Technology Services HelpDesk

A Guide to HelpDesk Support Questions


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A Guide to HelpDesk Support Questions

Here are some useful HelpDesk questions that can help narrow down issues and assist with troubleshooting:

  • Where did the problem start? What were you doing when it first happened?
  • Did the problem begin today or has it been there for a while? How long has it been happening? Has this been a recurring issue?
  • If there is an error message showing up, when does the message appear (for example, does it happen while trying to print something? Or while trying to use a certain program? Or while trying to perform a specific action?) What does error message say exactly?
  • Is the system connected to a network? Wireless or wired Ethernet?
  • Did you download anything off of the internet recently? Did you click on any ads? Any “Flash” or “Java” updates or anything of the sort?
  • Have you tried turning it off and on again?
  • Did you receive any emails to update your system or your software? Have you clicked on any links or opened any attachments in your email?
  • Was anything running before the computer was shut down?
  • Did you make any changes to your computer recently?
  • Has there been any physical damage to the system (drops, spills, etc.)?
  • Have you added or removed any hardware (mouse, keyboard, hard drive, peripherals, etc.)?
  • Have you installed any programs recently? To check, for Windows click Start, search “Uninstall a program” and click on it, and look through the list of programs installed. If you see one you don’t recognize or one that looks suspicious, please consult the HelpDesk by emailing or calling 1340 and we can verify if it’s safe/important or if it needs to be removed. On a Mac, go to Finder, click on Applications, and go through the list in the same way.
  • Does the system take longer to boot, to connect, or to display a picture on the screen?
  • Does the computer sound any different than it normally used to? Is the fan blowing loud and hot? If the computer is a laptop, does it get hotter than normal?
  • If the problem was a particular program messing up, has that program been uninstalled and reinstalled?
  • Does the problem happen every time with the same action or are the results inconsistent and different each time?
  • Is everything else working properly? Have there been other problems that occurred around the same time that may be linked?

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