A troubleshooting scenario demonstrates the results of a misconfiguration or other type of common problem and guides the reader through the root cause determination and correction in a pre-configured test lab based on a Test Lab Guide (TLG). Test lab troubleshooting scenarios can extend a troubleshooting TLG and are designed to give the readers additional troubleshooting practice with tools and methodologies for solving common problems for a technology, feature, product, or end-to-end solution.

Troubleshooting scenarios are a content type in the Test Lab Guides content set. You can create your own troubleshooting scenario and publish it in the TechNet Wiki, the TechNet Gallery, or in your own publication venue.

A troubleshooting scenario can contain the following sections:

  • Introduction.  Explain the context for the troubleshooting scenario and the problem you are emulating.
  • The procedure to break the configuration.  Explain the steps to create the problem and experience the results.
  • The procedure to discover the root cause.  Explain the troubleshooting methodology to perform the root cause analysis, leading to the determination of the problem.
  • The procedure for correcting the problem.  Explain the steps to correct the configuration.

This article describes the process for creating and publishing a troubleshooting scenario.

End-to-end process for creating and publishing a troubleshooting scenario

  1. Determine the starting test lab configuration. For example, are you starting with the Windows Server 2012 base configuration or with a product or feature already configured? A starting test lab configuration will correspond to either a base configuration TLG or some other existing TLG. You will need to reference these TLGs in your troubleshooting scenario instructions.
  2. Outline the steps and procedures for your troubleshooting scenario to break the configuration and then use troubleshooting tools and methodologies to discover the root cause and correct the problem.
  3. Build out the starting configuration test lab, using the appropriate set of TLGs, and then snapshot this configuration.
  4. Begin constructing your troubleshooting scenario. To help with this, use the Wiki: Test Lab Troubleshooting Scenario Template as a starting point. If you use this template, your troubleshooting scenario will have the same structure and boilerplate text as other troubleshooting scenarios.
  5. Configure the test lab for your troubleshooting scenario and its solution, documenting your steps and procedures as you go.
  6. When complete, restore the snapshots from step 3 and follow your documented steps for your troubleshooting scenario to ensure that it works, refining your steps and procedures as needed. Repeat this step until your instructions and the troubleshooting resolution results are solid and reproducible. If possible, hand your instructions to another person to follow and see if they are also successful.
  7. Add a TLG stack diagram to your troubleshooting scenario. This will show the set of TLGs that are needed and their order, with your new troubleshooting scenario at the top of the stack. For more information, see Wiki: Creating a TLG stack diagram.
  8. Add a TLG lab diagram to your troubleshooting scenario. This will show the set of computers and their connections to the test lab network. Typical troubleshooting scenarios do not add computers or subnets, so you can use the TLG lab diagram from the TLG corresponding to your starting lab configuration.  For more information, see Wiki: Creating a TLG lab diagram.
  9. Add helpful links to your troubleshooting scenario. Examples include product or feature overview information, where to go to get help (such as online forums), and where to get information on additional or related TLG content (such as a TLG portal page).
  10. Publish your troubleshooting scenario. You can publish this in the TechNet Wiki (web article), the TechNet Gallery (white paper format), or in your own publication venue.
  11. Add a link to your troubleshooting scenario to the main Test Lab Guides portal page.
  12. Send a quick email to tlgfb@microsoft.com so that your new troubleshooting scenario can be announced in the Test Lab Guides blog.
  13. Advertise your new creation in your social media outlets.


For more information, see Wiki: Creating and publishing Test Lab Guide content.