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Troubleshooting The Network

When you receive a call for technical support, you need to log the problem as you receive the call. After you solve the problem, you should also document the solution.

Often the priority assignment system used by technical support is to give first priority to whom ever screams the loudest. All users think their problem is first priority. You need a system that prioritizes problems by importance and defines a method for resolving problems.

To prioritize a problem you need to assess the seriousness of the problem and what impact it has on the network. A problem that prevents a user from working entirely is more important than one the user can work around temporarily. A problem that impacts shared resources on the network is more important than a problem that affects only one user.

An organization usually has two levels of technical support. Level one is the less experienced technicians who handle all the incoming calls. If possible they will try to solve the problem over the phone. If they cannot solve the problem over the phone, they will visit the site in person.

If the problem cannot be solved by the first level technician, they will pass the problem to the second level. The second level technicians have more knowledge and experience.

Workstation Problems

Most calls to technical support are user errors. The first step to resolving a problem is to identify if the problem is caused by user error or is a system problem. Have the user duplicate the error. Log onto the same workstation to see if you can duplicate the problem yourself. Log onto another equivalent workstation to determine if the problem is limited to that one workstation or exists across all workstations.

Frequently what the user believes to be a system error is the result of the fact that the user does not have the rights to accomplish the task. Do not take it upon yourself to provide the user with greater rights by adding him to a different group or providing him with administrator status.

It is much more difficult to resolve a problem that is not repeatable. If the problem is intermittent, instruct the user to, next time the problem occurs, write down the exact sequence of events that occurred just before the problem appeared. The user should record any error messages that were displayed. Before you put a lot of time into finding a solution to a problem, refer to your technical departments problem logs. It may be possible that the particular problem has a history.

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