CompTIA troubleshooting model

comptiaFollowing my random A+ rambling, I came across this during the first part of my A+ study and I think it’s good to get it on digital paper. CompTIA, like many others actually, introduced a troubleshooting model which every technician can follow to, well, do a good job. I’ve mixed the CompTIA approach with my own approach and that is what you can read below.

A calm and steady, methodical approach is best. Documenting every step is hard for many IT guys and gals, but will also result in a way better process and thinking pattern. Just try it for a week.

Keeping your head cool is a hard thing to do, I know this from experience. Meditating might seem very foreign for you, but to be honest it’s absolutely not and when you are a hot head like me, you should try it. Believe me!

CompTIA troubleshoot model

Step 1: Identify the problem

  • Towards the end-user or yourself: ask open-ended questions
  • Ask what has changed recently. Also, what was the last time that it did work as expected?
  • Be gentle and calm towards the end-user and to yourself
  • A passive voice is best. Don’t accuse anyone
  • Identify the symptoms and the problem
  • Document your findings

Step 2: Establish a theory

  • Identify the root cause and write it down
  • Don’t overlook simple solutions
  • Take simple causes into consideration and user error
  • Go on with establishing the most probable cause

Step 3: Test the theory

  • Reproduce the problem to acknowledge your theory
  • Write down your findings
  • Test one thing at a time
  • Take the split/half approach. Split the problem (e.g. is it hardware or software?) and branch down the further you go

Step 4: Establish the repair plan

  • Test one change at a time
  • Be aware of the impact
  • Document every step
  • Escalate when necessary

Step 5: Verify the repair

  • Make sure the fix works. Test and document
  • When applicable watch the end-user use the system
  • Make sure the end-user is satisfied
  • Educate the end-user

Step 6: Document the case

  • You should be taking notes along the way
  • Get all your notes together and make it one technical document to help yourself, colleagues and maybe even the more technical end-user
  • Centralize and backup your documentation
2 comments Add yours
  1. I like the alternative approach. This will help me as I aspire to land my first position. Also is there I way I may be able to get in touch with you?

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