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Thread: A Guide to Posting in the Tech Support Forum

  1. #1
    Ascendant Transcendent
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    983

    Default A Guide to Posting in the Tech Support Forum

    Welcome to the Monkly Business Technical Support Forum! We all try to help folks out here, but please remember that everyone here is a volunteer and deserves your gratitude for taking their time to work with you. :)



    Your main goal when posting in this forum should be to see if your issue has already been covered by searching this forum or simply browsing it. This will help us cut down on duplicate entries, and will save the board some financial costs in the long run as well.



    Once you've determined that your issue has never been dealt with here your new goal should be to put as much clear and concise information into your post as possible regarding your hardware/software/OS, your current issue, and anything you think it may be related to.



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    Please allow me to give some posting examples.



    Here is what not to post:



    "My graphics are all funky, like swizzling and stuff."



    This does not tell us anything at all.



    Instead, try this:



    "I have a GeForce 4 Ti4200 at 8x AGP, AMD XP 2400+ and 1GB DDR, using the 53.36 Nvidia drivers on Windows XP Pro, SP2. My monitor is a Dell 1224PL and I run it at 1152x864. I haven't made any changes to my system lately, and have already checked for adware/spyware/virii that might be causing me trouble.



    Since yesterday I've been having graphical issues in lots of games. What happens is that when I first start a game everything is ok, but after about 10 minutes I get multi-colored streaks across the top 1/3 of my screen. The streaks are across the whole screen and are about 1mm high. They will not go away until I exit the game.



    This is happening in every game I play, but not when I'm just using Windows."



    This gives us a clear idea of the current state of your PC, and a good description of your problem as well as where your problem exists at. Never be afraid to put "too much" information into your post. It's better for us to have the information and not need it than to need it and not have it. ;)



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    Now for some general troubleshooting techniques you can try yourself!

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    ATI Users



    Due to the current madness and proliferation of ATI driver and compatibility issues please do not post here regarding ATI-related issues until you have attempted to resolve your issue by upgrading and/or downgrading your Catalyst driver through at least 3 versions. The Catalyst library can be found at: www.ati.com/support/driver.html



    Almost every outstanding ATI issue is resolved - or, conversely, caused by - your driver version. For example, to play UT2004 you better be running at least 7 versions behind on your Catalyst, but to play EQ you better have the newest version. I know this sounds screwy, but don't shoot the messenger. ;) Instead, feel free to let loose on the ATI email support addresses and forums and let them know exactly what you think of their driver issues. Maybe if enough people get upset and vocal about it ATI will finally buckle down and try to write some decent software. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you folks.



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    Nvidia Users



    Before posting in this forum regarding any Nvidia-related issues please make sure you are running the latest Nvidia driver. If your issue just appeared after updating to the newest driver, please roll your driver back to an earlier version, and don't be afraid to use the Detonator Destroyer to get a clean start between drivers.



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    Blank screen



    First ensure the monitor is turned on, then check to make sure it's not in a "suspended mode" by jiggling your mouse or hitting a key. If you still don't have a screen test whether your monitor or video card are at fault by hooking your monitor to another computer or hooking another monitor to your PC. If it's the monitor simply replace it. If it's your video card try "reseating" the card on your mainboard (meaning pull it out, clean it up with some compressed air and then put it firmly back into its slot).



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    If you have the Via chipset on your mainboard



    Many graphical and performance issues are caused by poorly-written Via 4-in-1 drivers. Your best bet is to get the latest 4-in-1 straight from Via rather than from your OEM.



    Via 4-in-1 page



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    Problems with your EQ Interface



    The help forums at EQ Interface should be your first stop. There is a plethora of well-organized information for you there. Cairenn, one of the EQI Mods, is an absolute wiz at documenting UI file changes, etc. That site is also the place to get your interface tweaks and updates from.



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    Connectivity Issues



    This is a very broad category, but I'll try to cover a few things here.



    1. Verify whether your connectivity issue is limited to a particular game/application or an overall issue.



    2. Make sure your network cable is plugged in and that you have activity/link lights on your NIC. If you have a modem, make sure you have a dial tone on your phone service, and try hooking a telephone into the "outbound"/pass-through port on your modem... if you don't get a dial tone through your modem your ports are blown and the modem needs to be replaced.



    3. In Windows XP you can right-click on Network Neighborhood or Network Connections, then right-click on your NIC and select "Repair". This will rebuild your TCP/IP stack and may resolve some issues.



    4. If you are using a router/firewall make sure you have updated to the latest firmware available for your product (especially if you have a Linksys product). Browse the support forums of the game(s) you are having trouble with to determine if you have the ports open that the game requires.



    5. Use DOS commands to check for where your connection is bombing at. For example, "ping www.google.com", "tracert www.google.com", "pathping www.google.com" (Win2k and XP only). You can also "pipe" the output of these commands to a text file by placing "> path ofilename.txt" after it, i.e. "pathping www.google.com > c: est.txt". By logging these commands like this you can copy the contents of c: est.txt into your post to give us a better idea of what your issue may be.



    6. It never hurts to call your ISP to see if there are general network issues in your area, or to be the first to report a connectivity issue in your area.



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    Sound Issues



    The most common sound-related issues are caused by incorrect cabling (i.e. you have the speakers plugged into the miucrophone port, or vice-versa) and incorrect volume settings. Most sound cards do not do well at 100% volumes on any channel, so ensure you don't have any volume or input sliders above 75%.



    Upgrading your sound drivers is something most of us don't do frequently, so think to do this when you have sound issues.



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    Adware/Spyware



    Adware/Spyware can affect not only game performace but also overall system performance. There are some tools available to help you combat these things, though.



    AdAware



    SpyBot - Search & Destroy



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    Virii (viruses)



    If you suspect you have a virus, first be sure to update your Antivirus software/signature files. If you don't have AV or your AVware is misbehaving use TrendMicro's web-based House Call.



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    Windows XP and Java



    Due to a catfight between M$ and Sun, XP did not ship with Java present. You'll need to download Java from: http://www.java.com/en/index.jsp (click on "Get it now!" at the upper right)



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    DirectX



    The newest version of DirectX is always available from www.microsoft.com/directx



    After updating/reinstalling DirectX always be sure to reinstall your video drivers.



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    General "Clean Up" of your PC



    I've written a script, Stealth Scrubber, that cleans out most of the things you want to dump.



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    I hope this guide was helpful to you, and If you can think of any other common issues I should add to it please let me know.



    - Estral












    </p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub147.ezboard.com/bmonklybusiness43508.showUserPublicProfile?gid=est rallc>Estral LC</A> at: 3/24/04 7:42 pm

  2. #2
    Apostle Master
    Join Date
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    Default Re: A Guide to Posting in the Tech Support Forum

    Btw very nice of you to lock out IE users from your stealth scrubber. Thank you for trying to force me to use browsers I don't like. Thank you for trying to be my mommy, I've yet to have any problems with using slimbrowser.


    </p>

  3. #3
    Enlightened Grandmaster Estral's Avatar
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    Default

    I'll ignore your attitude just long enough to say that, ironically, if you didn't use IE you wouldn't need the StealthScrubber in the first place since 95% of what it does is IE-related. lol

    I should probably remove that link from the Guide, anyway, since I took the page for all my old Windows tools down. See http://www.cyberarmor.net/winfiles.php (that page is only available via direct link now).

  4. #4
    Apostle Master
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    Texas
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    Default re

    Actually I use Slimbrowser, not IE. However since it is IE based browser it picks up as IE. I don't have problems with popups, I don't have problems with alot of spyware on my system. However offering a service and then telling someone that it isn't available to them because you don't like the browser they are using is a bit of an attitude problem as well.

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