This article was been published more than a year ago. The information may be outdated.
The number one biggest error many techs make when diagnosing problems for users, be it on the phone or on site, is going the complicated route. There is a reason why most ISPs have a script for their 1st tier techs to follow, to make sure that the basic errors have been corrected.
While I was an apprentice, I was called out to solve a print problem for a user. The user had a printer connected to her computer with a USB cable, and all the cables were connected. The printer in question didn’t have much in terms of diagnostic lights and such.
I head out to the user, and start troubleshooting. I try everything I can think of; print spooler, drivers, ports etc., and find myself no nearer to a solution half an hour later. Then I decide to check the back of the printer…
Sure enough, the power switch in the back had been toggled, probably by the cleaning staff.
The point of my story is that had I checked basic stuff first, that half hour hadn’t been wasted. The moral: Keep It Simple, Stupid