How to maximise your MacRumors troubleshooting experience

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
To maximise the helpfulness and efficiency of using these forums for troubleshooting your Mac, there are a few basic guidelines and tasks that you may wish to undertake before creating a new thread as well as information you should include in the thread, if it comes to that.

First off, use the forum's search function to find if there is already a relevant thread that may answer your own question or alternatively, provide you with some techniques to try. As always, be intelligent with your search terms and parameters. Including words like Apple and Mac is pointless because there will be such a large abundance of results.

Secondly (courtesy of frankblundt), make sure you post your question in the appropriate forum to better your chances of having a resident expert see your thread.

Thirdly (courtesy of vikas soni), be specific with the thread title. A title like Help will not be as easily recognised by our resident gurus.

Fourthly, find out basic information about your machine. Tell us what sort of Mac it is, what operating system it is running and some basic hardware specifications. All these can be found in System Profiler, an app in the Utilities folder.

Fifthly, tell us what the problem is. Remember, be specific! The more detail, the better.

Sixthly, outline how long you have been having these issues and what changes you made before the issues arose. Include details, even if you think they may not necessarily relevant.

Seventhly, tell us what you have already tried in terms of your own solutions to this problem.

Eighthly (nearly there), once some responses to your thread start accumulating and you start trying some of the different techniques being provided, remember to answer each post with what the outcome was on your machine. If a technique worked, post a response saying so, such that future readers of your thread know this.

Ninthly, remember that this is a forum. There is no mechanism in place to ensure you are getting valid or safe help so use some of your own initiative as to whether you want to try a radical technique. If you are uncomfortable with a solution, say so and hopefully another member will be able to provide a simpler explanation or an alternative for you. Generally speaking, bad advice is rare on these forums, but be wary all the same.

Tenthly (courtesy of Blue Velvet), be patient. Don't bump your post within twenty minutes just because no-one has offered up a response — those online may not know the answer — and don't post duplicate threads in order to draw attention to your predicament. It splits the discussion and if duplicate threads are spotted, they tend to get deleted by the mods.

Eleventhly (?) (courtesy of Blue Velvet), be courteous. A small thanks can go a long way and recognition of the effort that people are putting in to answer your questions and solve your problems will make your MR experience that much more enjoyable.


For those of us who are concentration span-challenged:


  1. Search for threads or guides containing similar problems.
  2. Start your thread in the appropriate forum or sub-forum.
  3. Use a specific thread title.
  4. Find and post machine hardware and software configurations.
  5. Tell us your problem, and be specific. What is happening to your machine?
  6. How long has this been happening? What changes were made just before this started?
  7. What have you already tried?
  8. Respond to all posted advice with details of what happened.
  9. Be wary of the (very) occasional bad advice.
  10. Be patient.
  11. Be courteous.


Okay, now everyone can chip in and tell me all the details I've forgotten. :p
 

kretzy

macrumors 604
Sep 11, 2004
7,921
0
Canberra, Australia
Nice work mad jew! I vote this thread for Stickydom™!

My only suggestion would be to perhaps add a short list of common solutions e.g. reset PRAM, reset PMU, repair permissions etc... :)
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
max_altitude said:
My only suggestion would be to perhaps add a short list of common solutions e.g. reset PRAM, reset PMU, repair permissions etc... :)


I thought of doing that but I think it'd kinda detract from the purpose of this thread, which is how to get help 'round here. Plus, we may end up having people applying inappropriate techniques because of the brevity of a general thread. On top of that, an if... then... style thread would be massive because there are so many different permutations of the ol' favourites. Not to mention, I'm one very lazy madman. :eek:
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
209
Eight: Be patient. Don't bump your post within twenty minutes just because no-one has offered up a response — those online may not know the answer — and don't post duplicate threads in order to draw attention to your predicament. It splits the discussion and if duplicate threads are spotted, they tend to get deleted by the mods.

Nine: Be courteous. A small thanks can go a long way and recognition of the effort that people are putting in to answer your questions and solve your problems will make your MR experience that much more enjoyable.
 

frankblundt

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2005
1,271
0
South of the border
And try to find the appropriate section to post the thread in (not always that easy for general problems) - the experts here tend to hang around with greater frequency in areas they specialise in, like Windows on a Mac, or iPods/iTunes, and posting in "their" section will increase the likelihood of getting a meaningful answer.

And check the handy and pretty comprehensive Guides section.
 

ImNoSuperMan

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2005
1,219
64
One more small thing I`d like to add.

Please no more threads with the title HELP or HELP HELP HELP or PLEASE HELP.
Being a little more specific in the Title itself will be of great HELP to anyone who`d like to really HELP.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
All very good points. I don't see the need to edit my original post to account for my omissions just yet because the thread's quite small and easy-to-read. However, if anyone thinks these should all be kept in Post #1, then I can obviously do that. :)
 

annk

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 18, 2004
14,141
5,908
Somewhere over the rainbow
mad jew said:
All very good points. I don't see the need to edit my original post to account for my omissions just yet because the thread's quite small and easy-to-read. However, if anyone thinks these should all be kept in Post #1, then I can obviously do that. :)

...unless it were to be made into a guide or locked sticky, then it would be very useful to make an edited version where everything was in one post.
 

kretzy

macrumors 604
Sep 11, 2004
7,921
0
Canberra, Australia
annk said:
...unless it were to be made into a guide or locked sticky, then it would be very useful to make an edited version where everything was in one post.
Good idea annk! Personally I think a locked sticky would be better than a guide just because I never seem to pay any attention to the guides. But that's just me.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Original poster
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Okay, a little less concise than I would have liked, but edited and referenced all the same. I don't think this needs to necessarily be locked though. :)
 

Platform

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2004
2,879
0
Great post...hope this is read by people and not have more post like ($%^@%#^)...ok fine there will be some maybe just less ;)
 

funkychunkz

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2005
501
0
Ottawa, Canada
max_altitude said:
Nice work mad jewMy only suggestion would be to perhaps add a short list of common solutions e.g. reset PRAM, reset PMU, repair permissions etc... :)

If he did that, he would become rather redundant in most of his posting.:p
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
I realize this is designed for those starting a thread, but I have some suggestions that also fit for those responding to posts.
  • If responding, do attempt stay on track with the threads original purpose.
  • Don't reply to everything by quoting. Feel free to cut down quotes to the specific part that you are refering too.
  • Post your system, OS, and version of software. Be specific.
  • If you can add links, please do.
  • If your going to take a screen shot, cut it down if you can.
  • If you have several related questions, post them in one thread, rather than many threads.
  • Use planing language instead of abbreviations or code names, unless your sure that everybody knows the convention.
  • Remember that threads are generaly not ment to be private conversations.
  • Never stick beans up your nose.

Originally Posted by wej bamYou mean I sounded sane and rational then? Turn your monitor upside down, is that better?
(You are now right side down, but your still backwards to me.)[EDIT- I'm not takeing my own advice]
 

ImNoSuperMan

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2005
1,219
64
Eniregnat said:
  • If responding, do attempt stay on track with the threads original purpose.
  • Remember that threads are generaly not ment to be private conversations.

Whoa. those two are really difficult to follow i guess. Especially once the OP`s problem is solved and all the respondents start fighting over who was more right and who was also right and who wasnt. Also who was more wrong and who was less wrong:eek:

A good example of such wasteful posts might be...... The one I m currently typing:eek:
 

BBasdas

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2006
49
0
Istanbul/London
when you are new to this site

when you are new to this site and not yet addicted to it, you do not really read these comments, or any other comment other than your burning question. Once you start to get curious and addicted, you start reading randomly and get really embarrassed for already having done some of the "dont dos" :) hah ah..
 
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