How to Know What Went Wrong When a Software Update Goes Awry

Software updates allow developers to innovate and keep up with technology growth. Despite good intentions, IT professionals like those at know that updates can cause computer problems. Avoid losing productive time and develop a workflow or checklist for update troubleshooting. Some upgrade issues can be resolved very quickly if one knows where to look. Consider the following starting points to address update challenges.

Review the release notes
As developers seek to update their solutions, major changes to user interface and functionality may be incorporated into an upgrade installation. What a user may consider a “glitch” may be the intended function of the refreshed software. Missing a button? The software developers may have moved the button to a new location. Updates may also include the addition or loss of features, which can seem like glitches. Make sure to review release notes before and after an update to prepare and address important changes.

Examine the error log
Most software updates come with built-in error dialogs, which can display a specific error code or description. Take note of this error window or even screenshot it for future troubleshooting. Having an error note can help IT support provide the next steps in addressing an update problem. Research the error code through a search engine and see if others have experienced the same obstacle. The software knowledge base or online reference tools may address a specific error and provide instructions for users to work through it.

Check support forums
Many software companies have developed robust support communities, staffed with knowledgeable technicians to answer questions and address update issues. Google is famous for their product support forums, allowing developers, users, and companies to find a wealth of information on Google solutions. However, readers should also take forums with a grain of salt. Since forum content is user-generated, every suggestion may not be credible. Look for posts or articles published by software company employees or technicians to validate troubleshooting tips.

Leverage software support
Most software licenses come with additional support. While updating business critical software, make sure any bundled tech support solutions are known to employees. Priority phone lines, online chat, email, and other remote support may be available for licensed software. Visit the software developer’s website directly to find out what the options are. Software IT experts can walk users through a variety of steps to isolate an update problem and address it.

Verify Software Requirements
Software updates can be unsuccessful if a computer does not have the appropriate specifications to run new software features. Check the developer’s website and release notes to ensure that all the prerequisites are met before attempting an update. Since updates take up room on a computer, make sure a hard drive has enough free space. Low RAM configurations can slow down the performance of updated software, so be sure to meet the minimum requirements. Not meeting these requirements can interrupt the update process or cause unexpected results.

Many factors contribute to successful updates. Be sure to read through all upgrade materials, pay attention to support resources, and check requirements. These steps can help narrow down potential issues and help identify specific update issues.

How to Know What Went Wrong When a Software Update Goes Awry 2
Drew Hendricks
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He's written for many major publishers such as National Geographic and Technorati.

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