When you have a problem with your computer, make sure to write down the exact wording of the any error message. Try to make the problem happen again and document each step required to make it happen. This is not an easy task because we are using our computers, rather than testing them for problems. So when something happens we have had our minds on the task we were working on, and it is really difficult to remember what exactly transpired just before the problem.
But an accurate description of the history of computer and user generated events just before the problem can be a great help to those that are trying to solve the problem remotely (over the telephone or at a meeting).
Use Apple System Profiler to gather as much information about the system as possible. Under Mac OS X Apple System Profiler is found under /Applications/Utilities.
In both cases it is useful to go to the Preferences... Menu item (Under the Apple System ProfilerMenu in Mac OS X) and choose the Text Document radio button. This will allow you to save the report so you can e-mail it to Tech Support. You should also enable the Extensions, Applications, and Frameworks (X) reports.
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