Tips for reporting network problems
(Last updated Oct. 23, 2006)
Here are some tips for how to report a network problem.
Providing this information will greatly increase the probability
of the problem being solved.
- Report the exact text of all error messages. (Don't just
say, "It can't find the network". There could be a hundred
different causes for this.)
- Tell us how the error message is displayed. Is it in a pop-up
box, does it scroll up your screen while the computer is
booting, or is it in a little blue window with a bunch of
funny little white letters and numbers on it?
- Tell us your operating system. (Don't just say, "Windows" or
"I don't know". Many problems occur only with a specific
version. Say "Windows XP Professional with Service Pack CXXVIII,
which I just installed").
- When does the problem occur, exactly? Only at boot-up, or only
after you visit that porn site? (Oh yes, we know).
- When did the problem first start to occur? What were you doing
just before the problem first appeared?
- What else does the computer do that is strange? Is it slow,
or what? This could be a big clue.
- What is working? For example, if you can't access the server,
can you still access external Websites?
- What other software is running that could affect the problem?
(For example, are you running a firewall or virus protection
software? Are you using some weird service like ChainCast or
an IRC client or, heaven forbid, some kind of server?)
- Before reporting a problem, please check our
current network status web page. If the graph shows a
flat blue line, it means our T1 line is out.
If we don't have complete information, don't be surprised if we
can't reproduce your problem. If that happens, we might just
conclude that the best solution is "Insert disk, strike user
and press the 'any' key to continue"!