Anamnesis is known as an important method for pre-diagnosis in medical sciences. In device failure analysis (FA) it is not so far used, yet – especially with regard to system- and application-aspects. As a consequence, a lot of useless rootcause-related FA efforts are done on device level, while the root cause is on system level. Introduced by an illustrative case study, the benefit of a suitable anamnesis is shown as well as the way to do it – by posing the right questions before FA starts. Many FA efforts can be saved or optimized and frequently, a sound anamnesis already may lead towards the root-cause conclusion.