2.5.3 Troubleshooting Overview Practice Questions

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While answering Help Desk calls, a field customer calls and complains that he cannot print to a workgroup laser printer.

Which of the following should be the first question you ask?

Have you ever printed to that printer? Explanation When a customer reports a problem, it is important to ascertain the extent of the problem. The fact that the user cannot print to a particular printer should first be approached from the standpoint of determining if they ever could and, if so, what has changed since then. Checking cables and restarting the printer are all actions that could be taken to resolve the issue. However, you should first identify the extent of the problem before attempting solutions.

Good documentation will:

Save you time and money in troubleshooting problems. Explanation By keeping adequate documentation, you can reduce the time and money spent troubleshooting. While documentation can help reduce troubleshooting, it can never completely eliminate it. Documentation helps you know when regular maintenance of hardware is required, but does not eliminate maintenance.

A user sends a print job to a network printer and its prints page after page of random characters. He calls the Help Desk and a technician discovers that somehow the wrong printer driver had been loaded on the user’s workstation. The technician loads the correct driver, verifies that the system works correctly, and documents the resolution.

What else should she do?

Educate the user as to how the problem was resolved and verify that they are satisfied with the results. Explanation After resolving any incident, you should spend a few minutes with the user, client, or customer and explain how the problem was resolved and verify that they satisfied with the results.

You have just installed a new USB card reader in your Windows computer. Every time you perform a certain action using the card reader, you get an error message that you’ve never seen before.

What should you do first?

Check the manufacturer’s website for information about the error. Explanation For information about a specific error, check the manufacturer’s website. Taking any other action might fix the problem, but would most likely just waste time. In most cases, device-specific problems can be corrected with a new driver or other software update.

You are responsible for managing client workstations for your company. A frantic user calls you one morning exclaiming that "nothing is working."

What should you do first in your troubleshooting strategy?

Identify the problem. Explanation Currently you have no idea what problem the user is having. The first step would be to identify the problem. You would ask questions to identify what the problem and its symptoms are. You would find out what has changed only after you know a bit more about the problem. Before taking any actions, back up the system to protect user data. Establishing a theory and a plan of action occurs only after you know what the problem is.

A user reports that the projector in the conference room has display issues when it is connected to his laptop. After identifying the cause and completely resolving the issue, the projector displays the images perfectly both on his laptop and on the projector.

What should you do next in your troubleshooting strategy?

Document the solution. Explanation You have completed and tested the task, and verified full system functionality. You now document the solution, so if the same display issue returns, you or your replacement will know what to do.

A user reports that her monitor has stopped working. While troubleshooting the issue, you discover a bad video card in the system. You replace the card and connect the monitor cable to the card.

What should you do next in your troubleshooting strategy?

Test the solution Explanation After you implement a solution, you should always verify full system functionality. Sometimes more than one problem exists, or your solution may not have solved the problem. For example, in this case an incorrect driver for the video card could potentially continue to cause display issues. By verifying system functionality, you can ensure the problem is completely resolved. Explaining what you did, implementing preventative measures, and documenting the solution would occur after you have tested the solution to make sure the problem is completely fixed.

A user reports that he cannot access several network files. After some investigation, you determine that the problem is with a network server.

What should you do next?

Determine if escalation is needed. Explanation After you identify the most probable cause, escalate the problem if it s beyond your ability to fix or your scope of management. For example, the problem might be in the network server configuration that you are not authorized to correct. When forwarding the problem onto someone else, be sure to describe the nature of the problem, the actions you have already taken, and the symptoms that lead you to believe the problem is outside of your area of responsibility. If you have decided that escalation is not necessary, create an action plan that includes the fix and identifying possible effects of implementing the fix. After the solution has been implemented, verify that it works and that there were no unforeseen consequences. Finally, document the problem and the solution.

A user reports that she she can’t turn her computer on. After some investigation, you find that the power supply is malfunctioning.

What should you do next?

Create an action plan. Explanation At this point, you should create an action plan and account for side effects of the proposed plan. Identifying the effects ahead of time helps you put measures into place to eliminate or reduce any potential negative consequences. Escalation is not necessary because you are already in charge of managing and maintaining the desktop computers. Fix the problem only after creating the action plan and identifying possible effects. Document the problem and the solution after the problem has been fixed and the solution has been verified.

A user reports that he is unable to access data on an external hard drive. You investigate the problem and determine that the USB cable connection to the hard drive is damaged. You replace the cable.

What should you do next?

Test the solution Explanation After implementing the solution, verify full system functionality. Make sure that the solution has fully fixed the problem and has not caused any other problems. Document the problem and solution after it has been fixed and verified. Determine if escalation is needed and create an action plan before implementing the solution.

A user reports that he can’t send print jobs to a specific printer. You go to the user’s computer and reproduce the problem.
What should you do next?

Determine if anything has changed. Explanation After identifying the problem, determine if anything has changed. For example, question the user and identify user changes to computer. From there, you establish a theory of probably cause, and continue through the troubleshooting process. Before you can establish a probable cause, do additional work to see what might have changed. After selecting a probable cause, determine if escalation is required, then create an action plan and implement the solution.

A user reports that her system is running slow when saving files. You determine that you will need to upgrade her hard disk. You identify the components that are required and decide to schedule the repair for later that afternoon.

Up to this point, which step have you forgotten in your troubleshooting process?

Perform a backup Explanation You need to perform a backup before making changes. The backup could be used to restore current settings or data in the event of additional issues resulting from the troubleshooting process. You have already established a probable cause and created an action plan. Verifying and documenting the solution occurs after the problem has been resolved.

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