Computer Troubleshooting Steps & Tips: CompTIA Theory

As an IT support professional, your task is to quickly assess a situation, diagnose the problem, and find a solution to the issue. Computer technicians troubleshoot problems using a methodical process. Typically, a step-by-step approach produces better results than hit-or-miss guesses.

There are many troubleshooting guidelines, each with their own names and wording for the steps involved. The CompTIA troubleshooting theory has 6 steps that are used to take you through the process of resolving a computer problem. For the CompTIA A+ Exam, make sure you have the following 6 steps memorized and be certain to understand their intent and the order in which they are performed.

  1. Identify the problem: – Question the user and identify user changes to computer and perform backups before making changes.
  2. Establish a theory of probable cause – Question the obvious.
  3. Test the theory to determine cause – Once the theory is confirmed, determine the next steps to resolve problem. If the theory is not confirmed, establish a new theory or escalate.
  4. Act – Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution.
  5. Test and prevent – Verify full system functionality and, if applicable, implement preventative measures.
  6. Report – Document findings, actions, and outcomes.

Once you start the process, stick to a systematic approach and work on one thing at a time. Use the troubleshooting steps to proceed through the process without jumping around to different possible solutions. If you can’t figure out the problem, don’t be afraid to ask a co-worker for ideas or to escalate the problem to a senior technician. You will be much better off asking for help and learning from the experience than wasting hours on a problem.

By following these 6 steps to effectively identify the problem, figure out the best plan of action, and resolve the issue, you will be able to deal with the variety of problems that may present themselves in your daily work. By documenting these findings, actions, and outcomes, you will be better prepared when the issue or similar issues present themselves in the future as well.

If you’d like to learn more about troubleshooting, consider enrolling in Career Step’s Computer Technician training.

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