Isolating Hardware Problems Affecting Team Foundation Server

This topic describes how to systematically isolate hardware problems that Team Foundation Server may experience.

When you troubleshoot hardware, start with and work toward the simplest configuration possible by disabling or removing devices. Incrementally increase or decrease complexity until you isolate the problem device.

Check Your Hardware

If your diagnostic efforts point to a hardware problem, you can run diagnostic software available from the manufacturer. These programs perform self-tests that confirm whether a piece of hardware has malfunctioned or failed and must be replaced. You can also install the device on different computers to verify that the problem is not caused by system-specific configuration issues. Replace defective hardware and diagnose problems on a spare or test computer to minimize the effect on the user because of the system being unavailable. If diagnostic software shows that the hardware is working, consider whether you should upgrade or roll back device drivers.

Reverse Driver Changes

If a hardware problem causes a Stop error that prevents Windows from starting in regular mode, you can use the Last Known Good Configuration startup option. The Last Known Good Configuration enables you to recover from problems by reverting driver and registry settings to those used during the last user session. If you can start Windows in regular mode after you use the Last Known Good Configuration, disable the problem driver or device. Restart the computer to verify that the Stop message does not recur. If the problem persists, repeat this procedure until you isolate the hardware that is causing the problem.

You can also recover from problems that occur after updating a device driver by using Device Driver Roll Back in safe or regular mode. If you updated a driver since Windows was installed, you can roll back the driver to determine whether the older driver restores stability. If another driver is not available, disable the device by using Device Manager until you can locate an updated driver.

Disabling devices with Device Manager is always better than physically removing a part because it does not risk damage to internal components. If you cannot disable a device by using Device Manager, uninstall the device driver, turn off the system, remove the part, and restart the computer. If this improves system stability, the part might be causing or contributing to the problem and you need to reconfigure it.

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