First post, by gerry
not meant as an entirely serious topic - but I am sure you've all experienced technical problems with both vintage and newer PCs (and stuff generally) and gone online to find answers
eventually there is often something useful, some rare times there is even a video guide!
much of the time though is spent trawling through several 'types' of advice that do nothing, here are 5
1) the totally generic advice with '5 steps to fixing x', all of which are either obvious (safe mode, yay!) or foolhardy (let's advise non techies to mess with the registry!)
2) Copy Paste for hits. You search, you find lots promising sites to visit - and they all have the same generic advice above, again and again and again ...
3) me too! You search, find lots of threads.. sounds good. OP says "I have problem x", you think - yes, just like me! page down and its just other people saying "me too! anyone found a solution yet?...", and clearly no one has, ever!
4) upgrade something! Sure if you want to play the latest game maybe upgrading a graphics card would work - but if you have a tech problem, and I may be alone here, no amount of 'latest drivers', 'flashing bios', 'update windows' etc has EVER done anything to change anything regarding the problem
5) MVP, not picking on kind MVPs and other nice folk at places like answers.microsoft.com but when that shows up in search results I sigh. They tend to respond in the same manner, with escalating steps of obviousness leading to intriguing (but identical) more technical suggestions often not quite understanding the problem. these are the ultimate form of types 1-4, containing everything above in neat, polite and near useless packages of 'well intentioned but managing to miss the point' guidance. Over time I've become quite good at predicting, just from the first couple of sentences, whether the OP's problem will be helped or just get caught in an infinite "have you tried steps 1,2,3" loop
of course, sometimes the above do help but i hope you recognise the frustrations of searching online for guidance only to discover repetition, misunderstanding, obtuseness and danger!
perhaps you have encountered more types or have a war story to share 😀
as final note - i have found actually good advice often in better forums (like vogons) and in odd places, like the comments on youtube or forums on other topics that somehow wander into tech territory