Any Desktop Support tech out there?

passcert23passcert23 Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
I want to land a desktop support job but I have no experience. I have a degree along with A+/Network+. I know I'll be supporting Outlook, Blackberry, and user accounts. So what kind of issues do desktop support tech often get? Can you guys post some common issues and resolution so I can get a feel for the position. Thanks.

Comments

  • crrussell3crrussell3 Member Posts: 561
    I would say the most common things I dealt with while in Helpdesk was the following:

    1. Issues related to a User Account being locked out.
    2. Corrupt profiles
    3. Failing Hardware (harddrive being the most common).
    MCTS: Windows Vista, Configuration
    MCTS: Windows WS08 Active Directory, Configuration
  • passcert23passcert23 Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    1. Issues related to a User Account being locked out.
    Would it relate to the password where I can simply just reset it?

    2. Corrupt profiles
    So would I just use the scanpst.exe tool?
  • bryantstewartbryantstewart Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have been doing level 2 support for about a year now and I can say that no two days are ever the same. We get everything from port speed/duplex issues to helping VIPs backup their emails. On an average day I get a few tickets for wireless issues, AD permission issues, and the occasional "I can't find the power button" calls. One thing that I will stress to you is to always take advantage of opportunities to work with other IT teams on projects. This is a great way to both learn from others and show off what you do know. Integrate Linked-In into the picture and you will gain many social networking contacts with the possibility to move up in your organization.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,016 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Helpdesk jobs require the ability to work with people, you need good people skills and then good technical skills.

    It depends on how large the place is, for us we get the following.

    You will get printer issues "Paper jams, staff not knowing how to replace the toner etc"
    Telephone issues.
    My PC is slow!, I want a new LCD monitor icon_lol.gif
    I deleted a file, my mail by mistake, please restore it.
    Fax machine is not receiving.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    passcert23 wrote: »
    I want to land a desktop support job but I have no experience. I have a degree along with A+/Network+. I know I'll be supporting Outlook, Blackberry, and user accounts. So what kind of issues do desktop support tech often get? Can you guys post some common issues and resolution so I can get a feel for the position. Thanks.

    Here is a good article that I found that describes a day in the life of a Help Desk support tech..
    Certification - January 2010
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • crrussell3crrussell3 Member Posts: 561
    passcert23 wrote: »
    1. Issues related to a User Account being locked out.
    Would it relate to the password where I can simply just reset it?

    2. Corrupt profiles
    So would I just use the scanpst.exe tool?

    It would relate to the password so you can simply reset it, and unlock the account.

    When I said corrupt profile, I was actually refering to the Windows profile, so scanpst.exe would not do anything. This would involve logging in with admin rights, remaining the existing profile, and having the user log back in to recreate a new profile. Then you would copy the existing data over if needed, like favorites, desktop shortcuts, set outlook back up, etc.

    As others have mentioned, you will find issues relating to email, file access/deletion, wireless, vpn, etc etc. No day is the same.
    MCTS: Windows Vista, Configuration
    MCTS: Windows WS08 Active Directory, Configuration
  • bsonbson Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    crrussell3 meant RENAME the profile to example .old, then copy the users folders into the new profile (i leave out the ntuser.dat fileas a new and working one is created, and if you copy it your new profile wont work :))

    you might find the microsoft mcdst books for exams 70-271 & 70-272 helpful, more the 272 which goes into supporting users apps and software, the labs were also pretty good.

    although these are for xp i havent heard of a retirement date for them yet, anyway there pretty straight forward exams and will get you MCP accredited (one microsoft exam gets you mcp status), and you can always do the upgrade exam for vista or now win 7
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think the trouble is that yes in terms of %, account lock outs, and hard ware failer are the highest. But the trouble is these two together are only about 5 to 10% of issues.

    the rest is a mix up of every thing under the sun, from simple a user not knowing how to add a favrite in to IE, losing a window they have minimised or equally just requiring basic training. To asking about a bit of software that you really have no idea about becasue they are the only person in the company who use it and for some reason they expect you to be the expert.

    I would say you need a good grasp of the desktop hardware and common issues with it (like be able to replace hard drives and graphic cards + install drivers)

    Know your way around all of the office software and had a good idea about what the options do. No need to be a wizz kid at them jut know your way around.

    As far as exchange and blackberry go, remember that the users are looking at it from a client point of view. So its all very well knowing the server side inside out but most issues in something like outlook are going to be, " where has my personal folder gone", "How do I open a shared calendar in outlook..."

    I would say there are three of four "server" issues such as recovering mail, increasing size limits, ect. But the majority are actually client side issues. My adivice is learn thing from the user point of view. find out the applications they are going to be using and make sure you understand how they work and what they are used for.

    in terms of server side stuff, like unlocking an account, this stuff is the simple side of it all. after you have unlocked an account once it will never trouble you again. But you wont believe how many different ways users will report the same issue, or indeed how crazy they can be. I don't like to call them stupid because many users are not IT people, but I would say 60%+ of cases are in some form or another user error, or made worse by the user. And if you don't have a good general idea how the software should work, you will struggle to make scene of it all. And end up going of in tangents when the answer is actuly very straight forward.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    1. "My computer's too slow."
    2. "Why is the Internet so slow today?"
    3. "My account is locked out"
    4. "My email was blocked."
    5. "My computer's too slow."
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikedisd2 wrote: »
    1. "My computer's too slow."
    2. "Why is the Internet so slow today?"
    3. "My account is locked out"
    4. "My email was blocked."
    5. "My computer's too slow."

    Oh my god how can any desktop support engineer forget to have mentioned that one.

    "my computer/internet/network/application/anything is slow!!!!!!!!"

    Put it this way, we in the IT world think of the guy on the helpdesk as first line support often. But the user/client they will expect of you to..

    have every single network/microsoft/exchange/vmware/AD/Windows/hardware/etc,etc, certificate out there, and have such working knowlage of computers and applications, that not only can you fix there issue with a single keystroke, and when you answer the phone they will start but saying.

    "on my screen i have error message id345ad34fess.ccea.3377322.223646"
    "in module desil34.dll"
    they wont say who they are, let alone what application the error comes from.

    Yes that's right you must also know all error codes of every application ever written.

    One of the skills of the help desk engineer is the ability to talk to users (who often know very little about PC's) and help them to explain there issue to you, so before you start thinking about solving the problem, you can establish what the problem is in the first place. Where there are many specific problem you will have to deal with, even these often come at you from strange and weird direction.

    You can learn all the usual exchange/AD tasks in a few weeks, and all companies do things different ways with there own issues. But learning to think on your feet and solve problems in real time with a customer on the phone is a steep learning curve.

    If i was going for this job I would read up the basic info about the technologies

    ie. Exchange, what is it really (behind that email title), what steps do emails take to get from a to b (not the details you learn them on the job, but the outline of what's going on).

    Even 5 years in to the job, its surprising how often I refer back to those basic steps to trouble shoot. If you know the steps an application/network is taking, its easy to work out where a problem is , and once there, if you don't "know" the answer, its very easy to find/workout the answer.

    At an interview they are going to want to see not just knowlage but how you approach a problem. There not going to always expect a correct answer, but they will want to see your thought process. do you ask the right questions and are you looking in the right direction, and if you don't know an answer, how do you go about finding it out. (yes goggle it is an answer, as long as you know what to google).

    If you are new to help desk you are never going to compete with seasoned help desk staff in an interview on your raw knowlage. So you need to make sure you are ready to show of you attuide, problem solving skills, and learning ability.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    my first IT job was proprietary software support for a lil less than 2 yrs, before i got my desktop support job. try to look for companies that have entry level dst jobs where you dont have to have experience or very little. the pay probably wont be great, but you can stay there for a 1-2 yrs, then move on and get more pay somewhere else.

    and what you'll be doin depends on the type & size of the company and your manager. if you're in a large company, it will probably just be pc/laptop (and maybe mac) support, handing phone issues, mobile devices, printer/scanner/copier issues, resetting user passwords.

    at the smaller companies, you'll do all of the above and more, like gettin involved with server & network support also, creating users, groups, GPOs in AD, etc.
    Link Me
    Graduate of the REAL HU & #1 HBCU...HAMPTON UNIVERSITY!!! #shoutout to c/o 2004
    WIP: 70-410(TBD) | ITIL v3 Foundation(TBD)
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    On the Desktop/Helpdesk side expect to get all the standard stuff. I do Desktop Support and Systems Admin work and I've found on the Desktop side of things most of the calls are related to the problems or needs for the employees I have listed below. The main thing with doing a Helpdesk or Desktop job as others have mentioned is be friendly and outgoing with the users as they will report back to your manager if you doing a good or not. I've found that some people who aren't even that technical do very well at the Helpdesk level just because they have good people skills. Oh, and another note is to have great communication skills. Sometimes even if your researching the answer or don't know right away.... always email or call the client to let them know your looking into it/working on it. Communication goes a long way.

    Creating new user accounts, Corrupt profiles, Viruses,Configuring and setting up Oulook, Setting up printers for end users(Network & Local), Disk imaging (Ghost) or other software, Xp installations, Dealing with boot related errors, Swapping out or replacing hard drives or other hardware, Accounts being locked out, "My computer is slow is there anything we can do?" type of questions as well as people unplugging network cables or power cables from their PC, File extension association problems, Installing proprietary software, backing up Emails, ...etc the list goes on.... and on and on......
  • KaminskyKaminsky Member Posts: 1,235
    wd40 wrote: »
    Helpdesk jobs require the ability to work with people, you need good people skills and then good technical skills.

    People skills first ... absolutely ! and be cheaky with it too. Never just sit there for half an hour umming and ahhing. If you don't know, go get someone that can and be honest about it. The user appreciates it. Remember, secretaries can be clinical and ferocious in their assassination of a new IT guy.

    I always use to switch between the "ohh, it's just got it's knickers in a twist" and for the grumpy ones "Oh Noooo .. YOOOOOU .. BROKE IT !!" (amazing how much that puts them on the back foot when done in person with a straight face). They don't need any more explanation than that. They are paid to work... not to learn about IT.

    I got promoted to PC support manager on that philosophy after my predecessor, when asked what was wrong with it, answered "I won't bother explaining it to you my dear ... you couldn't possibly understand" ... Yep .. He was out !

    My best ever coolest PC support fix was responding to a document gone from the screen. Turned up at an office full of secretaries and got to the one with the emergency and hit ALT-TAB as I walked past them on the way to another call for a secretary in the same office about a printer. Heard them say "YES .. IT'S BACK !!! ... see... told you he was bloody good".
    Kam.
  • netteasernetteaser Member Posts: 198
    Where are you located my company is looking for techs and help desk support
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Member Posts: 514
    Honestly...

    Desktop Support is much more about soft skills than anything.

    Yes, you need to know your environment's OS well. Yes you need to know the infrastructure, etc. Yes you need troubleshooting skills.

    However, if you do not have the soft skills, you will find yourself out the door. Fast. (and fyi, soft skills are not software skills lol. They are user interaction skills)

    Being the Desktop Support guy means you are the face of your IT dept to most of your users/clients/customers, etc. Your actions directly reflect the competency of your entire department. If you show up to help them, give smart ass comments, and are just... not very sociable, you will not last. It does not matter if you have great technical skills.

    Do not belittle, do not patronize, do not mock, etc. I have found the best philosophy is to simply tell them what the problem was. Explain it to them in non-IT terms. If they start beating themselves up about it, as much as you want to agree with them, don't. Tell them it happens all the time, tell them of other calls you have gotten that makes them feel like they are not that bad. Whether you like it or not, this is part of Desktop Support/Helpdesk.

    You can take off your pretend-nice Mr. Amicable once you get off of Desktop Support/Help Desk and spend most of your time staring at RDP windows and server racks. icon_cool.gif
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • BokehBokeh Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Oh, and let's not forget everyone's favorite .."While I have you here (or on the phone) I have this PC at home that is doing this or that, can you take care of that for me, please?
  • snokerpokersnokerpoker Member Posts: 661 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Bokeh wrote: »
    Oh, and let's not forget everyone's favorite .."While I have you here (or on the phone) I have this PC at home that is doing this or that, can you take care of that for me, please?

    Yes!!!! This happens to me all the time. In the past I use to want to help people out but more and more it seemed like I had to have a damn written contract telling the end user- I am not responsible for your PC after x amount of days once I return it to you and it is fixed. Some people would come to me 3 or so months later with- "Ever since you worked on my computer.... it is doing this and that" I would then have to tell them that just because I worked on it one time I am not their personal IT support for life.
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yes!!!! This happens to me all the time. In the past I use to want to help people out but more and more it seemed like I had to have a damn written contract telling the end user- I am not responsible for your PC after x amount of days once I return it to you and it is fixed. Some people would come to me 3 or so months later with- "Ever since you worked on my computer.... it is doing this and that" I would then have to tell them that just because I worked on it one time I am not their personal IT support for life.

    I very quickly learnt the. "sorry you will have to raise a new case with the help desk about that"
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
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