- Worldstart's Tech Tips And Computer Help - http://www.worldstart.com -

Help Us Help You

In almost all aspects of life, knowledge is vital. The more that you know, the more you can learn, and the easier it will be for someone to help you.

This applies if you are trying to learn a new recipe, getting your car repaired, or asking a question at Worldstart.com [1]. With that in mind, I would like to offer some suggestions for information that you can include with a question to Worldstart that will make it easier for us to provide a fuller, more accurate answer.

If it is a question about your hardware, the following checklist might help you.

1) This may seem too obvious to be worth mentioning but occasionally, in our frustration, we ignore the obvious. Is the hardware powering on? If not, have you checked to make sure that the power cord is attached firmly to the hardware? Have you tried plugging the hardware into another outlet? Also let us know if it is powering on briefly and then powering itself off.

2) If it is about an external piece of hardware (an external drive, etc.) please provide us with the manufacturer and model number of the hardware, as well as how old the hardware is.

3) If it is powering on, are you getting an error message? If so, what does the error message say? A couple easy ways to record error messages can be found here [2], or here [3].

Are you getting a blue screen of death (BSOD) on your computer?

If so, please provide us with the type of error (highlighted above) and the stop code (highlighted below).

4) If it is a question about your computer system, please provide as much information as you can about your system. Most of this information can be found by going to Start>Control Panel>System. This information can also be accessed by holding the Windows key and hitting the Pause key (Win+Pause).

The key pieces of information here are which Windows edition you are running (highlighted above) and the amount of RAM (system memory) in your system. If you are running Windows ME or have less than 2 GB of RAM, that could be your problem (highlighted below).

The other key piece of information, available hard drive space, can be found by going to Start>Computer (in this example, there is 134 GB free). If your view isn’t displayed like this, click on the View button in the menu and select Tiles. If you’re using Windows 7, you may not see a View button. If that’s the case, hit the Alt key and the menu will appear.

5) If the question is about software other than Windows, please provide us with the name and version build of your software. This can be found by opening the software, and then going to Help>About.

If the software is malfunctioning in some way, please let us know specifically what it is doing or not doing and include any error messages that you are receiving.

I hope that this helps.

~Randal Schaffer