Windows 10 Help Forums FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Forums, Threads and Posts

What is a bulletin board?

A bulletin board is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'board' or 'forums'. It may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual posts.

How is all this structured?

The bulletin board as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a topic) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something).

The board home page has a list of categories and forums, with basic statistics for each - including the number of threads and posts, and which member posted the most recent message.

How do I find my way around?

When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a conversation between members or guests. Each thread starts out as a single post and grows as more individual posts are added by different users. Threads can be rated (?) to show how useful or popular they are and may contain polls (?).

To start a new thread simply click on the + Post New Thread button (you may need the right permissions to do this).

Threads can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the thread with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the thread with the most posts at the top, or the highest rating. Simply click on the appropriate column heading at the top of the list of threads (Thread, Thread Starter, Rating, Last Post, Replies or Views). You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the arrow next to the name of the active option. (Note that 'sticky' threads will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).

Multi-page views

When there are more threads to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the 'Page' box, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of threads has been split over two or more pages.

This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the board.

What are sticky threads?

'Sticky' threads are created by moderators or administrators (?), and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

How do I read a thread?

To read a thread, click on its title. Each post in a thread is created by a member or a guest. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the thread above the main post message. In some cases it will be to the side of the post.

To post a reply to an existing thread, click on the + Reply to Thread button. If this button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the thread has been closed to new replies.

If enabled, there will also be a 'Quick Reply' box where you can quickly enter a reply without having to go to the 'Post Reply' page. You may need to click the quick reply button Reply to this Message Reply in a post to activate the quick reply box before you can type into it.

On long threads you may want to change how the posts are ordered. For more on different ways to view and navigate threads, click (?).

Is there a faster way to get to forums?

If you know which forum you want to go to, you can use the 'Quick Navigation' control, which appears at the bottom of many pages within the board.

How do I find out more about members?

To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their public profile page (?).

What is the Navigation Bar?

The navigation bar at the top of every page has links to help you move around. A 'breadcrumb' area at the top left shows where you are now. A form on the right allows you to quickly login. With one click you can reach areas such as: the User Control Panel (?), FAQ (which you are reading now), the Calendar (?), Search options (?) and Quick Links (?) to other useful features.

What is the 'What's Going On?' box on the board home page?

On the board home page you'll see a section at the bottom that tells you what's going on at the moment. It tells you things like the number of registered users online, the number of guests, and even things like birthdays, and forthcoming events.

Can I change the way the board looks?

You may be able to change the styling of the board by using the style changer in the bottom left of the page. This lets you choose different skins which change the color scheme and appearance of the board. If this option does not appear, the board cannot be restyled.

Registration

The administrator will probably require you to register in order to use all the features of the forum. Being registered gives you an identity on the board, a fixed username on all messages you post and an online public profile.

Registration is free (unless otherwise specified), and offers an extended range of features, including:

  • Posting new threads
  • Replying to other peoples' threads
  • Editing your posts
  • Receiving email notification of replies to posts and threads you specify
  • Sending private messages to other members
  • Creating albums of photos and comment on others' photos
  • Adding events to the forum calendar
  • Setting up a 'contact list' to quickly see which of your friends are online.

How do I register?

You register by clicking on the 'Register' link near the top of the page. You will be asked to choose a user name, password and enter a valid email address. In addition there will be some other fields to which you will be invited to respond. Some will be mandatory while others are optional. Once this is complete you will either be fully registered, or in some cases you may have to click on a link in an 'activation email' sent to your email address. Once you have done this you will be registered.

Note that entering your email address will not leave you open to 'spam', as you can choose to hide it from other board users. You'll probably be able to allow other registered users to contact you via email, but the system won't display your email address to them unless you give permission.

If you are under the age of 13, the administrator may require that a parent or guardian provide consent before allowing you to complete the registration process. More information about this is available during the registration process.

Searching Forums and Threads

How do I search for something?

To quickly find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of most forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Threads' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.

For more control over the search, select 'Advanced Search' from the drop-down box. The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or threads by user, or return results based on tags (?). There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or threads with a certain number of replies.

How do I search a specific forum or thread?

If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search this forum' link near the top of the page (it's above the list of threads). You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search this Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.

Announcements

What are announcements?

Announcements are special messages posted by the administrator or moderators. They are a simple one-way communication with the users and you can't reply. If you wish to discuss announcements, you will have to create a new thread in the forum.

Announcement threads are displayed at the top of forum listing pages, above regular and sticky threads.

Viewing New Posts or Today's Posts

How can I see the latest posts?

There are two ways to quickly view recently created or updated threads.

If you are not logged in, the 'today's posts' link will show a list of all threads that have been created or updated in the last 24 hours.

If you are logged in, the 'Today's Posts' link will change to 'New Posts', which gives you a listing of all threads that have been created or updated since your last visit.

The administrator can also set up the forums so that each thread you read is marked in the database. If this option is set, then new threads (or threads with new posts) will not be marked as read until you have actually read them.

There is a built-in time limit to this, however, that will automatically mark all threads as 'read' after a set number of day, whether you really have read them or not. The default setting is 10 days, but the administrator could make this higher or lower.

Thread Tools

What are thread tools?

At the top of each thread, there is a link called 'Thread Tools'. By clicking on this link, a menu will appear with a number of options:

  • Show Printable Version - this will show you a page with the thread post content in a reduced graphics format that is more 'printer friendly'.
  • Email this Page - if you think the thread may be interesting to someone else, you can forward a link to it to their email address.
  • Subscribe (or Unsubscribe) from this Thread - by subscribing to a thread, you will receive periodic email updates on recent activity within it. Click here for more information on subscriptions.
  • Adding a Poll - if you started the thread, you can add a poll to it with this option. Click here for more information on polls.

Cookies

What is 'Automatic Login'?

When you register (and also when you login using the form at the top of the screen), you will be given the option to 'Remember Me'. This will store your identity securely in a cookie on your computer. If you are using a shared computer, such as in a library, school or internet cafe, or if you have reason to not trust any other users that might use this computer, we recommend you do not enable this.

How do I clear cookies?

You can clear all your cookies set by the forum by clicking the 'logout' link at the top of the page. In some cases, if you return to the main index page via the link provided and you are still logged in, you may have to remove your cookies manually.

In Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Internet Options' from the menu that appears. Click 'Delete Cookies' on the dialog box that appears. It will be in the center area of the 'General' tab.

In Internet Explorer 7: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Internet Options' from the menu that appears. Click 'Delete...', beneath 'Browsing History' on the dialog box that appears. It will be in the center area of the 'General' tab. Click 'Delete cookies...' on the next dialog box that appears.

In Firefox: Click the 'Tools' menu. Select 'Options' from the menu that appears. From the dialog box, select 'Privacy' on the left. Find 'Cookies' on the main pane, and click the 'Clear' button adjacent to it.

In Safari: Go to Preferences, Security, then show Cookies and either select 'Remove all' or select individual cookies and then the 'Delete' button.

In Opera: Go to Tools, Preferences, Advanced, Cookies, Manage cookies then select the name of this site and click the 'Delete' button.

Your cookies should now be removed. You may want to restart the computer and revisit the forums to be sure.

Other browsers may have a different method of clearing cookies. Refer to the documentation for your own browser if you are unsure.

Lost Passwords

I forgot my password. What can I do?

If you forget your password, you can click on the 'Forgotten Your Password' link. This will appear on any page that requires you to fill in your password.

This link brings up a page where you should enter your registered email address. An email will be sent to that address shortly, with instructions for resetting your password.

Since passwords are encrypted, there is no way to resend your original password. This option provides you with the ability to reset your password.

You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. You may need to check your spam filters and folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.

Your Notifications

What are Your Notifications?

When you have logged into the board, a link to 'Your Notifications' may be displayed in the 'Welcome' box near the top of the forum. 'Your Notifications' will show if you have any one of the following:

  • Unread Personal Messages (?)
  • Unread Profile Visitor Messages (?)
  • Profile Visitor Messages Awaiting Approval
  • Incoming Friend Requests (?)
  • Requests to Join Your Groups (?)
  • Invitations to Join Groups
  • Unread Photo Comments (?)
  • Photo Comments Awaiting Approval

By clicking on the 'Your Notifications' link, you will be able to quickly see how many of each type you have received. Clicking on any of the links in the menu will take you to the relevant page within the User Control Panel or elsewhere in the system.

If there are no notifications, then this link will be replaced by a link to 'Personal Messages' (?).

Quick Links

What is the Quick Links menu?

The navigation bar at the top of each page has several helpful links. One of them is a dropdown menu called Quick Links. (It appears only to registered members who are logged in). Clicking it once with the mouse will make it drop down and show the following options:

  • Quick Links
    • Today's Posts (shows posts created in the past 24 hours)
    • Mark Forums Read (marks all the threads and posts as read for your session - this is a shortcut alternative to actually reading the threads and posts)
    • Open Contacts Popup (opens a new window with a list of all your contacts)
  • Networking
    • Friends and Contacts (a page from where you can manage your network)
    • Groups (where you can manage your Groups)
    • Photos and Albums (where you can manage your photos and albums)
  • User Control Panel (clicking this takes you to your personal user control panel)
    • Edit Signature (edit your personal signature that appears below posts)
    • Edit Your Details (edit your personal profile details)
    • Edit Options (manage your community settings)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Personal Messages (manage your private messages, read your inbox, create new messages, etc)
    • Subscribed Threads (get an overview of your free subscriptions and options to manage them)
    • Your Profile (loads your social profile)
    • Who's Online (see which users who are currently online on the board and what they are doing)

Dealing with Troublesome Users

Can I block posts, emails and messages from specific users?

If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Personal Messages and Emails from them, then you can add these members to your 'Ignore List'. There are several ways to do this:

Through your User Control Panel: User CP, Settings & Options, Edit Ignore List. Then, type their name into the empty text box and click 'Okay'.

What if I see something offensive?

You will find 'Report' links in many places throughout the board. These links allow you to alert the board staff to anything which you find to be offensive, objectionable or illegal.

RSS and Podcasting

Can I use RSS to keep up with new posts?

If the administrator has enabled RSS syndication, this lets you view newly created threads in guest-viewable forums without visiting the board.

The feeds are currently provided in two formats, RSS and RSS v2.

Most modern browsers have facilities for reading RSS feeds and will automatically detect the availability of feeds on bulletin board pages.

How do I listen to podcasts?

A podcast is a means of distributing audio files (such as .mp3s) over the internet. They can be played on a wide range of media players and computers. If the board administrator has enabled this function, then you may sometimes see links to podcasts within threads.

Podcasts contained within threads are only accessible using RSS feeds.

Search FAQ

Select this option if you would like your search to look in the text of FAQ items as well as their titles.

Select an option here to specify how you would like your search query to be treated. 'Any words' will return the most numerous but possibly least relevant results, while 'Complete phrase' will return only results that contain exactly what you are searching for.

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