I'm not asking for a universal fix. I'm talking about a universal / general METHODOLOGY or TECHNIQUE for troubleshooting. I'll give you an example of common ideas out there:
The most important part of troubleshooting any problem is to divide the tasks of problem resolution into a systematic process of elimination. Cisco has broken this process into eight steps:
1. Define the problem.
2. Gather detailed information.
3. Consider probable cause for the failure.
4. Devise a plan to solve the problem.
5. Implement the plan.
6. Observe the results of the implementation.
7. Repeat the process if the plan does not resolve the problem.
8. Document the changes made to solve the problem.
1 - Establish symptoms
2 - Identify the affected area.
3 - Establish what has changed.
4 - Select the most probable cause.
5 - Implement a Solution.
6 - Test the result.
7 - Recognize potential effects of the solution.
8 - Document the solution.
The 10 step Universal Troubleshooting Process
2. Make damage control plan
3. Get a complete and accurate symptom description
4. Reproduce the symptom
5. Do the appropriate corrective maintenance
6. Narrow it down to the root cause
7. Repair or replace the defective component
9. Take pride in your solution
10. Prevent future occurrence of this problem
There are some (although very similar) structured approaches to troubleshooting. One of the fundamental processes I'm finding that works is a binary-search or dividing a problem in halves, then eliminating the half that does not work. Eventually you narrow down the problem. This is by no means a fix - this is, once again, a METHOD, or a structured approach that one can use to avoid common pitfalls such as retracing same steps (ever loose your keys then search the same place a few times?), getting stuck in tunnel-thought (not seeing the big picture) and many more.
Although we're talking about computers, this method can be applied in many areas such ad medicine, electronics, appliances, etc.
So the problem you were having with the PSU can now take a structured approach.
One of my personal experiences (one that quite i'm proud of
) is when i was working on migrating various partitions, OS's, RAID arrays etc etc.. all over the place. I had a consistent approach, kept detailed notes and basically decapitated every issue that came up! Without those notes and procedure, the 2 day experiment could have taken me weeks...
Originally Posted by saltynay
Reinstall windows and stop downloading dodgy programs! There you go all your problems solved
. Personally I live with it usually I swap Os's every 6 months so if theres an issue that I can't immediately solve I either reinstall (with my slipstreamed install disk for xp) or move on.
On that note.. have you considered backups or imaging your OS after a fresh install?
I personally dislike a complete reinstall as a solution unless the OS itself is greatly corrupted or compromised (hacked). I think 90% of solutions i read on the forums, the first step is reinstall, which in my opinion is horrible. At most i'd call that a workaround, not a fix or a solution; there are so many other things that can be done to SOLVE the issue... But i'm beginning to flame my own post!