How the hell do I add a texture to a mesh in 3DS Max?

After days of searching I still can’t get through this. Whenever I bring up the material editor by pressing “M” and then drag a texture from Windows Explorer to a slot, then drag the whole thing together to a mesh, it just gives me a brown colour rather than doing what I’m trying to get done. I’ve Google’d it and it wasn’t very helpful, as a matter of fact, there was a discussion regarding a problem somewhat similar to this, and the thread was on Facepunch, but it wasn’t what I wanted.

Here’s the thread I was talking about:

dude are you an noob?

Yes, I r teh n00bz. Seriously though, I’m new to this stuff, and would appreciate some help. I saw another thread on FP that concluded with saying something about “UV maps”, I just want the answer to my first question.

Every material has a base diffuse color assigned to it- this color is displayed by default when you assign the material. To override the color and display a bitmap or other texture first assign it to the proper slot and then click on the checker button.

may be you model isn’t good

Holy shit, is that seriously it? It fucking works. I’m gonna go jump off a cliff then.

OK, so the first part’s done, but another problem is that sometimes when I drag a texture to a slot, it replaces the 3D looking sphere and places a 2D texture. When I try to apply this texture to a mesh, it won’t do crap.

EDT: Never mind, it’s done. Thanks.

I gusually cheat by dragging and dropping the texture onto the mesh and using the eyedropper tool to create a bare-bones material from there.

I don’t really render much in max and that’s generally good enough for a starter for source.