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If you need help quickly... Guideline for posting an effective question.

Apr 8, 2009 4:39 PM

Whenever you have a question that you would like answered, do pose that question effectively.

 

First, do not assume that because you have tried many, many times that your question is understood by someone else. What is obvious to you may not be for another. So please state in a very detailed and structured way what steps you have taken to cause your problem, how you can replicate this problem, under what circumstances on what hardware/software.

 

The fact that you have nearly given up because of your problem does not mean that someone else can readily understand this problem. When you go to your doctor and say: "I have a pain in my stomach" he will ask you a lot of questions. Same applies here. Your doctor may need to know about any medication you have taken, your blood pressure, history, etc. If you want help, be as PRECISE and ACCURATE as possible.

 

Second, this is a USER TO USER forum. So ranting will not help. What may help is a STRUCTURED approach to describing the problem you have.

 

Third, do a thorough search of posts here, on other fora and with Google before repeating what has been asked a thousand times and has worn out the patience of regulars here, who have answered your question a dozen times already. Use the FAQ and the Wiki to find answers to questions that have been posed and answered repeatedly. Do not assume you are unique with your problem. Well, you are unique, the problem you have most likely is not.

 

Fourth, realize that even though it may be highly frustrating to you to not be able to solve YOUR problem, by posting your question here, you are dependent on fellow editors to help you on their free time without compensation, so bear with them to help identify what EXACTLY is your problem. If you lack that decency, you may forfeit their help, so why did you come here?

 

Fifth, consider your work flow in light of the purpose of Premiere, an editing package. If you have problems with rotoscoping, programming with APL, spreadsheets in general, word processing on a mobile phone, importing Panda bears into a local zoo, feeding nearly distinct whales in the Alps, or anything far removed from the purpose of PP, you may be better off in posting your question elsewhere.

 

Last:

 

Everybody has to learn, has the right to ask questions and be helped.

 

If everybody has the decency to pose their urgent, life threatening or other questions in a detailed, structured and comprehensible way, it will vastly improve the chances of speedy and helpful replies, without the need for sarcasm, bundles of to-and-fro posts without meaningful help, just wasting bandwidth.

 

I know I have been rightly accused of such behavior, which was the result of sheer frustration with absolutely meaningless and often pointless questions without details, structure and the like. Maybe this can be a general guideline for posters on how to ask questions, in addition to Eddie's links and How to ask questions the smart way

 

The most frustrating issues one can encounter are hangs, BSOD's (blue screens of death), system errors and other cases of seemingly random erros that require rebooting, restarting or similar actions, only to be confronted with the next hang, BSOD or system crash.

 

These errors are often difficult to locate, due to the large variety of systems, components and driver or software versions in use. This is often further aggravated by sheer lack of expertise, understanding of what needs to be communicated in order for others to help solve the issue at hand. And that list is very long.

 

So, in order to make it a bit simpler for the average user who encounters these problems, follow the following steps when posting a problem:

 

1. Clearly describe the main problem in the topic, but be brief. Not so brief as to only say: "Help!" or "URGENT" or another meaningless statement but get to the point, like: "PP crashes on opening, requiring a reboot" or "Using DL the system hangs upon return to PP". You get the point.

 

2. Briefly describe your hardware, software, OS and versions in use, including disk setup, video card and driver versions, etc.

 

3. Describe source material, including codec (not AVI, which is not a codec), project settings and other relevant info.

 

4. Describe as accurately as possible what you did, what steps you took, what happened at what moment and what you did to try to resolve it.

 

5. Go to Start/Run, type in DXDIAG, enter and save all information to a TXT file. Include a link to that file in your post.

 

6. Go to Start/Run, type in MSINFO32 (or similar for 64 bit OS), enter and save the results as a .NFO file. Include a link to that file in your post.

 

7. Download Process Explorer , and either post a screen shot or a link to the results.

 

8. Make a screen shot of the results of SpeedFan or HW Monitor and include that in your post.

 

When you perform these basic steps, you avoid endless questions about your system and people may be able to help you faster.

 

If you feel up to it, take a look at The Case of the Unexplained to start your own troubleshooting.

 

Hope this helps to post more meaningful questions and get an answer much quicker.

Branched to a new discussion.
 

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