The troubleshooting is what each one of us have done one way or another at one point. Whether the troubleshooting involved fixing bike as our own Justin once described in his post The Art of Troubleshooting or you were trying to go to fix that oil leak in your car, or that pesky and annoying issue I have been having with desktop icons refreshing every few seconds on my laptop. This is my personal issue that no new driver, windows update or power management settings resolved (as suggested). I spent quite some time reading and trying different things before I turned into troubleshooting techniques we try to implement every day. That gave me the desired result and I found the offender fairly quickly.
But this is not what I am trying to write about. My goal here is to share my view on troubleshooting and make you all aware of few very good posts written a while ago that show how to troubleshoot. Recycling is your friend! Besides already mentioned the first post there is another one that basically outlines where to go when troubleshooting or which path to choose (Fork in the Road: How to Start Troubleshooting).
The troubleshooting process is pretty similar no matter what we try to troubleshoot and the direction we go and involves eliminating possible causes by process we call “logical elimination”. Ideally you would have two different logins and two different machines at your disposal in order to narrow down where the issue is. Only once we know the cause or place where the issue happens we can work on resolution. Other than that is something like shooting in the dark from very large distance hoping to get the target.
The greatest tool you may need to use is your own common sense. Logically, there are more, but the 3 main areas are those which will determine which way to go and luckily in most part they are mutually exclusive; drawing issue, user settings issue or installation issue. Our goal is to choose the right path. Although the direction may be different and others may advocate different ways, my personal preference is to bring all parties on the same page by asking questions and/or ensuring we are on the same version of product.
First thing before submitting a case or trying to being troubleshooting I would:
- Make sure you have the latest version of the software. Utilize Communication Center to see if your product is up to date. There are many issues addressed in each Update and it wouldn’t be a good idea to ignore it.
- Next step I would suggest would be to run repair of your product. By investing 10-15 minutes of your time while researching the issue would at least leave you where you wanted to be. Having repaired program with the latest updates. Believe me, you may save lot of time for yourself and for anybody who will be trying to help. This is where real troubleshooting should begin. Remember it may still end up with clean re-install, but it would be lot easier and quicker to arrive to that conclusion if necessary.
- If your poking things around, asking your co-worker or intensive “googling” did not lead you to anything feasible, then you may consider posting your question to Autodesk’s Forum. If you haven’t been there recently, I can tell you that you are missing a great deal. This forum is staffed by some users like you, some of the smartest people out there like super-users who use Autodesk’s programs in production every day and are very quick to respond. From my experience it is a very friendly and approachable group. I can tell you that your question may be answered quicker there than if you created your Service request or called Tech Support. We are there too, by the way. The best part of this is - it’s free!
- If you are Subscription customer or would like to become one, you can also submit your issue and have your question be answered in 1:1 fashion.
- Last but not least; if you decided to send us your question it would certainly help us serve you better if you could include your good description, troubled files, screen shots, videos or anything you can think of that would help us understand and resolve issue quicker. This goes long way and we function by the rule that picture is worth thousand words, and videos even more.
P.S. If you are still wondering what caused the desktop icons flickering on my laptop. I found it – it was Office Communicator not liking my new laptop. Task manager helped me identify the wrongdoer. I closed that task and now my icons are as stable as they should be.