The Six Steps Of Troubleshooting

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Establish a theory of probable cause.
  3. Test theory to determine cause
  4. Establish an action plan and implement it
  5. Verify full system functionality.
  6. Document your findings

1. Identify The Problem

In the first step of the troubleshooting process you identify the problem. Display won’t turn on? , printer won’t print ? , internet isn’t working? This step is the foundation the rest of the troubleshooting steps are built upon.


This step is used to make an educated guess as to why the problem stated in step one is occurring. Display not turning on? Maybe the power isn’t on. Printer wont print? Maybe the printer is out of paper. Internet not working? Maybe the router needs to be restarted.

3. Test Theory To Determine Cause

In this step you test the theory you came up with in step 2 to ensure that’s what’s causing the issue. No internet connectivity? See if the router has any status lights illuminated.. Printer not printing? Check paper tray to see if it’s filled. Display not turning on? Verify that the monitor is unplugged.

4. Establish An Action Plan And Implement It

In this step you come up with a plan to fix the issue you identified. Display not on? Plug the PC into power. Printer not printing? Refill paper tray. No internet connectivity? Power cycle your router.

5. Verify Full System Functionality

In this step you ensure that you’ve fixed your problem and everything is functioning as it’s suppose to.

6. Document Findings

In the final steps you document the steps you took to solve your problem. This allows you or someone else to reference the documentation in case the issue arises again.

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