Help us to help you
While we will usually answer questions within 3-4 hours during the working day, this varies depending on how helpful the question is! The more considered your question, the quicker we can respond. While these are some brief and basic guidelines, an email that shows that you’ve considered them will jump straight to the top of the queue.
Once again: please make sure that you check the forums for any network outages or other problems before contacting us as it could be we are already aware of and are fixing the problem you have. Creating extra tickets just gives us extra work and slows down the fix!
So who are you?
It adds another couple of minutes to answering a query when we have to try to find who you are and which machine your writing about. So tell us the basics, usually one or more of:
- your machine’s username, i.e. yourname.vm.bytemark.co.uk or yourname.dh.bytemark.co.uk;
- your machine’s IP address, i.e. 80.68.xx.xx;
- your full name if it’s not included in the email header.
My web site doesn’t work!
Where “web site” can be one of DNS / email / whatever other service isn’t working properly. You can usually help us a little more than that. A basic template might consist of
- What is not working? Please include complete transcripts of any error messages or diagnostics that show the fault.
- What did you try to do to make it work? What files did you edit, what commands did you run? Why did you expect that to make it work?
- What happened then? What tests led you to believe that it wasn’t working? What did the server do that you didn’t expect, and what did you expect it to do?
Please include the actual transcripts of commands and responses to your server: let us see what happened and try not to abbreviate.
The less sure you are of the technical details or what you did, the more you
should consider these basics.
I can’t reach my virtual machine any more!
What usually happens in this situation is that we look, we see your virtual machine is running normally, it responds to pings, it responds to SSH connections and we have nothing else to go on.
So send a traceroute! It will help us pinpoint whether the problem is at our end or yours. Let’s assume 184.108.40.206 is your IP address— here’s how to get a traceroute to it:
- If you’re tracing from Windows, go to Start and Run… then type “cmd”. In the command window that appears, type:
- or from Linux or Mac OS X, type
Copy and paste the output into an email— it will help us enormously. If you
have the mtr tool available instead, that is even more helpful.