Troubleshooting Intermittent Issues
Intermittent issues are:
- problems that cannot be reproduced reliably,
- do not seem to follow a pattern,
- applications/programs crashing,
- the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) can be intermittent,
- memory dumps can be intermittent.
In the above cases it is essential to get as much detail as possible about:
- the overall state of the computer (bumps, scrapes, small problems, recurring issues, etc);
- the programs that were running when the issue happened;
- any devices/hardware bits that were connected when the issue happened (PDA, hard disk, docking station, scanner, printer, etc).
- LISTEN closely for clues! Sometimes a clue can be as simple as "it happens whenever I leave it alone and come back" (screensaver, for instance).
It's also very important to record (verbatim) the error messages and error numbers that may appear on the screen. Here are two examples of what information is needed:
Sample "Blue Screen of Death". Arrows pointing to important info:
Sample error message originating from an application (as opposed to a blue screen). Important info is circled: