Diagnosing PC Problems and Issues

Advice Diagnosing PC Problems and Issues

Often, it appears difficult to know where to start when looking into a problem with a computer system - or any complex piece of equipment.  By establishing a few simple details abot the issue, it is usually easier to see how to proceed:

  • When did the problem Start?
  • Was anything changed around that time?
  • What makes the problem happen?
  • Is it consistant or random?
  • What is the Scope of the problem?

This last point - the "Scope" of the problem really sums up the whole issue.  By determing the scope - or how widespread the problem is - we rapidly narrow the possible causes of the problem, for example:

  • Does the problem affect 1 person, some or all users?
  • Does it happen at the same time for everyone?
  • Does it affect a group of users with something in common?

For a suspected hardware problem, moving the suspected item (where possible) will easily show if the fault relates to that specific hardware - or what it is connected to.

For imtermittant faults, unless the problem can be moved and reproduced elsewhere (another PC, office or network for example) then it is not possible to be certain the problem is resolved.

By systematically eliminating different aspects or possible causes of a given problem, the most likely culprit can be found in a timely and efficient manner.