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Before you post about a problem


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63 replies to this topic

#1 jgweed

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:34 PM

EEK! I have a problem and need help FAST!!!!!!

We all have had a computer problem or question suddenly rear its ugly head and then run to post in a forum for help from other members. A few guidelines to remember before posting will make getting help easier and faster.



1. Using a topic title that explains the problem you are having, rather than “HELP!!!!” will guide those with expertise in that area (or later, other members having a similar problem) to find your post. Members who want to help generally browse the posts in their spare time by topic titles, and are more likely to respond to a specific topic rather than waste time discovering what you are writing about or looking for a new post in an existing thread.


2. Explain your question or problem with as many details as necessary, and always mention the version of Windows and the application you are using. If there are error messages, write them EXACTLY as they appear. Try to include what you were doing when the problem occurred, and whether you made any system changes or new installations before the problem happened. Remember that, in some instances, someone trying to help you might want to replicate your problem on his own computer, or to open the application you are having problems with. Again, the problem you are having may turn out to be a symptom of something different; a complete description of the problem will often help identify those cases.


3. Include any steps you have taken already. This saves the time involved in asking you to take actions you have already done, or to suggest steps you may already have tried.


4. When you post, it makes sense to follow the rule: one problem, one post. The more problems you include in one post, the more likely the chance one or more of them will get lost or unanswered, especially if the problems require different areas of knowledge. Letting different kinds of problems be answered by members with different areas of expertise will be quicker and probably result in better responses.


5. Double check the information you are supplying. For example, the omission of one letter, or a typo, in talking about an .exe file or a program name can make a major difference resulting in time-wasting confusion or incorrect help.


6. Lastly, before hitting that POST button, take the time to read what you are posting from the point of view of someone trying to help and ask yourself, “is this as clear as I can make it?” When your problem is resolved, remember to add a final reply letting everyone know what worked; this effectively closes the thread as well as validates the solution offered.

Edited by scarlett, 11 May 2005 - 02:45 PM.

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#2 yano

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:48 PM

Amen. This would help us greatly not only at figuring out people's computer problems, but more benefiting to the community as well.

Also one thing you may have not been clear on...

5.) Double check the information you are supplying. For example, the omission of one letter, or a typo, in talking about an .exe file or a program name can make a major difference resulting in time-wasting confusion or incorrect help.


You should have also stated: The "SpelChek" button is there for a reason. Please use it. It makes it hard if you send in a message that has many word misspelled. Its not the grammar we are after just the spelling. (I know many of, English isn't your 1st language.) However it makes it easier to read if its spelled properly.

#3 twinsdad

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 07:46 AM

jgweed: A most helpful post, glad it is pinned. I've been guilty more than once of using an unhelpful post title and not providing a clear description of the problem, a complete description of my system, etc. The more I "lurk" here at BC, the more I understand how important it is to effectively communicate, especially when one considers that everyone here is a volunteer eager to help (and in my case learn) as much as possible.

The only thing I might add to your list, is a reference to the BC Tutorials where one might very well discover an answer to a problem (particularly with regard to malware) or at least methods to do a little self-help detective work before making that first post about the problem.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#4 chicha1997

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:20 PM

EEK! I have a problem and need help FAST!!!!!!

We all have had a computer problem or question suddenly rear its ugly head and then run to post in a forum for help from other members. A few guidelines to remember before posting will make getting help easier and faster.



1. Using a topic title that explains the problem you are having, rather than “HELP!!!!” will guide those with expertise in that area (or later, other members having a similar problem) to find your post. Members who want to help generally browse the posts in their spare time by topic titles, and are more likely to respond to a specific topic rather than waste time discovering what you are writing about or looking for a new post in an existing thread.


2. Explain your question or problem with as many details as necessary, and always mention the version of Windows and the application you are using. If there are error messages, write them EXACTLY as they appear. Try to include what you were doing when the problem occurred, and whether you made any system changes or new installations before the problem happened. Remember that, in some instances, someone trying to help you might want to replicate your problem on his own computer, or to open the application you are having problems with. Again, the problem you are having may turn out to be a symptom of something different; a complete description of the problem will often help identify those cases.


3. Include any steps you have taken already. This saves the time involved in asking you to take actions you have already done, or to suggest steps you may already have tried.


4. When you post, it makes sense to follow the rule: one problem, one post. The more problems you include in one post, the more likely the chance one or more of them will get lost or unanswered, especially if the problems require different areas of knowledge. Letting different kinds of problems be answered by members with different areas of expertise will be quicker and probably result in better responses.


5. Double check the information you are supplying. For example, the omission of one letter, or a typo, in talking about an .exe file or a program name can make a major difference resulting in time-wasting confusion or incorrect help.


6. Lastly, before hitting that POST button, take the time to read what you are posting from the point of view of someone trying to help and ask yourself, “is this as clear as I can make it?” When your problem is resolved, remember to add a final reply letting everyone know what worked; this effectively closes the thread as well as validates the solution offered.

Well thanks ,you reed and learn it makes sence thanks agaen JL

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:10 AM

Plz hlp!!!!. Evr time I go on the net it hppns!!!!! Now it doen't work at all!!!!!!!
Must have it fixed in next hour 'cause my assignments due/bus is leaving/I'm late for work/there's something on TV!!!!!! Why is noone helping me?!!!!!!


Maybe jgweed's helpful post needs to be more direct and succinct, and in very large red letters because I don't think it is being read by a lot of posters. I'm getting really tired of having to ask for basic information. :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 24 May 2005 - 12:13 AM.


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#6 tg1911

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:09 AM

Rimmer,
It doesn't matter how "direct and succinct" it is, if nobody reads it, which I think is the problem most of the time. :thumbsup:
Instead of asking the same questions, over and over, refer them to this post.
It would save some typing. :flowers:

Edited by tg1911, 24 May 2005 - 08:13 AM.

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#7 jgweed

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 02:33 PM

The text originated from a draft I prepared for BC moderators, who then contributed to the content. It is our hope that, by placing these guidelines in key forums, members seeking help will improve the information they originally provide thus making the process more orderly and efficient.
Hopefully,as members read this and begin following these quidelines, the general tone of posts asking for help will improve.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#8 Rimmer

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 06:49 PM

There was no criticism intended of you John. The post is often not being read - that's why I'm suggesting the Title be in large red letters (i didn't make that clear before I know) and maybe it should say "READ THIS BEFORE YOU POST"?

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#9 jackiec28

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 10:43 AM

Just replying to jgweed. Remember me? My start menu was freezing up on bootup?
Problem seems sorted - I had millions of windows temp files. Apparently Zone Alarm makes them all the time and they were clogging up the system. Thanks for your help.
Jackie :thumbsup:

#10 jgweed

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 01:11 PM

I am always happy that we were able to solve a member's problems, jackie28.
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#11 Otter56

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 09:24 PM

[I] :thumbsup: I just joined and decided to go here first, even before introducing myself as a new member in the introduction forum. Am I really the only one to head here first and read what you two are discussing?? :flowers: [COLOR=purple][FONT=Times]

#12 jeffholman

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 07:23 PM

what would the proper way to bring attention to your post if you have posted it and received no answer for a couple of days and it has slipped off the first page of topics? I don't want to be rude, but I just don't really know what people traditionally do in this situation.

#13 Leurgy

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:25 PM

There could be any number of reasons that you don't receive a reply to your post. One of the most frequent is a lack of information. If you post a reply to your previous post with additional info it will come back to the top of the list of topics as well as the forum that it is in. You can also send a PM to a Moderator with a link to it and ask them to have a look at your post. Most of us will try to help in that situation.

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#14 jgweed

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:40 PM

Jeffholman,if you are referring to the lengthy post that included a HJT log, it may have gone unaswered because it was in the wrong forum. I would suggest you post JUST a log in the HJT forum, instructions for which are found here:}

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/How...s_Log-t956.html

Regards,
John
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#15 jgweed

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:54 PM

Over 700 views of the guidelines in this forum since May 10, compared to 2200 hundred initiated topics since (I think) BC began, seems to me to be a good start, Rimmer, and one could speculate about how many "bad" posts it has prevented. I don't know if putting the topic in red glitter would encourage the people posting about a probem with a popup thingy to change their ways.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.




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