How to submit a useful problem report

A problem that you report will be diagnosed and solved more quickly if you provide a useful and thorough problem report. Here are some hints on how to do this.

Almost all activities relating to the Internet will involve:

  1. A USER using a COMPUTER SYSTEM of some type, running some PROGRAM, CONNECTED in some way to the Internet.
  2. The user is performing some ACTIVITY.
  3. The activity may involve connecting to some specific SERVER.
  4. The activity may involve some ULTIMATE DESTINATION other than that server.
  5. Some ERROR MESSAGE occurs.

In every problem report, try to identify the USER, the COMPUTER SYSTEM, how it is CONNECTED, the PROGRAM in use, what ACTIVITY you wish to perform, which SERVER you are connecting to, what the ULTIMATE DESTINATION is, and what ERROR MESSAGE you see.

If any of the above do not apply in a specific case, please use your common sense to adjust your problem report accordingly.

We also advise you to check our official announcements (see Where to Find Announcements and Discussions) for the last few weeks, to make sure that no major system change has occurred that might be associated with the problem.

Note for technically expert users: In most cases we will not use all of the above information for diagnosis. However, we cannot initially know which information will be valuable. Providing us with all of the information will make it much more likely that we will have the specific information that we do need. If you selectively provide us only with the information that you think we need, it might turn out to be different from what we actually need. Therefore you should provide all of the above information.

Examples are below.

problems/how_to_submit_a_useful_problem_report.txt · Last modified: 2009-10-24 19:03 by admin
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