- Troubleshooting Basics 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
- 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 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:
- A graphic or font will not print or prints
- A page of a specific file will not print or prints
- A specific file will not print or prints
- An application will not print or prints
- No application will print
- (If on a network) Only one station can not print
or no station can print
- 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
- For more information on system error messages, see
system troubleshooting technical guides for Mac OS on
- Troubleshooting System Errors and
- 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,
- 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: