Way to Ask for Help in The Forum
(if you want any answers)
your own homework before asking questions.
Others that are responding to your
questions ARE volunteers and take time out of their own busy lives to help answer
your questions. They don’t have time to do the basic research that should already
be done by you. Here are a few absolute musts.
- Search the Web
This is the first thing
that many of the people that will try to help, will do. It is very frustrating
when it immediately becomes apparent that an effort couldn’t have been made.
No one wants to help the person that isn’t making any effort. This is often classified
as “lazy” person.
Google is a great
place to start at http://www.google.com
. Type a few key words of your question in the search term box and you will be
amazed at the number of references that are returned in a matter of seconds.
- Search the Board
Prepare your question.
Think it through. Hasty-sounding questions get hasty answers, or none at all.
Before posting, check and see if the question you're about to ask has already
been asked further back in the forum archives. If it has, read those replies
first, then decide whether you still need to ask the same question.
The answers you get
depends very much on the way you ask. Quick
and accurate answers depend on the amount of information you provide in your original
post. Describe your problem you wish help with in as much detail as possible.
Here’s an example of a question that will get you nowhere:
My computer won't start. I turned my computer on this morning and nothing
happened, what could be wrong?”
Any response you may get, will only
be asking you for the information listed below. We are not psychics. Here are
the most important things that will help get you the best response:
Operating Systems Do Matter
include the Operating System used on your computer and the program/application
name and where/when the error occurs.
Identify Your Equipment and
Identify by make, model, and version etc. of any hardware or
software associated with or suspected of the problem. (not just a generic term
such as "sound card")
Research and Diagnostic Steps
Describe the research you did to try and understand the problem
before you asked the question and what diagnostic steps you took to try and
figure out the problem yourself before you asked the question.
What’s Changed Recently
any recent changes in your computer or software configuration that may be relevant.
Have you loaded new software? Installed a new sound card? Messed with your settings
or registry? These should be the very first things considered when a problem
Detail Any Errors or Error Messages
you are getting an error, describe it, in detail. Never just say,
"I got an error" and expect us to know why. Give the complete
text of the error and say when it happens. If you get a lockup, describe it.
Is the screen frozen? Is it a blue screen? Are you hung and must manually reboot?
These details help a lot.
post to the appropriate topic with a specific subject line.
to the topic that is most relevant to your question/problem. If you post to the
wrong topic, chances are, your post will be moved or deleted. Also, some contributors
will only check specific topics. Here are a few more related suggestions.
of forum veterans are helpful, friendly individuals. They are also literate. It
will be in your best interest to phrase your post in proper English and punctuation
should not be considered optional. Considerable leeway is given to posters that
English is not their primary language, however, posts that begin with something
like "can u tell me how 2…" may
be ignored or answered in a less than cordial fashion.
- Use Proper Sentences
Take the time
to phrase you sentences well. Use punctuation with a decent sentence structure.
This AIN'T an English class! Everyone has occasional typos or grammar issues
but too many make you look like your question isn't that important to you. It
also implies that you are rushing and just putting down anything for a quick
answer. A good idea is to first type your intended post into your word processor
and run a spelling and grammar check, if available. Then copy and paste into
the message-posting box.
Last but not least…
A few other things
that are important and shouldn't be forgotten.
Don't Ask People to Reply By
Your questions aren’t just to help you, but also for future
reference for others. Also, those helping you, ARE interested in the outcome.
Often, an unusual problem can be helpful for all.
and "Thanks in advance". Make it clear that you appreciate the time
people spend helping you for free. Even if you don’t agree with a reply, this
does not justify foul language or forgetting this was an attempt to help YOU!
Many replies are only suggestions and you can’t expect us to go out and research
our answers to help YOU with YOUR problem. If this were so, you would get NO
Follow Up With a Brief Post
On the Solution
If you solve your problem; please make a final post telling
us of your solution. This way we know that no further help is needed and this
also can be used for future reference. We like to know how it came out and don’t
forget to thank again, anyone that helped.
If you follow the guidelines
above, you will be maximizing your chance of receiving friendly and productive
help from those willing to assist you in your
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