Here I come, back to you with more and important thoughts on the realm of IT infrastructure. Once again, I am not diving into a critical technical treatise, because I think we need to remember that IT is driven by people. IT infrastructure is the human face that most end users will see and hear and mock (due to our pale complexion, coke bottle glasses and honorary degree from Starfleet academy). Like it or not we are humans capable of making errors, which can be kept to a minimum if we perform our task the correct way.

Right now, I would like to touch on a subject near and dear to my heart. Logical troubleshooting, which is the methodical beginning to end way we should always be troubleshooting, well, just about anything.

I know that basic troubleshooting has become a tired cliche. There is one lovely British comedy out there ( and if you don’t know what I am talking about, you are probably not in IT infrastructure and support), which shows an IT guy replacing himself with a recording. The recording starts out “IT department. Did you turn your computer off and on again?”. Even my wife thinks all I do is ask people to reboot their machines. It is a big joke with the unenlightened (non-technical) folk.

Unfortunately, it is the right way to start. Either taking a call on the help desk, or walking up to the end user’s workstation you have two goals. The first is to get that end user back to work, as quickly and efficiently as possible. At least 80 percent of the time, a reboot is going to get things working  again, and as we all know time is money. Our second goal is diagnosis, to prevent future downtime.  Now the beginning is in different locations depending on what you are working on. It is probably not a good idea to go around rebooting servers every time there is the tiniest hiccup. However, you have to start at the logical first step. Even if it feels silly, or you are certain you know how to address the issue. I guarantee you will feel tons sillier when you order those replacement parts, and someone else wanders over and discovers it just wasn’t plugged in.

If the end users see you doing it every time, they will start doing it for you. Make basic, logical troubleshooting a habit and it will help you save time and face. So, my IT friend, go forth and proudly start all your support  calls and conversations with the question – “Have you rebooted your computer?”.

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