How to solve common computer problems with 8 steps

Solve common computer problems using these 8 steps.

You can solve common computer problems by keeping an eye out for symptoms and then implementing your theory. Most common computer problems you’ll run into include no power, physical damage, failed boot, applica­tion failure to load and peripherals that don’t function as they should. The 8 steps on how to solve common computer problems will guide your through your day to day troubleshooting. 

Standard troubleshooting steps

Step 1. Identify the problem.

  • Break large problems down into smaller problems.
  • Consider scope; who or what is affected?
  • Gather details about the issue; ask users, view logs.
  • Determine whether anything has changed.
  • Duplicate the problem.

Step 2. Do your research.

  • Refer to past help desk tickets.
  • Search through private or public knowledge bases.
  • Ask friends or colleagues.
  • Internet search.

Step 3. Establish a theory of probable cause.

  • Eliminate the simple and obvious possible causes.
  • Consider factors that can indirectly cause problems.

Step 4. Test the theory.

  • Change and test only one potential solution at a time.
  • Determine the root cause of the issue.
  • Escalate the issue to a professional if necessary.

Step 5. Establish a plan of action.

  • Prepare a specific method to implement the solution.
  • Test the plan in an isolated sandboxed environment.
  • Notify other users if the solution could possibly affect them.
  • Escalate the issue to a professional if necessary.

Step 6. Test, Implement theory or escalate.

  • Back up configurations and data first.
  • If the problem is complex, monitor implementation progress.

Step 7. Verify functionality.

  • Ensure the solution has solved the original problem.
  • Ensure new problems have not been introduced.
  • Consult a subject-matter expert if needed.
  • Configure preventative measure if appropriate.

Step 8. Document the solution.

  • Document the problem and steps taken for the solution.
  • Update old documentation with new knowledge.

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