Identify different sources of technical information for problems and for each, describe how valid they might be. In this assignment I will be explaining in simple words what technical support is and what it provides. Also I will be explaining the different types of sources that can be used for a variety of hardware and software faults.
What is Technical Support?
IT Technical support supports individuals and any organisations in different ways since there are a lot of technology in this world. Technical support provides different services that will help users. Technical Support will be able to solve any type of problems.
What sources of information can be used for a variety of hardware and software related faults?
Below I have written what sources of information can be used for a variety of hardware and software related tools.
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Direct questioning is when a user contacts a technician regarding a problem that they are having. When undertaking a direct questionnaire which can either be face to face or over the telephone, the technician needs to find out as much as possible so that the technician can start to make decisions as to where the fault lies and also how they can solve it.
On the other hand before a technician can accept a call form a particular user, the technician must check if that the user is entitled to the technician support services. This can be undertaken by asking a user their name and password or maybe any other account numbers. This data will allow technicians access to information about the user and also what type of service they are entitled to.
A fault log is a record of events that have taken place previously and fault logs will also include information about how the fault was fixed. A fault log should always be maintained carefully for each computer system. A fault log can be kept manually or it may be created automatically by particular software. The log will be useful if a problem keeps happening and the cause is unknown.
A fault log will hold information such as when the equipment was obtained and when software was installed and what settings have been asked. If the system breaks down then the information may be needed.
Diagnostics and Monitoring Tools
Since there are new operating systems being creating, new diagnostic and monitoring tools are being created to help users and technicians track down faults and improve the running of the computer system. Diagnostic software attempts to diagnose a problem and it also identifies possible faults and offers solutions.
The Event Viewer is a monitoring tool. It can be used to manage and view different types of events. The event viewer can also be used to track security events and identify possible hardware and software threats. The event viewer interface will contain a series of event logs that can be viewed by either a user or a technician.
Checking the Problems
Cross-reference checks with users
When technicians are talking to a user about problems that are occurring to the computer or any other type of problem then they can call up and technicians can check the data on their computer systems. The technician can also check that other users are experiencing the same problems on a particular system.
Confirmation which is given from a number of users, that a particular fault exists or that the fault is of a particular nature will give the technician in confidence so that they know how to approach a formal diagnosis and remedy. But the information may be out of date because the users or customers may have upgraded the equipment or installed the latest operating system. So therefore the technician should confirm the information with the user during the initial conversation.
After the technician has asked the customer some simple questions to identify who they are and what problems they are facing, the technician will then need to find out exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. The customer may then give false accusations and may jump to conclusions and suggest things that are wrong with the computer instead of giving truthful facts.
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So therefore the best way for a technician to identify and diagnose a fault is to see the problem. If the fault is intermittent, it may be difficult to reproduce the fault in the workshop. So then the customers may need to takes screenshots of any error messages and prints these to be used as reference material as and when the system is being repaired.
The problem reproduction is a useful strategy. Asking the users or customers to talk through what went wrong can reveal important information that the user may not told the technical staffs. If any new hardware or software was installed immediately before the fault appeared, this might be to blame. To fix this problem, the technical staffs can take the users back to a time when the computer was working. This way will help the users to think through the events that led up to the problems and exactly as it happened.
Manufacturer's websites is an important source of information. If an application fails to work the customer can search the manufacture's website for the latest information about known bugs or error in the system. The information is accessed through an open forum which is going to be significantly less reliable than a manufacturer's own website.
Sources of Information
Product specifications and Manuals
Almost all products are sold with a product specification and a manual so that users can read. Product specification is written by the manufacture that has created the product. It contains all the information and details of product's technical. A manual also is written by the manufacturer but it is used to explain how to make the best use of a hardware or software. Some manufacturers store product specifications and manuals in CD or DVD as PDF file.
Colleagues with specialist expertise
Colleagues with specialist expertise are a good source of information because the users or the technicians can get the technical information from people around them such as friends or colleagues. Those people can offer their experience in solving problems but must find the correct people to ask these questions. If they the wrong people then it means that they will receive the wrong type of information and then these information can not be used. The advantage of this source of information is the users can ask further questions if they are unsure that they fully understand a process.
Using a knowledge base involves searching for information which is relevant to the problem that the users want to try solving via internet or books. The technician can draw on a knowledge base to help them decide on a course of action. There are different types of knowledge bases which are available on the internet, but the technician or the users must be very careful about relying on information from the internet because it may not be valid or correct.
Fault records showing previously found solutions
A fault log is very useful when it list different types of problem that occurred but also the way the problem was solved. A fault log includes the name of the technician which solved the problem and also gives you an option to contact the technician, who will help you if you have encountered a similar problem.
Internet sources- FAQs and Technical forums
There are two different main sources of help you can get from the internet, these are, FAQs and Technical forums.
Online help supplies FAQs, providing answers to these questions. So therefore you can solve the most common problem for users without using much effort from the help desk staff.
Technical forums provide a space were users can talk when they are experiencing problems with their hardware and software. Faults are normally discovered after software has been released and it will affect all users. The technical forum is a place where the users and technician can talk and discuss about the product or service. Technical forums can be a useful because you can find answers to both simple and difficult problems.
What hardware and software related questions could you be asked by users requiring technical support? And how would you handle each of these questions?
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Users will either contact the Help Desk if they have any problems regarding to the computer or any other equipments. If users do contact the help desk, the staffs always need to make sure they talk in a polite and sensible manner even if the user may be angry. All staff should always be calm.
Below I have written two questions which is related to hardware and software that a user may ask to a technician. I have also written how I would handle each question.
'I am unable to save my work on my computer. What is wrong with my computer?'
Since the customer can not save their work I will ask the customer if they have undertook a systems scan for errors. If this has been undertaken but there where no errors but she still can not save her work.
Since the customer can not save her work at all I suggest that she try and save her work on a USB and if the work saves successfully then there might not be enough hard drive left on the systems. So I then would suggest the customer to invest in an external hard drive or add on extra hard drive on the system. If the customer wishes to install an internal hard drive then this will be fitted in a Master or Slave configuration.
'The programme on my computer system keeps crashing down and I am not sure what the cause of this, so can you help me?'
Firstly I will tell my customer that there might be some sort of error on the system so a clean installation will need to be undertaken. I will then ask my customer what operating is currently installed on to the computer. Once they have told me this I will tell them to reinstall this operating system.
But before they undertake this procedure I will advise to my customer that he or she should backup all her work via USB or CD. I will then explain the reason why this should be done. The reason is because when a clean installation is taking place users may loose all their files such as, important documents, pictures and music.