Following a Methodical Order of Elimination
Approaching a problem methodically is efficient and
While troubleshooting, you should
Statistically, most problems are user-, software-, or OS-related. Also, this order usually represents the least expensive to the most expensive
Check for user-related problems while gathering information, duplicating the problem, and trying quick fixes. These include incorrectly set preferences, inadvertent errors, incompatibilities, and incorrect assumptions.
Software can cause symptoms that look like hardware problems. Always check for software problems before
You can identify OS-related problems from general symptoms that affect all applications, or from specific symptoms, such as problems that prevent the startup process from completing. Most of this lesson focuses on OS-related problems.
When you're convinced that the problem is not user-related, software- related, or OS-related, you should troubleshoot it as a hardware issue. Hardware problems are beyond the scope of this book; Apple's Knowledge Base at www.apple.com/support is an invaluable resource, as is the Peachpit Press book "Apple Training Series: Desktop and Portable Systems, Second Edition."
If you isolate the problem to hardware, and you are an Appleauthorized service technician, follow the appropriate service procedures. Otherwise, contact an Appleauthorized service provider for repairs.
Troubleshooting is a process. If you go about it systematically, you'll greatly improve your
The following illustration shows the main steps of the troubleshooting process. The first row includes steps that help you assess the problem, the second row shows steps where you identify the cause and troubleshoot so that you understand it completely, and the third row is about fixing the problem and wrapping up the issue.
As you go through the process, keep in mind:
Every support person uses some type of troubleshooting process, and many organizations formalize their process to ensure that their technicians don't inadvertently skip troubleshooting steps. The troubleshooting process in the following illustration is used by the AppleCare support
The flowchart describes a series of
After completing the repair (often a quick fix is a repair), you ask yourself if the problem is resolved. No? Then you loop back to trying quick fixes. You may try a number of quick fixes before either resolving the problem or deciding that no more quick fixes apply and you need to go on to running diagnostics. You may realize that you have exhausted your knowledge and need to research. You may decide that it is time to escalate the problem to a senior technician. Or, you may determine that the problem is fixed and enter the documentation/notification stage.
Apple Training Series: Mac OS X Support Essentials (2nd Edition)
Apple Training Series: Mac OS X Deployment v10.6: A Guide to Deploying and Maintaining Mac OS X and Mac OS X Software
Apple Training Series: Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.6: A Guide to Using and Supporting Mac OS X Server v10.6
Apple Pro Training Series: OS X Lion Support Essentials: Supporting and Troubleshooting OS X Lion