The way in which we approach a problem, whether SharePoint Portal Server–related or otherwise, is vital to actually solving the problem. Our approach recommended here is nothing short of common sense, backed up by best practices, and includes the following:
Identify and document the problem or issue, sometimes termed the mode of failure, or MOF
Address the problem in terms of general troubleshooting before escalating
Compare the MOF with known problems/issues
Verify the solution stack(s) as appropriate, focusing on supported combinations of both hardware and software
Verify that changes to the solution stack have been promoted through appropriate “change control” throughout the system landscape (see note)
Verify the ...