Re: Troubleshooting

Subject: Re: Troubleshooting
From: Matt Ion <mion -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 08:41:08 PDT

On Mon, 23 Oct 1995 08:01:49 EST you wrote:

>I'm working on a hardware service manual that will include a Troubleshooting
>section. I am interested to learn how others organize this section. I will be
>listing the information in a table format with the headings similar to
>"Problem," "Cause," and "Actions to take."

It's a bit cliche, but it's a time-honored tradition that works well, which is
exactly WHY it's cliche :-)

>My question is how would be the best way to list the problems. Alphabetize
>List by major section? For example a car might have problem sections for
>fuel system, etc.

What kind of hardware are we talking about? I'd sort them by symptom myself,
since that's the first thing people know about the problem: "Hmm, this is what
it is/isn't doing... let's look up that symptom and see what the possible
causes/fixes are."

Whether sorting alpahbetically, chronologically in the process of starting up
the hardware, or otherwise, would depend somewhat on the type of hardware.

A modem's manual, for example, could have the troubleshooting section broken
into problems specific to external and internal modems, and those common to
both types. There could be a number of reasons for the modem not responding
to the computer, some specific to the style of modem (loose serial cable for
external, improperly seated for internal), other more generic (IRQ and port
conflicts, init-string setup, etc.)

In any case, I'd probably sort things from either most-likey-to-be-the-case to
least-likely, or (again depending on exactly what kind of hardware we're
talking about) from easiest-to-track-down-and-fix to
this-makes-me-wanna-drop-kick-the-f*cker! :-)

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