Here's our Hardware Tip for.. February 18, 2000
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Getting The Most Out Of Technical Support--Part 2 of 4
Upgrader, take heed and heal thyself. To limit the length of a technical support call, perform your own diagnosis before you dial for help. Most technical support staffs run through a list of issues to rule out before they get to the heart of the problem you're having. This list will include items such as these: Are all the relevant cables attached correctly? Is the PC stable? Does a simple reboot solve the problem? Is it a Microsoft Windows problem?

The further you can narrow down the list of suspects yourself, the faster your tech support call will end. If you can answer "tried that, didn't work" to your support staffer's initial questions, you'll be happier in the long run.