'Where does it hurt?' An introduction to IT troubleshooting. By Simon Hurst

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Whether you are trying to sort out your own problems or help someone else, troubleshooting computer issues can be a difficult and frustrating process. The advice that follows is based on years of experience as part of a hotline support team and as an independent consultant. A lot of the points raised are pretty obvious, but as I point out below, it pays to cover the obvious. This introductory article covers general approaches and principles. A second article, First aid for spreadsheets applies these troubleshooting tips to specific Excel issues.

1. Tailor the support to the user

If you are helping other computer users, try to understand their point of view and level of exper...

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