11/10/06 - For the recent forums upgrade, we have updated:

http://swordforum.com/forums/help.php

If you need to contact us, please copy and paste that form's contents because we need all that information. Some of you are writing us and you're not even identifying yourselves. Worse, the e-mail address you're writing us from is different than your registration and we therefore cannot identify you by your e-mail address.

Finally, be DESCRIPTIVE with what you are seeing and what you are experiencing. Just writing us saying, "I can't log on" could mean one of many things. BE our eyes and ears. Be verbose. But we NEED you to check that above link. There is a NEW list of QUICK FIXES that will resolve 90% of all issues out there.

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Please make sure you review this Troubleshooting Guide before you post.

FOREWORD

No web browser and PC operating system is 100% perfect. Older editions of your web browser which has worked in the past may not keep up with newer technologies and may also contain errors that will cause the browser to behave abnormally.

Usually the best we can recommend is to update your browser to the latest maintenance release or version. Even so, this does not cure all but is a major step in the right direction.

We can only suggest changes and cannot be tech support for your web browser. You are advised to back up your web browser client e-mails and your bookmarks and anything you deem important before making any significant changes to your computer.


Microsoft Internet Explorer

The SFI Forums work with the latest version, MSIE 6.0. Previous versions have errors and exploitable vulnerabilities (the current version does too but it's the lesser of the two evils).

If you browse certain Java-infested sites (hacker sites, warez, porn, etc.) it is possible that there may be some malicious Java applets running on your computer, exploiting web browser vulnerabilities.

First, make sure your computer is scanned for viruses and that the virus-infected files are quarantined and deleted.

The latest version of MSIE at the time of this writing is version 6.

MSIE's Service Pack 1 can be downloaded HERE

There is also a cumulative patch for Service Pack 1 that can be downloaded HERE

Other things to check: make sure you have defragged your computer using full disk optimization, and make sure there is plenty of hard drive space left on your computer. Finally, make sure you're virus free.


Netscape

We've tried making the forums compatable with good ol' Netscape 4.72. However the Internet's technology has surpassed ol' 4.72. Subsequent releases of Netscape, e.g. 6, etc. proved to be very buggy.

You'll need to download it at:

http://channels.netscape.com/ns/browsers/download.jsp


Opera

Opera is a free "Open Source" web browser that seems to almost be on par with MSIE. There are a few minor behavioural quirks but for the most part we can live with it.

Windows version: http://www.opera.com/download/


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I have a Modem (no DSL/Cable) so downloading is slow. How can I upgrade my browser version?

Try Opera. There is a paid version but there is a free downloadable version at www.opera.com

For modem users, choose the non-Java one. It's 3.2 MB versus 15.7 MB for the Java one. So 3.2 MB will take an hour or more thereabouts to download.

Sometimes if you see an AOL CD-ROM or some ISP's installation CD ROM, there will be a browser on there. If you insert the disk into your CD, an auto-loading menu will turn up. Cancel out of that. Go to your "My Computer" and find the drive icon associated with the CD-ROM drive. Right-click on that icon and select "Explore" to see the directory contents of the CD. If you find a directory called "Internet Explorer" or "Netscape" or the likes (which indicate its a browser) then congratulations: you've found the installation files of a web browser on that CD and won't have to download anything.

WARNING: Often times when you install or reinstall, make sure you back up your bookmarks. That's a whole other ball of wax. Also, if you use your browser for e-mail, back up your e-mail. We cannot help you through this process. You'll have to consult your local PC guru.


Can't Post... seems to require my logging in all the time

Make sure your MSIE browser is set to the default Medium security. SFI's forums uses Cookies to keep track of your login information so that people cannot impersonate you (remember to log off after you finish browsing). The Cookies only serve this purpose (think of them as "bookmarks")

You should also access your user Control Panel on these forums by clicking "My SFI CP" and set the "Browse board with cookies" field to "Yes"

If you set your security to anything other than the default Medium security, we cannot guarantee that your browsing experience will be all it could be.


THE F.A.Q. Didn't Help

The SFI Forums have been tested to work on modern up-to-date operating systems and the latest versions of web browsers.

First, find out if you're up to date. If you click on the "Help" option on your browser's menu bar and select "About..." then note the version number.

If the version number is behind what's current, it's time to upgrade.

Next, check out how much hard drive space you have, and if your hard drive has been defragment/optimized. If you power-off your PC without doing a proper Windows shut down, you may fragment your hard drive files. Fragmented Windows operating system files can cause crashes. If you get to that point and your system IN GENERAL doesn't work 100% you may need to back up all your personal data and then do a fresh reinstall. Consult your local PC guru to help you.

And also check to see if you're completely virus free. Not only that, but make sure you have the latest virus definition files. If your antivirus does not update itself over the Internet with the latest virus definition files, it will not be able to protect you against the latest threats since your antivirus software was first installed. Some viruses exploit weaknesses in web browsers.

If you still want to post and have read the above, we need to know the following:

1. Windows Operating System (what are you using? WinXP Home, WinXP Pro, Win2000, WinMe, Win98, Win98SE, Win95?) Note: we do not support PDAs or WebTV.

2. How much system memory (RAM) do you have?

3. How much hard drive space do you have left?

4. What brand of browser are you running? And what version?

5. Did you check for viruses before posting? And are your virus definition files up to date before posting?

Then please write as clearly and concisely and with detail the situation you're encountering.


HOW TO POST SCREEN-CAPTURES

Sometimes no matter how you describe what you're experiencing, nobody understands you! :P But, fear not: a picture does indeed speak a thousand words. Here's what you can do to post a screen capture. A screen capture is basically a snapshot of your screen. However, in this case, we don't want to see your entire desktop: just the portion of your browser window that you have a specific issue with.

You can size your browser window down to only cover the area in question, then press Alt-PrtScrn (or Alt-PrintScreen)

Then click START --> Run

... and type "pbrush" and hit Enter.

Then press Ctrl-V to paste into the Paint. Voila, your screen is there. Save it. Then upload that screen as a file attachment.