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IT Fundamentals/Support

< IT Fundamentals
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Support services help users solve problems with computer systems.[1] This lesson covers troubleshooting, maintenance, and backup and recovery.

Contents

PreparationEdit

Learners should already be familiar with Computer Hardware, Computer Software, and Using an Operating System

Objectives and SkillsEdit

Objectives and skills for the support portion of IT Fundamentals certification include:[2]

  • Given a scenario, implement basic support concepts
    • Check for external issues
      • Loose cables / connections
      • Power
      • Physical damage
    • Manufacturer documentation
    • Manufacturer websites
    • Technical community groups
    • Internet search engine
    • Contact technical support
  • Explain basic backup concepts
    • Importance of backups
    • Scheduling
    • Frequency
    • Storage mediums
      • Locally attached storage
      • Offsite/cloud-based
      • Network attached storage
    • Backup verification and testing

ReadingsEdit

MultimediaEdit

ActivitiesEdit

  1. Review troubleshooting resources.
  2. Start your computer in Safe Mode / Single-User Mode / Recovery Mode.
  3. Check system configuration / startup items.
  4. Back up and restore files.
  5. Perform system maintenance.

Lesson SummaryEdit

  • Troubleshooting is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved, and so the product or process can be made operational again.[3]
  • Troubleshooting requires identification of the malfunction(s) or symptoms within a system. Then, experience is commonly used to generate possible causes of the symptoms. Determining the most likely cause is a process of elimination - eliminating potential causes of a problem. Finally, troubleshooting requires confirmation that the solution restores the product or process to its working state.[4]
  • A basic principle in troubleshooting is to start from the simplest and most probable possible problems first.[5]
  • Serial substitution involves checking each component in a system one by one, substituting known good components for each potentially suspect one.[6]
  • Bisection involves separating a larger system into two or more subsystems to isolate and identify problems and causes.[7]
  • One of the core principles of troubleshooting is that reproducible problems can be reliably isolated and resolved.[8]
  • Intermittent problems are often the result of components that are thermally sensitive, because the resistance of a circuit varies with the temperature of the conductors in it.[9]
  • Troubleshooters must always consider the possibility that there is more than one fault causing a given system failure.[10]
  • Basic support options include checking manufacturer documentation, searching manufacturer websites and technical community groups, Internet searches, and contacting vendor technical support.[11]
  • Computer maintenance is the practice of keeping computers in a good state of repair.[12]
  • Computer cleaning involves physically cleaning the interior and exterior of a computer, including the removal of dust and debris from cooling fans, power supplies, and other hardware components.[13]
  • A backup refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.[14]
  • Every backup scheme should include dry runs that validate the reliability of the data being backed up.[15]
  • Backup models for managing data include full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup.[16]
  • Backup repositories may be on-line, near-line, or off-line, and may be on-site or off-site.[17]
  • Backup storage media include locally attached tape, disk, and optical storage, network attached storage, and remote/cloud storage.[18]
  • Backup options are limited based on the time available to perform the backup, performance impact, network bandwidth, and cost.[19]
  • A backup rotation scheme determines how and when each piece of removable storage is used for a backup job and how long it is retained once it has backup data stored on it.[20]
  • Most backup rotation schemes include some frequency of retiring media for permanent retention, such as quarterly or annually.[21]

Key TermsEdit

archive bit
A file attribute used by Microsoft operating systems to indicate whether a file has been backed up since it was modified. When a file is created or modified, the archive bit is set, and when the file has been backed up, the archive bit is cleared.[22]
data retention
A policy which defines data persistence and records management for legal and business archival requirements.[23]
differential backup
A copy of all data that has changed since the last full backup.
disaster recovery
Policies and procedures to enable the continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disruption.[24]
full backup
A copy of all data at a specific point in time.
incremental backup
A copy of all data that has changed since the last backup.
intermittent fault
A malfunction of a device or system that occurs at intervals, usually irregular, in a device or system that functions normally at other times.[25]
knowledge base
A collection of structured and unstructured data representing facts about products or systems, often hosted on vendor websites and containing troubleshooting approaches and solutions.[26]
MSconfig (System Configuration)
A system utility used to troubleshoot the Microsoft Windows startup process.[27]
near-line backup
Data storage accessible within seconds or minutes but also vulnerable to being deleted or overwritten.[28]
off-line backup
Data storage that requires direct human action to provide access to the storage media, and therefore less vulnerable to accidental deletion.[29]
off-site backup
Data storage at a remote location, providing geographic redundancy.[30]
on-line backup
Data storage immediately accessible but also vulnerable to being deleted or overwritten.[31]
safe mode
A diagnostic mode of a computer operating system (OS) with reduced functionality that provides access to utility and diagnostic programs so a user can troubleshoot what is preventing the operating system from working normally.[32]
single user mode
A mode in which a multiuser computer operating system boots into a single superuser configuration, used primarily for maintenance of multi-user environments such as network servers.[33]
System File Checker
A utility in Microsoft Windows that allows users to scan for and restore corruptions in Windows system files.[34]
system image
A copy of the entire state of a computer system that may later be restored to exactly the same state.[35]
unstructured backup
A collection of media with copies of data and minimal information about what was backed up and when.[36]

Review QuestionsEdit

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  1. Troubleshooting is a _____ search for the _____ of a problem so that it can be solved, and so the product or process can be made operational again.
    Troubleshooting is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so that it can be solved, and so the product or process can be made operational again.
  2. Troubleshooting requires _____ of the malfunction(s) or symptoms within a system. Then, _____ is commonly used to generate _____ of the symptoms. Determining the most likely cause is _____. Finally, troubleshooting requires _____ that the solution restores the product or process to its working state.
    Troubleshooting requires identification of the malfunction(s) or symptoms within a system. Then, experience is commonly used to generate possible causes of the symptoms. Determining the most likely cause is a process of elimination - eliminating potential causes of a problem. Finally, troubleshooting requires confirmation that the solution restores the product or process to its working state.
  3. A basic principle in troubleshooting is to start _____.
    A basic principle in troubleshooting is to start from the simplest and most probable possible problems first.
  4. Serial substitution involves _____.
    Serial substitution involves checking each component in a system one by one, substituting known good components for each potentially suspect one.
  5. Bisection involves _____.
    Bisection involves separating a larger system into two or more subsystems to isolate and identify problems and causes.
  6. One of the core principles of troubleshooting is that _____ problems can be reliably isolated and resolved.
    One of the core principles of troubleshooting is that reproducible problems can be reliably isolated and resolved.
  7. Intermittent problems are often the result of _____, because _____.
    Intermittent problems are often the result of components that are thermally sensitive, because the resistance of a circuit varies with the temperature of the conductors in it.
  8. Troubleshooters must always consider the possibility that _____ is causing a given system failure.
    Troubleshooters must always consider the possibility that more than one fault is causing a given system failure.
  9. Basic support options include _____.
    Basic support options include checking manufacturer documentation, searching manufacturer websites and technical community groups, Internet searches, and contacting vendor technical support.
  10. Computer maintenance is the practice of _____.
    Computer maintenance is the practice of keeping computers in a good state of repair.
  11. Computer cleaning involves _____.
    Computer cleaning involves physically cleaning the interior and exterior of a computer, including the removal of dust and debris from cooling fans, power supplies, and other hardware components.
  12. A backup refers to _____.
    A backup refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
  13. Every backup scheme should include _____.
    Every backup scheme should include dry runs that validate the reliability of the data being backed up.
  14. Backup models for managing data include _____, _____, and _____.
    Backup models for managing data include full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup.
  15. Backup repositories may be _____, _____, or _____, and may be _____ or _____.
    Backup repositories may be on-line, near-line, or off-line, and may be on-site or off-site.
  16. Backup storage media include _____, _____, and _____.
    Backup storage media include locally attached tape, disk, and optical storage, network attached storage, and remote/cloud storage.
  17. Backup options are limited based on _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Backup options are limited based on the time available to perform the backup, performance impact, network bandwidth, and cost.
  18. A backup rotation scheme determines _____ and _____.
    A backup rotation scheme determines how and when each piece of removable storage is used for a backup job and how long it is retained once it has backup data stored on it.
  19. Most backup rotation schemes include some frequency of retiring media for permanent retention, such as _____.
    Most backup rotation schemes include some frequency of retiring media for permanent retention, such as quarterly or annually.

AssessmentsEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit