Troubleshooting Test Lab Guides (TLGs) teach you troubleshooting tools and skills in a pre-configured test lab environment. Troubleshooting TLGs are a content type in the Test Lab Guides content set. You can create your own troubleshooting TLG and publish it in the TechNet Wiki, the TechNet Gallery, or in your own publication venue.

A troubleshooting TLG contains the following sections:

  • The troubleshooting tools for the technology or feature and how they appear in a working test lab.  This sets the stage for using these tools later in the TLG and for identifying differences between the display of these tools when everything works and when it doesn't.
  • A set of troubleshooting scenarios, which break the functionality of the test lab in a specific way, demonstrate the broken functionality, then take you through the troubleshooting methodology to determine the root cause and correct it. These troubleshooting scenarios are a lot of fun because you can create a common issue and guide the reader through its resolution, in essence training them for the real thing in the wild. You can also get creative and break the functionality in ways that produce misleading error messages or conditions. Then, take the reader through the troubleshooting methodology to expose the hidden culprit, giving them additional practice with the tools and troubleshooting methodology.

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

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

  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 TLG instructions.
  2. Outline the steps and procedures in your troubleshooting TLG for your desired troubleshooting scenarios.
  3. Build out the starting configuration test lab, using the appropriate set of TLGs, and then snapshot this configuration.
  4. Begin constructing your troubleshooting TLG. To help with this, use the Wiki: Troubleshooting Test Lab Guide Template as a starting point. If you use this template, your troubleshooting TLG will have the same structure and boilerplate text as other troubleshooting TLGs, allowing the readers of your troubleshooting TLG to more quickly experience your troubleshooting scenarios.
  5. Configure the test lab for each desired troubleshooting scenario and its solution, documenting your steps and procedures as you go.
  6. When complete, restore the snapshots from step 4 and follow your documented steps for your troubleshooting scenarios to ensure that each 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 TLG. This will show the set of TLGs that are needed and their order, with your new troubleshooting TLG 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 TLG. This will show the set of computers and their connections to the test lab network. Typical troubleshooting TLGs 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 TLG. 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 TLG. 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 TLG to the main Test Lab Guides portal page.
  12. Send a quick email to so that your new troubleshooting TLG 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.