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Tech Helproom


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Ten steps to getting your question answered on a tech forum.


Chronos the 2nd

Likes # 1

I wonder if this could be stickied?

  1. Before you even go to a forum, think through what your problem is. Write down how you are going to describe it. Think about it from the other side - what would you need to know if a stranger came to you and asked a computer question? Write down any error codes that appear on your screen. Gather all the system information that seems to bear on the problem (see how at this link). Sometimes it even happens that by thinking through the problem, you come up with the answer yourself.
  2. Place your question or problem in a forum that is relevant to its subject. That may seem obvious but anyone who has experience with forums knows that a lot of questions show up in the wrong place.
  3. Select a title that briefly and accurately describes your problem. A title like “Help!” or “Computer won’t work” will often get ignored. Almost any problem can be titled with a few key words that will raise interest in somebody who is familiar with the subject. A corollary to this is to avoid using all caps or a lot of exclamation points. Something like “HELP!!!” turns many people off.
  4. In the post, briefly describe the problem in a paragraph. Leave out unnecessary details. Save everybody time by listing any solutions that you have tried but didn't work.
  5. Next, describe relevant system details. For example, it is essential to designate your operating system and type of computer and any components that might be involved in your problem. List any error code that has been displayed. Be prepared to provide more details if asked
  6. Tell what you were doing when you encountered the problem. If it is a reproducible problem, list the steps or computer operations that cause the problem.
  7. List any recent software you have installed or hardware changes you have made. If you have updated any drivers recently, also list that.
  8. If requested, be prepared to list all the Windows and software updates that have been made recently.
  9. Be courteous and thank whoever is helping you whether you get a solution or not. Somebody is giving you their time and expertise for free. You may want to come back to the forum and it pays to be friendly.
  10. If a suggested solution works, be sure to return to the forum and report your success. It is the least you can do to return something for the help you have been given. It will make you welcome in the forum the next time you go there for help.
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morddwyd

Likes # 0

"Most forums have a sticky to help newcomers get their posting right, why should we be any different?"

Most forums have all sorts of things, that doesn't necessarily make it right, or desirable, for here.

For some people the fact that this one is different is part of its attraction.

With more tan a million posts already, the current system seems to be stumbling along fairly well.

If you want a forum which is not "different" there are plenty to choose from.

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Chronos the 2nd

Likes # 0

Bump.

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john bunyan

Likes # 0

Chronos the 2nd

Thanks for a very useful input. I have learnt a lot here, and have adopted many suggestions, thanks to the experts such as yourself.We all have, maybe, a specialist area (hardware, photos, iPod etc) so it is a very good place to share such knowledge.

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Border View

Likes # 0

Good advice.

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Chronos the 2nd

Likes # 0

john bunyan

Border View

Thank you.

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lotvic

Likes # 0

I may be confused (often am) but I got the 'Ten steps to getting your question answered on a tech forum' in a newsletter from Gizmo's Freeware and the credited author of said tips is Vic Laurie, is that you Chronos or am I utterly confused

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bumpkin

Likes # 0

Lotvic, it says in your link that the site is maintained by Vic Laurie not that he wrote the posting. As it is word for word I would image that chronos has posted it there as well as here.

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lotvic

Likes # 0

bumpkin, it says at the bottom of tips 'Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit?' that's why I was just enquiring, I said "I may be confused"

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bumpkin

Likes # 0

It could have been copied from here and posted on the other site by anyone.

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iscanut2

Likes # 0

Does it matter if it is on other sites..the same protocols etc apply !!!

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