Top 10 Troubleshooting Tips for Computer Professionals

Murphy’s famous law is understated when it comes to computers. All of us in technical roles have experienced the misery and frustration that comes when the system flat-lines and we have to find a cure. This article is a top 10 list of widely-used practices for diagnosing and addressing computer maladies. For best results, please read all the way to the end!

1 Online Forums Don’t mention what product or version you’re using; you’ll get a wider range of advice if you leave it open.
2 Diagnostic Testing Change as many variables as possible between each test to try more conditions in a shorter amount of time.
3 Searching online Don’t enter the exact wording of the error message or any error numbers on the screen. A more general query will give you more things to try.
4 Making Changes Modify settings and source code at random and don’t keep track of what you’ve changed or undo the changes that didn’t help. Some of the changes might help avoid other problems in the future!
5 Inside help Everyone who works for a particular vendor is an expert in every product from that vendor. If they won’t tell you how to fix the problem, they’re deliberately holding out on you!
6 Getting Support Put a lot of pressure on anyone helping you, and ask for status updates as frequently as possible. Most people work best under pressure.
7 Testing a fix If a possible fix doesn’t work, try it again and again; computers are quirky and sometimes you just have to hit them at the right moment.
8 Intermittent problems If the bug only appears occasionally, just forget about it! It probably won’t affect users in production.
9 Event Logs Don’t bother to check log files, or if you must, select one at random. All log files are the same!
10 Articles written on April 1

Perhaps you noticed the date at the top of this article: it’s April Fools day. And you’d be a fool to follow any of this advice!

In fact, these are all common practices that make it harder to fix computer disorders, or at best lead to short-term band-aids instead of addressing the cause of the affliction. For best results, always do the opposite of items 1-9!

I hope this has been helpful and that whatever plagues your tech, you find a solution that will work over time. And as always, thanks for reading!

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