Apple has added a new article to the Knowledge Base detailing how one would go about tracking down an problem or error while running OS X. Appleis Knowledge Base (sometimes referred to as the KBase) is a central location for all of Appleis support documents and other important information.
Anyone who has ever had to track down the source of a error, whether it be in a computer or any other complex device, knows how frustrating it can be. Lucky for you, Apple written a document to help you out with doing exactly this. Some of the steps include identifying the problem, updating software and firmware, and isolating the issue, among others. From Apple:
By using the approach outlined here, you can learn how to isolate an issue to its root cause, or at minimum to determine the sequence of events that causes the issue to occur. Using this outlined approach may help you solve the issue, locate other documents in the Knowledge Base, write better posts to Apple Discussions, or communicate with AppleCare technical support.
I. Describing the issue
Start by asking yourself basic questions about the issue that will help you describe it.
1. What is the issue?
When answering this question, be sure to note any alert or "error" messages that appear. Be sure to describe any unexpected hardware or software behavior, and any other details that seem relevant.
Users accustomed to reading logs should review them in Apple System Profiler for any relevant information. If you are not experienced with reading logs, it is generally best to ignore them unless instructed to search for a specific message.
2. When does it occur?
a. If you can identify a sequence of events that lead up to the issue, be sure to document each.
b. If the issue seems to occur at certain time intervals, be sure to record the times at which it happens. Does it happen only at certain times (for example, daily at 17:00) or on a periodic basis (for example, every 47 minutes)?
c. If the issue occurs so irregularly that you cannot yet describe when it happens, the suggestions below will help you troubleshoot the issue over time by making certain changes then watching to see if the issue stops.
d. If the issue occurs at startup immediately following a third-party software installation, see technical document 107043: "Mac OS X 10.2: Does Not Start Up After Third-Party Software Installation".
e. If any other issue occurs during startup, see technical document to 106464: "Mac OS X: Troubleshooting a Startup Issue".
3. When did the issue start?
Note any recent changes to the computer and its software, since they could affect the issue. Note the installation of any new software or hardware.
You can read the full Knowledge Base article at Appleis Web site.