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Ask for a demonstration
9. Ask for a demonstration
If discussing a problem yields nothing and you can gain remote access to the user's PC, it's useful to see the problem in action. Most issues can be diagnosed from a description, but some simply need to be viewed at first hand. Ask the user to reproduce the problem for you and make sure it happens the same way every time. Seeing the issue for yourself not only confirms one exists, but also gives you a starting point for your troubleshooting.
Use your tools
10. Use your tools
When all else fails, you should turn to your tools. I tend to start with the most innocuous software, such as Malwarebytes, and work upwards from there. This is also the moment to run hard-drive diagnostic tools, if the issue points towards a faulty or degraded drive. Sometimes this approach turns up more issues, but if you've tried every other avenue, it may be your best shot.
There are many ways to approach troubleshooting. These steps work well for me, but what about you? What methods do you typically employ for troubleshooting, either remote or local?
This story originally appeared as 10 ways to diagnose ailing PCs: Step by step on TechRepublic.
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