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TroubleShooting Basics Number ONE
. TroubleShooting Basics..........................................................................Updated 9/17/99
.
Troubleshooting Basics 01 - Checklist 01 - Advanced 01
Defining the Problem and its origin
Computer problems show different symptoms: You may see an error message on your screen or output; you may see no error message, but the screen stalls or freezes; the process seems to proceed, but the results are not what you expect. Regardless of the problem, resolving requires logical steps to determine the cause and choose the steps to correct the problem.

The first troubleshooting step is finding the level where the problem occurs. There are seven:
  • Element level: the problem is due to one or more elements, such as graphics or fonts, included in a document.
  • File level: the problem is isolated to a specific document - due to file corruption, an element, or a limitation of the printer or system that only shows up with this file.
  • Application level: the problem is with the application itself and may be due to preferences file corruption or a conflict between the application and a system resource.
  • System Level: the problem is due to a system resource or conflict on your computer.
  • Hardware Level: a defective or inproperly installed piece of hardware.
  • Environment Level: electrical, environmental, or network problem.
  • History Level: no changes, recent install, upgrade, or move.
When you say "I Can't Print" Do you mean:
  1. A graphic or font will not print or prints incorrectly
  2. A page of a specific file will not print or prints incorrectly
  3. A specific file will not print or prints incorrectly
  4. An application will not print or prints incorrectly
  5. No application will print
  6. (If on a network) Only one station can not print or no station can print
  7. The printer does not print (no test page or setup page will print
The lowest level is a single element or font of one file. The next level is printing a single page (of a multipage document). The next is printing a file. And any file (even a new one) in a specific application. Any appliction (SimpleText is a good starting point). Other boot devices, other printers, other macs, and other network options.
 

When a printing problem occurs do the following:

1. If you receive an error message, write it down. This could be a system error, PostScript error (if you're printing to a PostScript printer), or another application error. It will be useful for determining the level of the problem and for reference in further troubleshooting.
For more information on system error messages, see system troubleshooting technical guides for Mac OS on this site:
  Troubleshooting System Errors and Corruption
  Troubleshooting System Conflicts
For more information on:
 
2. Repeat the problem if possible. This may require shutting down your computer and powering off all devices and restarting. If you can not reproduce the problem on a second attempt, no further troubleshooting is needed. This doesn't necessarily mean the underlying problem has been solved; it simply means that whatever caused your problem is not consistent. Troubleshooting an inconsistent problems is difficult at best - look for memory problems or hard drive directory damage.
If the problem can be reproduced consistantly, continue...
 
3. Try printing a different page from the same publication. If this is successful try another page. If other pages print successfully, the problem is likely due to something on the unprintable page. Troubleshoot the problem at the element level:

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