Bug Reporting

We’re always looking for ways to improve our site, and we certainly appreciate the users who take the time to provide useful and detailed feedback about problems they may encounter. Our resources are limited, so we are not able to investigate and solve every problem reported on the site. However, past experience tells us that a properly configured Windows setup should be able to use all the PC Pitstop features without problems. Therefore, our main focus in taking bug reports is to determine what system conflicts or configuration issues are causing problems for the PC Pitstop pages. Each time we find another potential conflict, we take this information and add it to the diagnostics and documentation so that users will know how to resolve the conflict.

Never file a bug report until you do all of these:

  1. Scan for viruses using the PC Pitstop scanner or your own antivirus program with the latest virus signatures. If you have an antivirus program and have not updated your virus signatures this week, you do not have the latest ones.
  2. Check for spyware using Pest Patrol or another reputable spyware program such as Ad Aware.
  3. Disable browser add-ins and proxies such as AdSubtract or ZoneAlarm that can change the actual scripting code on a web page.
  4. Use our troubleshooting page and follow all of the suggestions it provides.

Below you will see some examples of good and bad bug reports. We did not make these up. These messages are the full text of actual reports sent to our support email address or posted on the support forums.

Examples of Useless Bug Reports

“I signed up last week but I can’t log in today. Is there something wrong with the site?”

Are they referring to the main site, or to the forums? What problem did they have when trying to log in? Were they unable to get to the login page? What error message did they get? Have they been through the troubleshooting pages and followed the instructions there?

“When I run the Internet Speed Autofix it doesn’t work.”

What does “it doesn’t work” mean? Does it mean that the Autofix doesn’t run and exits with some sort of error message? If so, what is the error, and have they been through the troubleshooting pages already? Or does it mean that their Internet connection is no faster after running the Autofix? If it’s the second case, it probably means there is no bug in the Autofix and this should be handled by posting a message in the forums.

Examples of Useful Bug Reports

“I just upgraded to XP SP1 and now when I run the full tests I get a crash on the RunTests1.asp page. The last message in the blue box is “Checking Disks”. The error message is ‘PCPitstop.dll performed an illegal operation’. If I use System Restore to back out SP1 the problem does not occur. The troubleshooting page doesn’t have any recommendations.”

This report explains exactly what happens, including the page where the problem occurred and the exact messages. They also used System Restore to help show that the problem is related to Service Pack 1, and mentioned that they tried the troubleshooting page.

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