprits. The number of test that can be performed and the facts that can begathered are virtually endless therefore you should select a approach that eliminate somepossibilities to a few manageable remaining ones. See Troubleshooting the LogicalModel later in this document on how to quickly isolate Computer Systems problem.
CORRECT THE PROBLEM
During this final stage, the problem which was isolated in the previous stage is fixed anddocumented.Ideally, the HelpDesk will be able to complete the first two stages, Gather Symptoms andIsolate the Problem; however, successfully completing the first stage will tremendouslyhelp the supporting staff to effective complete the latter two.
 
Created by Network ServicesLast Modified 11/8/2004 by Jeff Knuckle
- 2 -
THE LOGICAL MODEL.
Computer Systems can be mapped to a three layer logical model, the layers of the modelconsist of the APPLICATION Layer, NETWORK Layer and PHYSICAL Layer.APPLICATION LayerNETWORK LayerPHYSICAL LayerThe
APPLICATION
layer corresponds to the applications running on the Server anduser’s computer, e.g. Microsoft Exchange on the server and Microsoft Outlook on theuser’s computer.The
NETWORK
layer corresponds to the devices that provide the transports for thevarious applications, e.g. Cisco Routers and Switches.The
PHYSICAL
layer corresponds to the physical cables that interconnect the varioussystems, e.g. the cat 5 cable that connects the user’s computer to the jack in the wall.(Network)
TROUBLESHOOTING WITH THE LOGICAL MODEL.
Using the logical model, Computer Systems problems generally falls in one of the three(3) logical layers. During stage 2 (Isolate the Problem stage) of the generaltroubleshooting process, verifying that each logical layer is functional will quickly helpto isolate the problem.Note: Each layer (except Physical layer) depends on the layer below it, therefore aproblem in the Physical Layer will result in a problem in the Application and Network layer, and a problem in the Network layer will affect the application layer but not thePhysical layer.
Verifying the Application Layer.
Verifying the application layer is straightforward, simply open any application on the endsystem or user’s computer and verify functionality, e.g., open Microsoft Outlook andensure that the application can view, send and receive e-mail.
Verifying the Network Layers.
Tools such as ping, ipconfig and tracert can be used to verify that there is end-to-endnetwork communication. Ping can also be used to verify that an End System is online.

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