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Identifying Problem Symptoms When Troubleshooting Team Foundation Server

This topic helps you identify all of the symptoms that affect the Team Foundation server before you begin to solve those problems.

Start troubleshooting by observing and identifying symptoms of the problem. You must learn more about the circumstances in which problems occur and become familiar with system behavior when issues arise. Here are some questions that you can use to help identify symptoms:

  • Does your hardware meet minimum requirements?

    If you experience significant performance delays, you should first check to make sure that your Team Foundation Server hardware meets minimum requirements. The requirements are described in Requirements for Team Foundation.

  • Do error messages appear when users connect to, and use Team Foundation Server?

    If error messages display, record the error numbers, the exact error message text, and a brief description of the activity. This information is useful when you research the cause of the problem or when you contact technical support. In your description, include events that occur before and after a problem and the time and date of the error. For complex or lengthy error messages, you can use a program for capturing screen images such as Microsoft Paint (Mspaint.exe) to record the error message as a bitmap.

  • Did you check Event Viewer logs on the Team Foundation application-tier computer?

    Entries in Event Viewer's application, security, and system logs might contain information helpful for determining the cause of the problem. Look for symptoms or signs of problems that occurred around the same time as the problem symptoms, or at frequent or regular intervals.

  • Did you check log files on the client computer?

    Error messages sometimes direct you to view a log file on the client computer. By using Notepad or an equivalent text editor, you can view the contents of a text log file to determine whether it contains information useful for troubleshooting your problem.

  • Does the problem coincide with a particular activity?

    If the problem occurs during activities such as editing work items or authoring reports, you can reproduce the error to notice details and gather information for troubleshooting. Make sure that you record the steps that are taken when the problem occurs.

  • Does the problem generally occur at a certain time?

    Sometimes the time of day, or the day of the week when the problem occurs can suggest regular activities that may be associated with the problem. For example, a problem may generally occur in the hours that lead up to a regularly scheduled meeting. Activities associated with preparing for the meeting such as creating reports or running specific work item queries may trigger the problem.

  • Are there records of changes made to the server?

    Check to see whether there are records that describe changes, such as work item customizations, network configuration changes, or hardware upgrades. If records are not available, you might query users or other support technicians. This information can help you determine whether the problem is new or a condition that has worsened.

  • Does the problem seem related to user accounts?

    Do other users have similar problems? Do all users who do not experience problems use Administrator accounts or do they share other common attributes? For example, check if the problem occurs when you use a newly created user account.

  • Does the problem seem network related?

    Determine whether the same error occurs on more than one computer on a network. If the error is occurring on a Team Foundation client computer, see whether it occurs using a different client computer.

  • Is other software installed on the Team Foundation application-tier server?

    If the application tier server is shared with applications other than Team Foundation Server, both applications will compete for resources such as memory and network bandwidth. Shut down or remove the other applications in order to determine whether they are contributing to the problem.

  • Is the appropriate software installed on the Team Foundation client computer?

    Certain features require additional software to be installed on the Team Foundation client computer where those features are used. For example, in order to use Microsoft Excel to connect to the Team Foundation Server data warehouse, the client computer must have the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for OLAP Services 9.0 installed.

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