After you know the problem's symptoms and which software or hardware components are most likely involved, you can systematically test solutions until you resolve the problem.

With the information that you have gained about the symptoms and affected components, you can design tests for pinpointing and resolving the problem. These tips might make this process more effective.

  • Generate ideas for as many potential solutions as you can.
  • Verify that each solution determines unequivocally whether the problem is fixed. Test each potential solution but move on promptly if the fix does not resolve the problem.
  • Develop and pursue a hierarchy of potential solutions based on likelihood. Systematically eliminate each potential problem from the most likely to the least likely until the symptoms disappear.
  • When testing potential solutions, change only one thing at a time. If your setup works after many things are changed at once, you might not be able to discern which of those things made a difference.
  • If the changes that you made for a solution do not help resolve the problem, return the implementation to its previous status. If you do not return the implementation to its previous status, new errors might be introduced.
  • Find a similar implementation that is working and test it in parallel with the implementation that is not working properly. Make changes on both systems at the same time until few differences or only one difference remains between them.