Mike asked: I use Internet Explorer and when I go to a specific site I get an error message that pops up and I can't continue. This particular site used to work. What can I do to get past the problem?
The problem could be caused by any number of issues. The key is to try to isolate the cause so you can focus on the likely problems. This is the key to fast technical support solutions.
We always try to "cut the deck in half" so each time you chose a possible solution you are narrowing down the places to look the most efficiently.
If you are asked to guess a number between 1-10 and they will respond that your guess is high or low, you don't want to start guessing at number one. Cut the deck in half and start with 5.
Whenever I get an error the first thing I do is the search the internet with my favorite search engine, identifying the error in the search criteria. This usually finds a solution. In Mike's case this didn't help.
Microsoft told Mike to reset all of his Internet Explorer settings but Mike didn't want to lose this data.
Because Mike didn't have access to another computer and the web site data was password protected, I suggested to Mike to install another browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, and try to access the site using the other browser.
Doing this isolated the problem to the browser versus Mike's computer operating system, or the actual web site. In other words, by trying another browser and verifying that the site worked correctly in the other browser, we verified that the problem was neither the site nor the computer--it was, in fact, the particular browser. Next, Mike tried disabling each add-in in Internet Explorer until he found one that was causing trouble.
The next time you have a problem, think about what will eliminate the largest area of potential problems and continue follow that path until you isolate the problem.