Establishing a Theory of Probable Cause in Network Troubleshooting

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Establishing a Theory of Probable Cause in Network Troubleshooting

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Added by April 1, 2019

This content is from our CompTIA Network + Video Certification Training Course. Start training today!

When issues arrive in network environments, it’s common to focus on the final fix and document the solutions taken. In many cases, it’s equally important to identify the actual cause of the issue. In this video, CompTIA Network + instructor Rick Trader provides two valuable insight methods into establishing a theory of probably cause.

Network Administrator start with identifying the problem and then the next transition is to establish a probable cause for why the problem happened in the first place.

Diagnosing the Symptoms

Question the Obvious

  • Is the machine on? Are the cables in good condition and connected? Etc…


Methodically Troubleshoot Components

Two Options for Troubleshooting

  1. Top-to-Bottom / Bottom-to-Top
  • Test at Each Layer of the OSI Model
  • Hardware or Software
  • Adapter or Cabling
  • Known Good (Replace suspected hardware with known good hardware)
    • Try to replicate the issue on another computer. Can you replicate the same problem?
  1. Divide and Conquer
  • Start in the Middle of the OSI Model
  • Depending on Result, Continue Narrowing your Search


Until next time….

Rick Trader
CompTIA Network + Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ

Video Certification Training: CompTIA Network +


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