Technical Support Guidelines – Troubleshooting Resources
37 replies, posted
This thread is an attempt to reduce the heaping amount of support requests that equate to nothing more than the gum on the bottom of my shoe. Despite popular belief, a few people actually take serious interest in helping you resolve your problems. Unfortunately, that interest quickly turns into hatred; the thought of pushing you off a bridge is far more satisfying than trying to decipher your shit-posts.
You should expect frequent updates over the next few days. If you have any specific requests, or would like to share resources and tutorials, please PM me. For any tech-savy folks who'd like to contribute to the overall health of this forum, I encourage you to write and format your own section to be included; I will happily add it. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors, do tell.
Organization will change regularly.
[URL="http://www.tune-up.com/products/tuneup-utilities/"]TuneUp Utilities 2010[/URL]
Dell Tech Support: 800-624-9896
Acer Computer: 800-816-2237
Microsoft Tech Support: 800-642-7676
Gateway Computers: 800-846-2000
HP Computers: 800-474-6836
ATI Technologies: 877-284-1566
Seagate Technology: 800-732-4283
Western Digital: 949-672-7000
Sony / Playstation: 800-222-7669
[B]Checking Start-up Entries[/B] – Increase start-up speed, disable nonessential entries, troubleshoot security issues.
Start > Run > msconfig > Startup Tab
[B]Entering the Registry[/B] – Find CD keys, fix DLL errors, remove malicious entries, edit settings for performance.
Start > Run > regedit
[B]Running DirectX Diagnostics[/B] – Troubleshoot audio and video, good source of system information.
Start > Run > dxdiag
[B]Device Troubleshooting[/B] – Scan for hardware changes, look for disabled or unknown devices.
Start > Right click My Computer > Manage > Device Manager
[B]Configure Services[/B] – Disable nonessential services, troubleshoot malicious entries.
Start > Run > services.msc
[B]Using Custom DNS[/B] – Potentially increase browsing speed, prevents redirects and hijacking.
[URL="http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/"]Google Public DNS[/URL]
[B]Copy Command Prompt Information[/B] – Request help, get details.
Right Click > Mark > Highlight desired area > Ctrl+C
[B]Error Checking, Defrag[/B] Verify system files, defragment for performance.
My Computer > Right click desired drive > Properties > Tools Tab > Check Now of Defragment Now
[B]IP Configuration [/B] – Troubleshooting your connection, clearing DNS, renewing your IP.
Start > Run > CMD > ipconfig /
[*]/? [I]Display this help message[/I]
[*]/all [I] Display full configuration information.[/I]
[*]/release [I] Release the IPv4 address for the specified adapter.[/I]
[*]/release6 [I]Release the IPv6 address for the specified adapter.[/I]
[*]/renew [I]Renew the IPv4 address for the specified adapter.[/I]
[*]/renew6 [I]Renew the IPv6 address for the specified adapter.[/I]
[*]/flushdns [I]Purges the DNS Resolver cache.[/I]
[*]/registerdns [I]Refreshes all DHCP leases and re-registers DNS names.[/I]
[*]/displaydns [I]Display the contents of the DNS Resolver Cache.[/I]
[*]/showclassid [I]Displays all the dhcp class IDs allowed for adapter[/I].
[*]/setclassid [I] Modifies the dhcp class id.[/I]
[*]/showclassid6 [I]Displays all the IPv6 DHCP class IDs allowed for adapter.[/I]
[*]/setclassid6 [I]Modifies the IPv6 DHCP class id.[/I]
Let us examine some popular post types.
[B]My X isn't functioning properly? What's wrong with it?[/B]
[I]It knows that you're in control. In protest to your remarkable stupidity, it has ceased to function. [/I]
[B]I've got this friend who is having trouble. He can't do X on Y. What now? [/B]
[I]Fuck [URL="http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=861964"]you[/URL] and [URL="http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=862528"]your friend[/URL]. We are not messengers, nor are we interested in playing the middleman. If you serve as a mere conveyor of information, we're not interested in helping you. Be present, have access.[/I]
[B]Is X product worth the money? Is it cool?[/B]
[I]I'd rather you spend that money a self-help book in hopes of curing your mind-numbing ignorance. This is not a product review section.[/I]
[B]I've been having a problem with HillaryDuff.exe; what's the deal?[/B]
[I]I bet you didn't Google it, therefore you are wasting my time. [/I]
[B]My computer shows <amount less than 4GB> of memory, but I have 4GB of memory! [/B]
32-bit operating systems can have 2^32 "addresses", which are used for input and output to the computer. This can include USB, keyboard buttons, mouse position and clicks, video and system RAM, and so on. 2^32=4294967296, which is the number of bytes in 4GB. System memory gets the last addressing priority, so in 32-bit, you can use as much as ram as 4GB minus your VRAM (video card memory), which is the only other thing that takes up a considerable amount of addresses. However, other addresses may add up and further reduce usable RAM, which usually comes up to an additional .1-.25GB. So if you have a 512MB video card, you can use up to 3.5GB of RAM because 512MB is half a gig, and since system memory gets last address priority, the VRAM (video ram on the graphics card) gets addresses first. If you have a 1GB graphics card, you can use up to 3GB. In 64-bit, you can use up to [b]17179869184 [u]GB[/u][/b] in theory, but 64-bit windows only supports up to 128GB in practice. This is why 64-bit is the future, because the current memory standard is approaching the 32-bit limit for addresses, so people are switching to 64-bit so they can have more memory.
[*]Have you heard of[URL="http://www.google.com"] Google[/URL]?
[*]Have you searched the official product and/or game forums?
[*]Have you tried switching ports?
[*]Did you update all related drivers?
[*]Is your operating system up-to-date?
[*]Do you have direct access to the machine and/or software/peripheral?
Items listed above are simple and straightforward, yet this basic information is often left out when requesting help. Outside searches are by far the best means of finding a solution. Many of the answers given here are a direct result of someone using Google; there is absolutely no excuse for your lack of search engine skills.
If your best efforts and steady will to find a solution on your own have proved to be futile endeavors, you're ready to ask for help. The more information you provide (even for the simplest problem) will do wonders. Check it out:
Don't ask if you have a virus. If you're the type of person who regularly browses sites that have even the slightest possibility of housing malicious code, you know the answer to that question.
You should be using [URL="http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/firefox.html"]FireFox[/URL] or [URL="http://www.google.com/chrome"]Chrome[/URL] when browsing the net.
Both browsers offer numerous plug-ins for safe browsing: [URL="https://chrome.google.com/extensions"]Chrome Extensions[/URL],[URL="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:7"] FireFox Plug-ins[/URL]
We're well beyond the point of recommending things like NoScript and AdBlock, so I'm not going to waste my time explaining the necessity. You'd also be a fool to assume that these plug-ins will solve your vulnerability issues; your browsing/computer usage habits are the main cause of infection. The following section provides resources to assist you in cleaning up and staying safe. In all honesty, none of these are necessary. Again, because I enjoy being a redudant bastard: [B]your browsing/computer usage habits are the main cause of infection. [/B]
[*]Are you downloading music?
[*]Are you downloading torrents?
[*]Are you still using MySpace like the bitch that you are?
[*]Do you frequent YouJizz.com without safeguards?
[*]Do you fail to scan your computer on a regular basis?
[*]Do you click links from random people on Facebook?
Knowing what's safe and what isn't is a learning process, but if you don't have downs syndrome and aren't a mouth-breathing bottom feeder, it's pretty obvious. Just to be clear, there's nothing wrong with torrents and YouJizz, but make sure you're taking the steps to ensure your computers well being.
[B]Help! I think I'm infected with AmyWinehouse.trojan.3[/B]
[I]No, fuck you. Help yourself:[/I]
[*]Do you have active spyware protection? [URL="http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html"]SpyBot[/URL], [URL="http://www.malwarebytes.org/"]Malwarebytes[/URL], [URL="http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/"]HijackThis[/URL]
[*]Are you running an anti-virus program? [URL="http://www.eset.com/"]NOD32[/URL], [URL="http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage"]AVG[/URL], [URL="http://www.kaspersky.com/"]Kapersky[/URL], [URL="http://www.avast.com/index"]Avast[/URL], [URL="http://www.avira.com/en/pages/index.php"]Avira[/URL]
[*]Are you reguarly clearing your cache, cookies, and registry errors? [URL="http://www.ccleaner.com/"]CCleaner[/URL]
[*]Have you checked your start-up entries and active processes? Do they look abnormal? [URL="http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/"]Process Library[/URL]
[*]Have you run [URL="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender/default.mspx"]Windows Defender[/URL]?
[b]I don't know how to check my start-up entries or processes. What now?[/b]
If for some reason you believe your machine is past the point of no return, I'd recommend formating and starting fresh. If the idea of wiping your drives frightens you, I can help.
If (by the grace of Zeus) my computer was struck by a lightning bolt from the heavens, I would be okay with that. Data loss happens and it happens frequently. Most of the time it's unintentional, but what about the need to start over? Reformatting and starting from scratch is fantastic! I'd recommend it if you're feeling extra sluggish due to the epic proportions of useless content you've got bundled up.
I am 100% virtual. Anything of importance that currently resides on my computer also resides on the cloud. Software, drivers, games, settings, bookmarks, etc. For added security, I've also got everything on a small, external HD. I am mobile command station; everything I need is always at my fingertips.
External backup aside, let's look at some online solutions. Third-party applications are often the easiest and cheapest solutions, but investing in your own web space is the best way to secure your assets:
[*]Web hosting: [URL="http://www.dreamhost.com/"]Dreamhost[/URL], [URL="http://www.hostgator.com/"]HostGator[/URL], [URL="http://www.site5.com/"]Site5[/URL]
As mentioned, let's assume that reformatting your computer is the safest (and most logical) solution to clear any and all security threats.
[*]My external HD contains the most recent driver for every piece of hardware in my machine.
[*]My web hosting and virtual storage clients also contain these drivers, as well everything else of importance (fonts, PSD files, small application installations, a text file with account information and product keys).
[*]Format and reinstall the OS of your choice. Install your essential applications (XChat, Skype, FireFox, Pandora).
[*]Before diving back in to regular usage habits, [B]create an image[/B] of the installation and throw it on a CD.
If Rosie O'Donnell magically appeared with the sole intention of devouring both your little sister [I]and[/I] your beloved computer, you can rest easy in knowing that you really haven't lost anything.
[B]<!-- End February 28 Revision -->[/B]
bah, I hate it when people go like 'please sticky my thread'.
Good info though.
good thread, but get kapersky off that recommended antivirus list and replace it with avast!
[QUOTE=BrQ;20497128]bah, I hate it when people go like 'please sticky my thread'.
I said no such thing.
This has been in the works for awhile and was already submitted for approval prior to posting. The current topic is dated, ugly, and lacks any real usefulness.
Added Avast; Kapersky is a solid, reliable solution.
Well, ofcourse you don't say directly, but I think everyone knows that this post was made so it could replace the sticky we have right now
Don't get me wrong, the info you provide is very useful, but I just find it quite annoying if someone makes such post in order to get stickied.
Anyway, you could also add 'Avira' to the list of virusscanners.
Also, please add somewhere that people should always include their specs.
[QUOTE=BrQ;20498401]Well, ofcourse you don't say directly, but I think everyone knows that this post was made so it could replace the sticky we have right now[/QUOTE]
As I clearly stated in my previous post...
Including system specs is implied in the "Post like a Champ" section. Added Avira.
I imagine I was the main source of inspiration :D If so, glad to have helped!
And thanks for this, some useful info here :D
Also Mallow, unfortunately my thread isn't quite complete but I was wondering if I could ask you here. But I await your permission as I don't want to hijack your thread, you could look at mine.
Whats wrong with youjizz?
Resmon is a useful tool in Windows 7.
Perfmon is a useful tool in Windows 6.
Looks like a useful resource for beginners, keep it up to date and it should be good. Nice work.
Edit: Oh and take a look at the old sticky, if there's anything you missed, probably best to re-add it here. Also, this thread should be kept to only post regarding useful information, keep discussion elsewhere.
hey man where's my sticky
[QUOTE=compwhiziitothemax;20526952]hey man where's my sticky
it was bad anyway
you were a bad pchs mod
[QUOTE=compwhiziitothemax;20526952]hey man where's my sticky
In your pants.
Good thread. I'd suggest adding that besides google, people should search this section itself for their issue since a number of questions end up getting asked over and over again (e.g. "why does my 1TB hard drive show only 931GB").
I'd like to compile a section for various applications and software resources. XDN Tweaker, BGInfo, etc. Anything you may have used (from a legitimate source) that you found to be helpful for troubleshooting or performance tweaks.
I'd like to compile a section for various applications and software resources. XDN Tweaker, BGInfo, etc. Anything you may have used (from a legitimate source) that you found to be helpful for troubleshooting or performance tweaks.[/QUOTE]
Pretty much anything from [url=http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx]SysInternals[/url] is useful, but there are a few that I find indispensable:
[b]Process Explorer[/b] - task manager replacement
[b]Autoruns[/b] - better than msconfig for changing startup entries
[b]Process Monitor[/b] - shows file and registry accesses by all programs with easily filtered output
So basically to sum all of this up, we should no longer post help threads?
[QUOTE=alphaspida;20623728]So basically to sum all of this up, we should no longer post help threads?
No; the point of the thread is to provide an organized collection of common practices and resources. If people would take a few moments to read, search, and provide a bit more than "My router isn't working", we might be able to cut down on the epic number of baseless threads – a bit of self help goes a long way.
So basically to sum all of this up, you're an ignorant cog for making such a pointless statement. This thread might need a lock before the rest of the teenyboppers join in with more creative comments.
[url=http://www.piriform.com/speccy]Speccy[/url] is good for specs.
[url=http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php]HWMonitor[/url] for temps.
You should add [url=http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials]Microsoft Security Essentials[/url] to the AV list. It's a champ.
Could you add the following text to the first post:
[b[noparse][/noparse]][b]Please post full system specs, always. Even if you think it's completely unessecary. It helps us help you.[/b][/b]
You can add nCleaner to the list of cleaning programs. It sorta does the same thing as CCleaner, but I find it a cool supplement because what CCleaner doesn't clean, nCleaner will and vice versa.
[B]Very[/B] nice thread by the way.
You should also change Windows Defender to Microsoft Security Essentials.
Something that should be mentioned to those trying to help: read the thread before you post something. The problem could have evolved or diminished from what it originally started as. [url=http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=971150]Posting a generic FAQ answer like it will solve all the OP's problems immediately[/url] doesn't help when that is no longer the problem.
You should always run a virus scan first, its I've had many viruses that all they do is small annoyances, which makes you totally insane after a while
Too bad not enough people read it.
Fairly good troubleshooting diagram.
[QUOTE=Smartguy5000;24757363]Fairly good troubleshooting diagram.
If I were the OP, I'd put that in the OP.
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