Welcome to the CNET forums! We are proud to present these forums for you to ask and answer questions and to voice your opinion on today's important high-tech issues. We have put together this list of frequently asked questions to help you use these forums to their fullest potential. Happy posting and enjoy!
Getting started in the CNET forums is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
First step: Sign into the forums or register with CNET
You are welcome to browse the forums as a guest, however, in order to start a discussion or reply to a post, you must first be a CNET registered member. Membership is absolutely free and only requires a one-time registration in which we will need you to confirm your e-mail address. To register now, click on the " JOIN/SIGN IN" link at the top right hand of this page. For more details on registering click here.
If you are already a CNET member, you are all ready to go, just sign into CNET by clicking on the "JOIN/SIGN IN" link located on the top right hand corner of the forum page and when prompted, enter your registered e-mail address and password in the provided fields, and you're ready to go!
Second step: Picking a forum associated with your topic
If you are asking for help for a specific problem, the first thing to do is start at the CNET forums directory page. On this page, chose a specific forum that best suits your question. For instance--if you have a question in regards to an issue with Windows 7, your best bet would be to post a question in the Windows 7 forum where members and moderators who are well-seasoned in that topic can offer their expertise and advice to you.
Third step: Search through current topics or submit your own question in the forum
Before posting your question in the forums, remember the saying, "Search is your best friend." Once you start to browse through the information here in the CNET forums--you may start to notice that many of the same questions are asked and answered time and time again. To prevent such duplications, our recommendation is to first give our forums search a shot, to see if you can find your answers through this method. In the top Navigation Bar - you will see a CNET Forum search box. Just simply type in the term(s), and click the magnifying glass button and see if any of the search results returned anything that maybe helpful to your question at hand. To narrow down the search results to be more specific to your topic, on the left hand navigation, click on one of the specific forum to limit your search to that particular forum.
If you are unsuccessful at finding the topic of your liking using the forum search, no worries, it's time to submit a question of your own. Once you've entered the forum that best fits your question, simply click on the big red "Create a new discussion" button located above the list of discussions. You should now be presented with a submission form in which you now can enter a subject line (one line summary of your question) and the body field (area used to describe details of your problems.) For speedier replies to your questions, please be sure to be detailed as possible--include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. For more details on creating a new discussion click here.
Membership is free. You are welcome to browse the forums as a guest. To post a message or start a discussion of your own, you must complete a one-time registration. To register, simply click on the " JOIN/SIGN IN" link located on the top right hand corner of the forum page and fill out the necessary information required. When you register, you must choose a unique username or "handle" and you must provide a unique and valid email address. Duplicate usernames and invalid email addresses are not allowed, so if the name or address you enter is already in use, you will be prompted to choose another one.
Your registered e-mail address will never be visible to other forum members, though your e-mail address will be visible only to the forum administrators and moderators in case they need to contact you for any reason. Those who are in read-only mode will see a "JOIN/SIGN IN" link at the top right hand corner of any forum page, which will disappear once you have logged in.
Each time you enter the forums, you are viewing messages in "read-only" mode. To participate in the forums you must sign into CNET first. To post a message or start a discussion, simply click on the " JOIN/SIGN IN" link located on the top right hand corner of the forum page and fill out the necessary information required. Once you successfully completed the sign in process the JOIN/SIGN IN" link at the top right hand corner will disappear and be replaced by your username once you have signed in.
To create a new discussion in a forum, click on the "Create new discussion" button, which is located in the forum main thread listing page. You will then be presented with a window in which you can, select what type of post your discussion is about (click here to see all post types), add your subject line (what your question or comment is about), and a body field in which to type your comment or question into.
When you are ready to submit your comment, scroll to the bottom of the form, and click on the "Preview" button. You will now be presented with your comment in the preview state. You can either chose to "Edit" or "Submit."
If you are not satisfied with the way your comment appears, click on the "Edit" button, to correct anything you wish to change.
At any point during the process of composing your comment, if you change your mind about posting a comment, click on the "Cancel" button, and your comment will not be posted. You will be taken back to where you had left off before initiating the post.
If you are satisfied with the way your message appears, click on the "Submit" button. You will then be taken to the discussion page that you just created.
Please Note: In order to create a new discussion, you must enter a "Subject Title" and "Message Body". Without these two items the system will not let you continue with a post.
Replying to another member's message is very similar to creating a new discussion, except that this time it is replying to another member's post.
To reply to another member's message that you are currently reading, click on the "Reply" icon, which is located directly below the message you are currently reading.
Once you have clicked on the "Reply" icon, you will be presented with a submission form directly below the post in which you would like to correspond to--in which you can add a subject title to correspond with your response and a body field in which to type your comment.
When you are ready to submit your comment, scroll to the bottom of the "Message body" window, and click on the "Preview" button. You will now be presented with your comment in a preview state. You can either chose to "Edit" or "Submit".
If you are not satisfied with the way your comment appears, click on the "Edit" button, to correct anything you wish to change.
At any point during the process of replying to a member's message, if you change your mind about posting a comment, click on "Cancel," and your comment will not be posted. You will be taken back to where you left off before initiating the post.
If you are satisfied with the way your message appears, click on the "Submit" button. You will be immediately see your post directly below the post you were replying to, indicating that your message has been submitted to the forum for public viewing.
Please Note: In order to post a reply message, you must enter a "Subject Title". Without a subject title the system will not let you continue with a post. If you choose not to fill in the "Message Body" the system will automatically add the text "NT" (which means "No Text") next to your subject title. "NT" will indicate to your readers that you only filled out the subject line with no text in the body following it.
When a person selects and submits a "Question" post type, the post itself will be designated by a "QUESTION" subheading.
Once a question type discussion has been created, members will be able to reply in two manners:
Submit an answer to the question, which will be designated with "ANSWER" in green text. Or, ask for a clarification in the event that the question at hand needs more details in order for the participant to provide an answer (these will be represented with the text "CLARIFICATION REQUEST"). Anyone can reply to the clarification request posts and all clarification requests will remain directly below the first post/question.
Once other members have submitted answers to the question, the author who created the question can chose one of the answers as the best answer to their question. Once the author has selected the "Best answer," the thread will be marked as a resolved question and the subheading text will change from a "QUESTION" to "RESOLVED QUESTION". The chosen answer will be also highlighted within the discussion thread. In the question post, some text will appear noting that the author has chosen an answer resolution, along with a link to the chosen answer. Note that the author of the question has the option to change their mind about their selected "Best answer" or "Undo" their best answer selection. That about sums it all up. Enjoy!
To return to the forum directory/home page, simply follow the breadcrumb navigation links which is located directly above the forum/thread title. The breadcrumb will look like this " CNET > Forums > Windows 7 > ... ". The breadcrumb are there to let you know the current forum page you are on in relation to the forums hierarchy of pages. To go to the forum directory page, simply click on the "CNET Forums" link in the breadcrumb and that should take you to the directory page. If you ever get lost in the forums, you can always refer to the breadcrumb links to find your way around the forums.
An additional way to return back to Forum directory page is to click the "See all forums" link, which is located on the right hand column on every forum page.
There are two ways in which you can view a discussion thread, Expanded view, in which all posts (the subject line and body) in the discussion thread are viewable. Or you can chose to view the discussion thread in Collapsed view, in which the posts in the discussion thread is collapsed, displaying only the subject line of the post.
To toggle between the two views, simply click the "Expand" or "Collapse" view link directly below the first post in the discussion thread. By default the threads will be displayed in the expanded view. In the collapsed view, to expand each individual post, either click on the subject line of the post or click on the "+" icon to expand and "-" to collapse the post.
If you happen to come across a particular message in the forums that contains spam or other offensive content which violates our usage policy, we encourage you to notify our moderators by clicking the "Flag" icon located directly below each individual message. Once clicked, you will be prompted with a submission form. Simply select which type of offensive that best describes the post and click the "Submit" button (there is no need to enter a comment). If you wish to make a comment about this message to the moderators, feel free to enter something into the comment field. Once flagged, our moderators will be notified of the message and it will be reviewed. Flagged messages will not automatically remove the message. Please Note: In order to flag a post, you must be registered and logged in as a CNET member.
The following emoticons may be added to any part of your message. To have an emoticon appear in the body of your message, type the keystrokes directly into your message. The following table illustrates what keystrokes are required to produce a particular emoticon, and what it means.
|Happy||:) or :-)|
|Sad||:( or :-(|
|Wink||;) or ;-)|
Unfortunately you cannot delete your post once you have submitted it. If you have a posting that you wish to have removed from the site all together, please use the "Flag" icon link and give an explanation of why you would like your post removed. Note: When you are requesting a removal of your own post, please make sure that you are logged in to our site, so that we can confirm that you are in fact the author of the post. Removal request will not be considered if you are not logged in.
Yes, you can edit your post. However there is time limit of 24 hours from the time of your submission to edit your post. You can edit your post as many times as you like during that period, but once the grace period has expired you will no longer be able to edit your post. Note that each time you edit your post a record of the time and date stamp will be displayed within your post for transparency and accountability. Warning: Any editing of your posts that results in deceiving people, horse playing or ill intent will result in a banned account immediately. Please edit with care and consideration.
If you noticed that the title of your discussion was edited by our staff or moderators, it was for a good reason -- clarity. While we don't do this often, when we do it is to help you receive a quicker response to your question or topic. This also helps our readers to easily identify your topic at a glance, and improves the searchability of the topic in the event that they are seeking out the same information as you. Note: If the title of your discussion was edited by our staff or moderators, it will be notated at the bottom of your post for transparency.
In order to protect our members and the forums from malicious abuse, we do not permit the use of any HTML codes. All HMTL codes posted will be escaped. For simple text stylization we do offer some BBS styling of text.
Since we don't offer the ability for you to use HTML codes in our forums to stylize your text, you can utilize some basic BBS codes that will allow you to stylize your text in your message. Below is what is available for you to use:
Will appear as
|Bold fonts||[b]your text here[/b]||your text here|
|Italic fonts||[i]your text here[/i]||your text here|
|Underline fonts||[u]your text here[/u]||your text here|
|Strike through text||[s]oops this is an error[/s]|
|Hyperlinking text||[url=http://www.cnet.com]your text here[/url]||your text here|
|Inserting image into post||[img] insert image link here [/img]|
|Inserting YouTube video into post||[youtube] insert YouTube video ID here (example: BPYxLeW6WjM) [/youtube]|
When you are creating a new discussion thread, you will have the ability to specifically designate what type of post it is. Each post type will have a unique description of what type of post it is to show other members, at a glance, what type of discussion you are presenting. Post types are as follows:
QUESTION or (Q&A) (which will trigger a Q&A type discussion, click here to read details on the Q&A post type works)
RESOLVED QUESTION (when the author of a question has chosen a specific post that answered their question)
TIP (not limited to this, but as an example--when you'd like to share advice or a how-to type post...)
ALERT (or warning, but not limited to this, but as an example--when you'd like to share an announcement, warning, or alert with others...)
RANT (not limited to this, but as an example--when you'd like to share something that you are unhappy about, a complaint, or bad news...)
PRAISE (not limited to this, but as an example--when you'd like to share something that you are excited about, a positive experience, or good news... )
GENERAL DISCUSSION (not limited to this, but as an example--when you'd like to carry on a conversation that doesn't fit into any of the post types available and do not want the discussion to be restricted to a Q&A type format.)
The text (NT) stands for "No Text". The (NT) next to some of the subject lines are indicators to let you know that those post have no content in the message body other than the subject line.
The "pdlock" icon next to a thread indicates that this discussion has been locked by our forum moderator or administrator and no further post or replies will be allowed.
The "chain link" icon in each post is the permalink (or permanent link) for that specific post. If you ever want to refer someone to a specific post within a thread, simply click on the chain link icon and copy the forum link to refer to that specific post.
In the forums we have people from all walks of life participating. However, for the ease of recognizing some members as having an affiliation with a manufacturer or brand, or as being a forum moderator or a CNET staff member, we have badged these particular members with special icons to indicate who they are.
It is easy to be notified of activities on a particular discussion topic. Follow these steps to subscribe to a discussion topic:
Navigate to a discussion topic you are interested in. When viewing the first post of the discussion, directly below the it, there is link that reads "Track this discussion". Once you click on the link, the text will switch to "Stop tracking this discussion." Congratulations, you have now successfully subscribed to that particular discussion thread. Once you have successfully tracked a discussion, you will be notified periodically by e-mail whenever there are any updates to that discussion. If you are currently already subscribed to a discussion, a "Stop tracking this discussion." link will appear in place of the "Track this thread" link, indicating that you are already tracking that discussion already.
Additionally you can track a discussion during the process of creating a new discussion thread or when replying to another member's post. To do this, during your submission process there will be a check box available to track that specific discussion and if it's checked, you will be notified by e-mail periodically whenever there is any update to that discussion.
There are a couple of ways to unsubscribe from any of your tracked discussions or to view which discussion topics you are subscribed to. The first method is to manage your tracked discussions is from your CNET profile page. You can directly go to your Forum tracked discussion management page by clicking on the My tracked discussions link found below the Forum name. The "My tracked discussions" page in your CNET profile page contains a list of all the discussions to which you are subscribed to. To unsubscribe from a discussion check the box(es) next to the discussion thread(s) that you do not want to receive notifications for and click on the "Unsubscribe" button. Those tracked discussions should now be removed from your list.
The other method to unsubscribe from a specific discussion is to visit that particular discussion in the forums. When viewing the first post of the discussion, directly below the it, there will be link that reads "Stop tracking this discussion." Click on that link and the text will automatically change to "Track this discussion". Congratulations, you have now successfully unsubscribed from that particular discussion and you will no longer receive any further e-mail notification for updates to that specific discussion.
Please Note: This feature requires you to be registered with CNET and logged in.
Read tracking lets you know what discussions/posts you have read and not yet read. In order for the read tracking feature to work, you must be logged into the forums for it to take effect. Once you have logged in, at-a-glance, you will be able you differentiate which messages/discussions have been read and unread by you through the use of different icon indicators.
Read tracking on the Forum Page (e.g. Windows 7 forum): On the forum page you will be presented with 3 states (Bold subject line, unbolded, and green "Updated" text). Depending on the status of the discussion, it will indicate to you whether that particular discussion has been read or unread, or has been updated since your last visit. The different icons are defined as follows:
Bold subject line -- Indicates that this entire discussion has never been read
Unbolded subject line -- Indicates that this discussion has been read
"UPDATED" green text (located next to the subject line) -- Indicates that this discussion has been updated with new messages.
Once you have opened a discussion thread marked with a BOLD subject line, whether you have read through the discussion in its entirety or not, it will turn to an unbolded subject line indicating that you have read the discussion (this works similar like your e-mail inbox, where bolded subject lines are e-mails you haven't read, and unbolded subject lines indicate the ones you have opened and read.) Only in the discussion thread (explained below) will you be able to tell which messages you have read or not read. However, if someone posts a new message to that discussion, it will display the green text "UPDATED" next to the subject line to indicate that a new message is present in that discussion since your last visit.
Read tracking within a discussion thread: On the discussion thread page, you will be presented with 2 different icons (a green and gray dot). These icons will be present next to the subject lines in the discussion tree to indicate whether that particular message has been read or unread. The different colors are defined as follows:
(green ball) Indicates that this message has never been read
(gray ball) Indicates that this message has been read
Once you have clicked a message indicated with a green dot and proceed to navigate on to the another message, that previous message icon will turn gray gray dot, indicating that it has been read.
Additional navigation through Unread messages: For ease of reading through unread messages within a discussion, we have added an additional navigation button, "Next unread", which will allow you to navigate through only the messages that you haven't read. This feature will only be available if you are logged in.
In any given forum post, each member's username is hyperlinked to his CNET profile page. Simply click on a hyperlinked username to display what the member has opted in to reveal about himself.
To edit or update your CNET profile you must first be logged into CNET. Once you have logged in, on any given CNET page, on the top right hand corner of the page click on the " My profile" link. Once you've click on the link, you will be presented with your own profile management page in which you can view items that you are currently tracking, newsletter subscriptions, view all your contributions on CNET, and many other CNET features. To edit your profile page to tell other members a little bit about yourself, click on the "My Account Information" tab. From that tab you can update any of the profile fields provided. Once you have completed updating/editing your profile information, click on the "Save" button and all your information that you've update/entered will be saved.
At any time, you may contact a member of the forums directly via email. However you must be a registered member of the forums and logged in to do so.
To send a message directly to a forum member, click on the member's hyperlinked username when viewing the member's post. Once you have clicked on the username you will be presented with the member's profile page. On this page you will find a blue envelope icon link which will initiate a form for you to fill out. However, if the link is unavailable on their profile page, the member has opted not to receive any emails from other community members and you will not be able to contact them.
Once you have fill out the form as desired, click on the Send E-mail button. You will be presented with a confirmation note to let you know that your email was sent.
Note: Please be aware that your e-mail address that is registered with CNET will be revealed to the member you are contacting through this form. Please exercise judgment when revealing personal information about yourself when you send a message.